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Q: I'd like to know more about this old typewriter. It's labeled "The Oliver, Standard Visible Writer, 3." Can you tell me how old it is and what it's worth?

A: Typewriters were first sold in 1874. The type bars hit the back of the platen, so the print wasn't visible as it was being typed. Thomas Oliver, a Methodist minister from Monticello, Iowa, invented a "visible print" typewriter with type bars that hit the front of the platen, allowing the typist to see the letters as they were typed. He was issued a patent for a "type-writer" in 1891. The Oliver Typewriting Co. was incorporated in Chicago 1895. The Oliver No. 3 was made from 1898 until March 1907. Early typewriters didn't include keys for lower-case letters or numbers. Oliver typewriters were sold in stores, by door-to-door salesmen, and through catalogs. The company went out of business in 1928 and its assets were bought by the British Oliver Typewriter Mfg. Co. of Croyden, England. Oliver typewriters were made until 1959. Early typewriters sold for as much as $100, a small fortune at the time, but they could also be bought by paying as little as $5 per month. Millions of Oliver typewriters were made. The first model is rarely found. Value of your typewriter: about $200.

the oliver typewriter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments  

#2 Keyboard Typewriterhkravig 2012-10-04 00:37
The first typeriter that I klnow of was invented about 15 years before this typewriter in 1857 by Samuel Ward Francis. It is the reason we type on a keyboard. I have one of the 1860 Keyboard Western Union 3a Telegraph transmitters and have nice epics for your viewers if you want to send me an email address. Regards, Hal Kravig, Memphis, TN
#1 Should I get rid of my Olivetti Underwoodmimigary240 2012-10-03 16:55
I have my mother's old Olivetti Underwood @ 1944 (probably - it's too high up on the library shelf right now, serving as a Book End). Is it worth anything - or would I be happier just keeping it for sentimental reasons? (I live around the corner from you - I could actually bring it in to show you in person!)

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