Wednesday, June 12, 2013

E.W. Hall Building Plans, 1961

 These images were taken from microfilm at the Seattle Department of Planning and Development. They show the changes made to 2015 Third Avenue in 1961. In 1990, these changes were removed.

E.W. Hall's former location as it looks now. Photo from the Seattle Historic Preservation Department, 2006
These details are from the printouts of the building plans. The front of the storefront is seen above; the side is below:
Here is the end result:

Lowman & Hanford

This ad appeared in The Seattle Times, on August 2, 1960
Lowman & Hanford is on the far right of this picture. It became J.K. Gills in the late 1950s. (Seattle Municipal Archives)

Cole-Steel Dealers, Seattle

Four typewriter dealers sold Cole-Steel typewriters in Seattle. These dealers were either large, well-established downtown typewriter dealers (E.W. Hall and Lowman & Hanford), or small, neighborhood dealers (University Mimeo & Typewriter Company), or office supply companies (National Office Equipment).  

E. W. Hall, 1951 (Image courtesy of the Washington State Digital Archives)

This article appeared in The Seattle Times, on August 11, 1961.

The article above appeared in The Seattle Times on August 13, 1961.
It is unlikely that my Cole-Steel was sold by E.W. Hall, because E.W. Hall always applied a dealer label to the typewriters that they sold. E. W. Hall was the first portable typewriter dealer in Seattle--they sold the Corona typewriter as early as 1911. (The Corona typewriter was introduced in 1907 as the Standard Folding typewriter--it became the Corona in 1912.) They moved into the Office Appliance Building around 1916. (The site is now home to the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building). In 1938, they moved to 1111 Second Avenue, which can be seen in the photos above the newspaper article.  A full-page article appeared in The Seattle Times about their move. In 1961, Hall's moved to 2015 Third Avenue. This building is largely the same as it was when it was built in 1913. By 1971, the building had become home to Acme Office Machines. In 1974, the National Maritime Union became the occupants of the building. It is now home to  the Compass Housing Alliance. 
In 1966, a fire destroyed the building that stood next to National Office Equipment. This page is from The Seattle Times, June 5, 1966. 
Very little information exists about National Office Equipment. It appears that it closed shortly after the fire that destroyed its neighbor.

The building is now known as the Cedars Apartments. The facades of the former Olympic View Hotel (home to National Office Equipment) were incorporated into the building, which was built in 1988. (King County Assessor photo)

University Mimeo & Typewriter Company was founded in the early 1930s. It was located at 4224 University Way from 1948 until the 1970s. This photo is from 1970 (Washington State Digital Archives). 
The only article I was able to find about University Mimeo & Typewriter Company was from the Times Troubleshooter column, from The Seattle Times, June 29, 1966:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cole-Steel Portable Typewriter, circa 1958

Many typewriter collectors believe that this typewriter only looks good. However, I think that this is also one of the most comfortable typewriters to use. Very few compact typewriters are comfortable to me (I have big hands) but this one is amazing! (Even the keyboard angle is perfect!) Production of the Cole-Steel typewriter began in 1957, and ended in 1966. However, in Seattle, it was only advertised for two years--1958 and 1959. The color of this typewriter is "Cole Gray." While this typewriter has a serial number, it means nothing, as there are no serial number records for this machine. Based on 3 recorded sales, I think that this typewriter is a 1959 model.

This ad appeared in The Seattle Times, November 22, 1959
This ad is from the November 18, 1958 Seattle Times
It seems that Cole-Steel typewriters were often sold with desks. (Cole-Steel was a manufacturer of office furniture. They contracted with Koch's Adler Sewing Machine Company, in Germany to produce a typewriter; Koch's had introduced a typewriter in 1955; Cole-Steel began importing it in 1957.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

All About the Smith-Corona Skyriter

In 1940, Henry Avery, Joseph Barkdoll and Lionel Evans filed a patent for a compact portable typewriter. The patent number 2218736, became the Corona Zephyr. The Zephyr was the lowest-priced Corona typewriter. (It cost $29.75, and was in the same price range as the Remington Remette. Unlike the Remette, the Zephyr has a warning bell at the end of each line.) 
Seattle Times ad for Corona typewriters from September 8, 1940. The Zephyr is on the left.
Production of the Zephyr ended in July, 1942, when all typewriter plants were converted to manufacture weapons for the war effort. The Zephyr was redesigned around this time to the design we all know and love--the Skyriter. Production started in 1949.

This full-page ad ran in The Seattle Times on June 8, 1950. It was the first ad for the Smith-Corona Skyriter, and one of the first for Northgate Mall, which has the distinction of being the first shopping center (in the United States) to be called a "Mall". The Bon Marche was the anchor store of Northgate. It is now a Macy's store, but remains largely original inside.
Originally, the Skyriter featured a snap-on metal lid. By 1956, with the introduction of the 3-Y series, many Skyriters had vinyl cases. Around 1957, the familiar green "Colorspeed" keyboard had given way to white keys. On the original Skyriters, the Smith-Corona logo was made of metal. Most Skyriters have a plastic logo. After 1960, Skyriters were made in England. These typewriters have a smooth dark gray body, and came in a black vinyl case with a red interior. Around 1964, the Skyriter was replaced by the Smith-Corona Corsair.
My 1959 Skyriter, with the inevitable paint loss caused by use of the space bar.

The square holes serve as a reminder that this typewriter design originally called for a snap-on lid.
The vinyl case that it comes in. It looks even more like leather in person!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My 1955 Royal Quiet Deluxe

This typewriter is easily the best $2 I have ever spent!

This typewriter is easily my favorite Royal portable, because of its styling, its light touch, and its color. (Also the fact that I only paid $2 helps a lot too...) This typewriter was made in Royal's Hartford Connecticut in 1955, and has cream-colored keys, and a charcoal body. When I bought it, there was a clear label from Hartman Office Machines, in Bellevue WA in poor condition. I kept the label, and will recreate it to the best of my ability. For an idea of the label, I have enclosed Strikethru's Olympia Traveller, which was serviced by Hartman:
The label is on the upper right corner of this typewriter. My label is clear with white lettering. I plan to put it on black paper, scan it, and invert the colors.
Hartman Typewriter was established in the 1950s in Renton, WA, and initially sold Royal typewriters. By the 1970s, Hartman had two locations; one in Bellevue, the other in Renton, as seen on the dealer decal on the front of this Hermes
This dealer decal is very similar to the one found on my Quiet Deluxe.
 By the 1980s, Hartman had moved to Bellevue. Hartman retired in 2010.