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My typewriter collection and history page

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    MacDougalls, . "Advertisement, The World's No. 1 Quality Machine." Seattle Daily Times 30 Sep 1962, Pg. 40. Print.

    MacDougalls, . "Advertisement, Olympia, the Finest Name in Portable Typewriters." Seattle Daily Times 08 Dec 1963, Pg. 26. Print.

    MacDougall-Southwick was founded in 1874 as The San Francisco Store, located on First Avenue, between South Jackson Street, and Yesler Way. In 1908, it moved to the corner of Second Avenue and Pike Street. It advertised itself as being the first electrically-lit store in Seattle. 
    1916 photo of MacDougall's, with the San Francisco Store in the inset. (Image from the University of Washington Special Collections)
    One of the main causes for the demise of MacDougall's was its competition--Frederick and Nelson expanded their store in 1952, and The Bon Marche expanded theirs in 1955. MacDougalls remodeled their store in 1950.
    MacDougall's was incredibly proud of their remodel, as evident by this full-page ad, "Advertisement." Seattle Daily Times 05 Nov 1950, 15. Print.

    First Avenue and Pike Street, April 2, 1963. MacDougall's is the gray building between the enormous Penney's sign and Kress. (to the right of the bus.) Image from PaulDorpat.com, http://pauldorpat.com/seattle-now-and-then/seattle-now-then-first-and-pike-nov-6th-1953-225-pm/

    MacDougall's announced that they would close in January, 1966. The building changed hands several times, before being replaced by a parking lot in 1971
    Staples, Alice. "MacDougall-Southwick Building to Disappear." Seattle Daily Times 24 Jan 1971, Pg. H-1. Print.

    Lane, Polly. "Steps Toward Keeping Downtown Up." Seattle Daily Times 27 Aug 1972, pg D-1. Print.

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    This ad took up two full pages of The Seattle Times, July 7, 1929



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    Apparently, the serial numbers listed on the Typewriter Database are for January 1st of each year. That means that this Olivetti is a 1956 model, not a 1957 model. Either way, it was most likely sold by The Typewriter Clinic.
     The carrying case
     This dust cover is from a British Olivetti (coming soon)
     The round box contains:
     brushes for cleaning the Olivetti
     This is the manual:

    Cover of the 1956 Seattle Telephone Directory (Courtesy of the Seattle Public Library)

    The only Olivetti dealer listed.



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  • 10/15/13--11:08: Royal Senior Companion, 1954
  • The Royal Senior Companion is a typewriter that was designed for students. While it looks like a Quiet Deluxe, there are many differences. Most notable is the lack of Touch Control. It also lacks a tabulator, paper support, pop-up ribbon cover, and the nameplate on the front is painted on (instead of chrome). The carriage ends are structural, and uncovered. It also lacks the Quiet Deluxe's line-finder. It has manual margins, one carriage release lever (instead of two.) Its touch is also much lighter than that of the Quiet Deluxe.



    However, Royal's attention to detail is easily visible by looking at the painted nameplates. The Royal nameplate is outlined with a fine pinstripe, and the "Senior Companion" nameplate is perfectly straight on the panel as if it were the separate part that it is on the Quiet Deluxe.

    This was one of the lowest priced Royals from the 1950s. However, it is very well-made, and it uses a similar tweed-covered fiberglass case as its more expensive siblings. However, unlike its more expensive siblings, the lid from the case can be taken off, making it possible to type with it anchored onto the base of the case.

    An ad for the Senior Companion from Life Magazine, April 18, 1955 
    Advertisement from The Oakland Tribune, September 11, 1955
    According to Google Maps, Milen's Jewelers has been replaced with a Bart station:



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    This is identical to my first 1950s Royal Portable. I bought it in 2009 at the Shoreline Goodwill for $6.00. I liked it so much, that I bought my charcoal Quiet Deluxe based on my opinion of this one. In 2010 I donated my first Royal Senior Companion to Value Village. My first Senior Companion had a metal dealer tag from "Warren's Office Equipment, 115 'A' SE Auburn, Wash. Phone TE-3-5070." (I still have the tag.) This one is unmarked, making me think that it came from a department store, or a jeweler. Weisfield's Jewelers was the only local jeweler that sold typewriters. 

    This typewriter is mechanically in excellent condition--the body has no chips, scrapes, or other condition issues. I think that this is as close to perfect condition as possible! The only issues with this typewriter was that the keys needed to be cleaned. That was quick and easy with a damp paper towel with dish soap on it. The chrome trim on the case sparkles--I had no idea that the trim by the handle is chrome (I always thought it was supposed to be dull metal) 
     (Nick Bodemer Collection)
     (Nick Bodemer Collection)

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  • 10/15/13--13:10: Kalakala Cartoon
  • Many Seattleites remember the Kalakala--either as a glorious shimmering streamlined beauty, or as a rusting hulk. Many do not know that the Kalakala began its life as a San Francisco-Oakland ferry, until it burned in the late 1920s. The charred hulk was brought to Kirkland, Washington, where it was rebuilt into the Kalakala. After the Space Needle, it was the most popular attraction in Seattle. It was decommissioned in 1967, became a cannery, brought back to Seattle, and moved several times before being moored in Tacoma. It is a national landmark. Like the Kalakala, my Royal Companion came from Oakland (there was a girl's name on the case, Joyce ________________ , who according to the 1940 Census, was born in 1938 in Oakland. She was 17 when this typewriter was made. It was most likely purchased for her in Oakland to use in school. Somewhere in the last 58 years, Joyce and the typewriter made their way to Seattle, where I bought it in an exchange at an antique shop. It could also have been purchased in Seattle.
    The Kalakala, circa 1946.
    As a tribute to this typewriter's travels, I have drawn a sketch of the photo above on its carrying case. The Kalakala made the same journey as this typewriter, but twenty years prior to the manufacturing date of the Royal Senior Companion. 

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    Located at 12358 Lake City Way NE, this is one of two dealers that could have sold my Remington 666. The other was Don's Office Machine Service, in West Seattle. (Images courtesy of the Puget Sound Regional Archives)
    Nye's Office Machine Service was operated by Clarence Nye (July 24, 1912-July 27, 1998)
    Don's Office Machines was operated by Donald Husted. Mr. Husted passed away on June 7, 2012, at the age of 82.
     Pioneer Office Equipment is on the right (in the building that says "Desks" in enormous letters.) This store closed in the mid-1960s, but sold many Remington Portables from 1946-c.1964.
     (Image Courtesy of the Puget Sound Regional Archives)
    Don's Office Machines began as Henderson Typewriter, seen in this 1950 photo.  (Image Courtesy of the Puget Sound Regional Archives)



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  • 11/25/13--09:58: Cursive Olympia SF, 1971




  • This typewriter was manufactured in 1971, by Olympia-Werke of Wilhelmshaven, Germany. It is equipped with Olympia Typeface #69--Script. Until I bought this typewriter, I had no idea that this model could be ordered with a Script typeface. 

    It has a metal dealer sticker from Sampson Typewriter, in Santa Rosa. It should be pointed out that they didn't even try to center it. 

    This typewriter is mechanically identical to my Olympia Traveller Deluxe, from 1979. My Olympia Traveller should have a plaque saying that it was made in Yugoslavia, but it appears to have been removed by the dealer. (The dealer must have been embarrassed to have been selling a Yugoslavian-made typewriter). The holes are still there, but there are no scars from an amateur removal (the plaque was riveted on) 


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  • 11/29/13--17:18: 1968 Hermes 3000




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  • 12/01/13--17:39: 1967-1969 Hermes 3000 ads
  •  Ames (Iowa) Tribune, October 12, 1967

     Athens (Ohio) Messenger, October 10, 1968

     Kalispell Inter Lake, December 12, 1969
      Kalispell Inter Lake, March 23, 1969

    Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Press, August 7, 1969


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  • 12/01/13--17:41: Hermes 3000 Dealers, Seattle
  • My Hermes 3000 was not sold by the University Book Store--their label is visible on this one (Etsy image)


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  • 12/02/13--11:21: Hermes 3000 Photo Effects
  • I found a great photo editing website, http://pixlr.com/o-matic/ , where you can apply a number of vintage effects:
    Hermes 3000 in a Jazz album effect





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    An ad from The Oregonian, December 5, 1957. This is the largest Smith-Corona ad I have seen so far.




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  • 12/09/13--10:16: 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:


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  • 12/10/13--11:07: 1947 Smith-Corona Sterling
  • I traded in a 1962 Olympia SM5 for this Smith-Corona at a local junk shop--this was one of best decisions I have ever made. This typewriter has an adjustable touch, and basket shift. It is also much easier to operate. Like the Olympia, it has Elite type. Mechanically, it is nearly identical to my 1957 Smith-Corona Silent-Super. Like the Silent-Super, it has Smith-Corona's small Elite typeface.
     A comparison shot of my 1947 Sterling and my 1957 Smith-Corona Silent-Super.
    Edward Lasus' dealer label (Nick Bodemer collection)
    It was either sold or serviced by Edward Lasus, 70 West First Street, Mount Vernon, New York.. The city and state were torn off--the tops of the letters can be seen. This dealer label is more like tape than a label. After a quick Google search, I discovered that Edward Lasus' shop was in Mount Vernon, New York. Mount Vernon has a population of 67,292, and borders the Bronx. According to Google, it is a four hour drive from Smith-Corona's factory in Groton, New York to Edward Lasus's shop in Mount Vernon, New York. In a nutshell, that means that my Smith-Corona could have spent its life 232 miles from where it was made. Instead, it traveled 2,863 miles from Mount Vernon, New York, and 3,095 miles from where it was manufactured.( "A" is Mount Vernon, New York, and "B" is Seattle.)
    The journey of my Smith-Corona from Mount Vernon, NY to Seattle. (Google Maps)

     According to the Social Security Death Index, Edward Lasus was born on October 9, 1909.  He passed away on October 29, 1999. He was one of the first Olivetti dealers in the United States, but mainly sold Royal typewriters. His former shop is now home to Hi Tech Business Systems. It is located in an older brick building, very similar to those in downtown Tacoma. 
    Page Eight of the Yonkers (New York) Herald, February 29, 1954. (Image courtesy of FultonHistory.com) 



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  • 12/11/13--11:58: 1960 Smith-Corona Skyriter
  • The result of a trade of a 1947 Smith-Corona and a 1967 Royal Custom II. This typewriter is much easier to use than both the Smith-Corona and the Custom II combined. It comes in a black vinyl case, with a red satin lining. It was made around 1960 by British Typewriters, Limited, a Smith-Corona subsidiary. Compared to earlier Skyriters, it is much more fun to use, and easier to operate. This is truly one of the best compact typewriters ever. (I even prefer it to the Hermes Baby, whose keyboard is way too small for my hands; the Skyriter is the perfect size!) Instructions for this model can be found at http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/Smith-CoronaSkyriter.pdf





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  • 12/14/13--16:19: 1949 Smith-Corona Silent
  •  This is a relatively early model of Smith-Corona Silent, from 1949

     The former home of Blackburn Office Equipment, in Mount Vernon. Blackburn later moved to Bellingham, Washington. They most likely sold this Smith-Corona.
    This is where I bought this Smith-Corona. 


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  • 12/20/13--08:51: Smith-Corona Skyriter, 1960
  • This is an early 1960 Smith-Corona Skyriter. It was made in West Bromwich, England.

    The Smith-Corona Skyriter production line in West Bromwich, England. (Image from westbromwichphotos.co.uk)


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    If you have any knowledge of any typewriter dealers' histories, feel free to fill this out:
    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ih3fV2sbfbQ5z_kYXwXnpKn1WvrkDL3bUGRbTrvtVcs/viewform?embedded=true"

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  • 12/25/13--08:38: Merry Christmas!
  • This is my latest acquisition--a 1972 Wizard Automatic, that was made by Brother. I love the woodgrained panel in front. This is my best typewriter! It is basically brand-new.


     The case looks like new
     A type sample on the envelope that I put the paperwork into
    The manual demonstrates late 1960s "Op art." Do not look at it for long periods of time.


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