Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Olivetti in Seattle, 1950-1966

According to typewriterdatabase.com, this typewriter, serial number 346730 was made in 1957. According to tw-db.com, it was made in either 1950, 1954, or 1957. 

While information on the Olivetti Lettera's history is readily available, local histories involving Olivetti typewriters are few and far between. However, here is a brief timeline:

  • May 9, 1950: The E.W. Hall Company begins advertising the "Sensational Olivetti" printing calculator in The Seattle Times.
  • 1950: Sears begins importing the Olivetti Lettera 22 as the Tower Chieftain
  • November 23, 1953: The Typewriter Clinic begins advertising Olivetti in the Classified Section of the Seattle Times: "47 PORTABLE Typewriters--All Makes--Save $$ on Olivetti $5 Layaway for Xmas. Typewriter Clinic MA. 6525 1913 3rd Ave" 
  • September 1, 1954: The Typewriter Clinic changes their ad to " $14.95 ADD. MACHINES New small Lightning Adding Mach. Also Olivetti Port. Typewriter. Typewriter Clinic 1912 3rd Avenue MA. 6524" By this point, The Typewriter Clinic had moved from its previous location to a new location across Third Avenue from its old location.
  • October 24, 1955: The Typewriter Clinic begins advertising in the Business section: "See our OLIVETTI MONEY SAVING Office Machinery Before You Buy. Typewriters, Adding Machines & Calculators. Typewriter Clinic 1912 3rd Avenue MAin 6524"
  • 1959: Olivetti purchases Underwood Corporation, forming Underwood-Olivetti (later Olivetti-Underwood)
  • April 3, 1961: Olivetti runs its first full page ad, featuring its full line of products in several newspapers nation-wide, using the "Underwood" name. 
  • September 3, 1961: Frederick & Nelson begins advertising that they sell Underwood-Olivetti typewriters.
  • 1964: The Olivetti Lettera 22 is replaced by the Olivetti-Underwood Lettera 32. Lettera 22 production continues for other markets, and Sears-Roebuck.
  • August 31, 1965: The Bon Marche begins advertising that they sell Olivetti-Underwood typewriters.
  • November 11, 1965: Main Office Machines begins advertising the new Olivetti-Underwood Lettera 32.
  • March 17, 1966: J.K. Gill's begins advertising the Olivetti-Underwood Lettera 32.
  • June 9, 1966: Zale's begins advertising the Olivetti-Underwood Dora.
  • August 28, 1966: J.K. Gill's features an Olivetti-Underwood Lettera 32 in a full-page ad.

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