Monday, December 9, 2013

Avona Jet, circa 1962

The serial number 8Q100 is on the frame by the right-hand ribbon spool. I think that this was the 100th Avona Jet portable made.
The serial number of the ribbon cover is only 2 units off from the machine's serial number.

This typewriter was made for Allied Stores. It is essentially a rebadged Underwood Diplomat, which itself was a license-built Antares. This typewriter is stamped "Made in USA" under the right-hand carriage knob. It has its original ribbon spool on the left. This typewriter was most likely sold by The Bon Marche in Seattle. 
This ad appeared on page 18 of The Seattle Times on December 19, 1962. The Avona Jet was not an expensive typewriter--it was $15 less than a Royalite
By June 27, 1963, The Bon Marche had seven used Avona Jet portables, after only seven months of selling them. They were selling them for $29.95. On July 16, 1963, The Bon Marche was selling Avona Jets at a Pre-Inventory Clearance sale for $24.99.
By July 25, 1963, both Seattle Bon Marche stores (Downtown Seattle and Northgate) were selling four Avona Jet portables for $22.95
On March 24, 1964, the Northgate Bon Marche was selling a used Avona Jet for $29.95. By September 24, 1964, the Downtown Bon Marche was selling a new Avona Jet for $24.95.
On September 26, 1968, The Bon Marche at Southcenter Mall was selling a reconditioned Avona Jet for $19.88

I think that buyers were wary of an unknown brand, especially since a Royal Royalite sold for $15 more than the Avona. While it was offered with a warranty, only Allied Stores (such as The Bon Marche) would be able to repair it, because it was made for them. Also, The Bon Marche may not have charged enough for it, making it look cheaper. 
Below is an ad for The Bon Marche's expansion in 1954:

1 comment:

  1. That was quite inexpensive, even for the time. The Olympia SM3 my parents bought for me four years earlier cost about $110 at the local stationary store.