Q: This Odell No. 4 Type Writer has been in our family for over 80 years. Can you tell me any history and the value of it today?
A: Several models of Odell typewriters were made between 1889 and 1906. Typing was done by sliding the bar along the rail and pushing the rail down onto the platen when the pointer reached the correct letter. The design was patented by Levi J. Odell, John E. Burton, and Charles H. Odell in 1889. The first Odell typewriters were made by the Type Writer Co. of Lake Geneva, Wis. Only a few typewriters were made at Lake Geneva. Production moved to Chicago and the Type Writer Co.'s headquarters moved to Momence, Ill. Model 1 only typed capital letters. Model 2 was the first Odell typewriter to type both uppercase and lowercase letters. Odell typewriters were sold under the name Odell and later under the names Odell-Young Co. and America Co. Your Odell typewriter was manufactured before 1906 by Farquhar & Albrecht of Chicago. It is worth about $500.