Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Evolution of the Tower Tabulator

In 1949, Sears, Roebuck and Company introduced their new Tower line of portable typewriters. Originally, there was a choice of two models--one with a tabulator ($82.50) and one without ($64.75). Both of these were made by Underwood for Sears. The rear panel of each of these machines is identical to those on Underwood portables from the period, but with a metal panel with the Sears model number stamped onto it riveted over the part that would say "Underwood" on it. Early Tower typewriters have a rounded ribbon cover and are carriage-shifted. In 1953, Underwood redesigned their portables with segment shift. As a result, the 1953 Tower portables are more squared off and segment shifted. In 1957, Sears replaced the Underwood-based Tower portables with Smith-Corona-based Tower portables. For a brief period in the early 1960s, Sears sold some Remington-Rand based Tower portables, like the Tower Capri (a rebranded Remington Streamliner). By the mid-1960s, all Tower Portables were made by Smith-Corona.
Fall, 1950

Fall, 1951

Fall 1952

Fall, 1953

Fall, 1954
Spring, 1951

Spring, 1952

 Spring, 1953
Spring, 1954

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