Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cole Portable Dealers, 1957

If anyone is curious about where your Cole Steel might have been sold, consult this list of dealers
From Life Magazine,  November 18, 1957. 
Courtesy of Business, Science and Technology Collections, Seattle Public Library

Cole-Steel Portable, Circa 1960

"Advertisement." Billings Gazette [Billings, MT] 06 May 1959, n. pag. Print.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Anderson Business Technologies, Pasadena, CA

Last week, I asked Anderson Business Technologies if they could send me copies of historic photos of their business (Anderson's was founded in 1912). I was expecting small photos, or photocopies. Instead, Don Anderson, the son of the founder, Elmer Anderson, sent me 8x10 originals. (They were duplicates). All of the photos were taken by commercial photographers. Here are the pictures:

 Anderson Typewriter Company, early 1930s. Notice the poster for Royal's Poet of the Organ, Jesse Crawford.
 Anderson's in the early 1940s

 Anderson's in the early 1960s. Notice the round case in the right hand window; it contains a Royal Sahara portable typewriter.
 Elmer Anderson, the founder is holding a Royal Safari Custom, and his son, Don is displaying a Royal Electric typewriter. Notice the display in the background for the Royal Skylark. If anyone is curious as to how Royal displayed portable typewriters, look at the photo above.
The side of Anderson Typewriter Company, in the 1960s.
A current photo of the business.

Monday, January 20, 2014

1936 Royal Model O

 Last month, I traded in my 1934 portable because the line space lever was beginning to wear out. Today, I found a beautiful 1936 Royal Model O, with its instructions, the cleaning brush, and its carrying case, in beautiful condition. These pictures were taken before cleaning the typewriter and its case.

The manual was last revised in April, 1936

From The Seattle Times, May 24, 1936

Stemp Typewriter Window, March 25, 1935 (Image from the Wisconsin Historical Society)
Cox Typewriter Exchange, Abilene, Texas, 1930s (University of North Texas Collections)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Royal Fleetwood's "Original" Box

While this is identical to the box that my Royal Fleetwood would have been sold in when new, it came from a different typewriter. (The box came from Etsy) The typewriter that was inside is a mystery, as there is no "content label"--just a shipping label that indicates that it was machine number 1 of 94 shipped to Edward's Department Store, a South-Carolina-based chain that was later bought by Wal-Mart. Edward's applied a price tag to the front, that indicates that the typewriter that was inside was sold for $34.95. The service center list that came with the box was dated 12/69. 

According to Google Maps, the address on the box was most likely Edward's distribution center. It is now the distribution center for a dairy.
According to the full-page ad above, from the Aiken, South Carolina Standard, dated August 14, 1972, the typewriter in the box was most likely a Royal Sprite, based on the price. The Royal Sprite is fundamentally identical to the Royal Fleetwood, except for the color. (The Sprite is blue and white, instead of black and walnut-grain. 

For anyone who wants to create a replica of this box, the box is roughly 14" x 14" x 5." It opens on the top (short side)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

1966 Adler J4 and Adler in Seattle

American Office Equipment, 900 Fourth Avenue. This was the only Adler dealer in Seattle when this photo was taken. This building was demolished in May, 1971.
 Image Courtesy of the King County Department Of Assessments Records, Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Branch.
According to the 1966 Seattle Telephone Directory, there was only one Adler dealer in Seattle--American Office Equipment, located at 900 Fourth Avenue (which is now the site of the Union Bank of California Building, )
By 1970, following Litton's buyout of Triumph-Adler, there were six dealers who specialized in Adler typewriters in Seattle:
1970 Seattle Telephone Directory Listing (Seattle Public Library)

By 1972, the number had doubled:
1972 Seattle Telephone Directory Listing (Seattle Public Library)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Royal Fleetwood, 1970

Royal Fleetwood Advertisement, Dallas Morning News, October 10, 1970
The Royal Fleetwood was introduced in 1968. It was produced in Japan by Silver-Reed; Royal rebranded them as "Royals" This typewriter was widely advertised in most regions of the United States. (For some reason, Royal did not advertise this model in Western Washington [there was one ad for it in the Spokane Spokesman-Review] , Oregon, Idaho, Montana. Royal did not advertise the identical Caravan or 240 models in these states either.) It is a good typewriter, a lot like the Brother Charger, or Royal Mercury, but with a preset tabulator. 

Spokane Spokesman-Review ad:,1778939

Royal Fleetwood Advertisement, from the Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, June 8, 1971

According to Robert Messenger's post on Imperial Typewriters from the 1970s,, this typewriter was made in 1970 (the Imperial 220 has the same prefix, same design, and same serial number range.)

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Near Match to my 1960 Olivetti

 My 1960 Olivetti with French accents and mathematical symbols. 
I bought this typewriter in Snohomish, Washington.
 I am still trying to figure out which country it was made for. It was made in Glasgow.
Below is a "Spanish" keyboard Olivetti from The Vintage Typewriter Shoppe. It was sold in 2011. It is also missing most Spanish accents, the ñ, ¿, and ¡ symbols. It also lacks the μ that my Lettera 22 is equipped with. (Greek letter Mu, often used in various sciences, pharmacology, mathematics, linguistics, and meat science. For more, go to If anyone has theories related to my Lettera's keyboard, please email them to Anything will be greatly appreciated.
"Spanish Keyboard Oivetti Lettera 22" from The Vintage Typewriter Shoppe . This item sold in 2011.