what: oliver courier typewriter, where: eBay, how much: £10
i had a little hunt online a few weeks ago for this baby after a tip off from my sweet cousin, helen oliver. i had no idea that there was an oliver typewriter company and i had so much fun learning about them.
check out this excerpt from wikipedia:
Thomas Oliver was born in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, on August 1, 1852. Having become interested in religion, Oliver moved to Iowa, after the death of his mother, to serve as a Methodist minister. In 1888, Oliver began to develop his first typewriter, made from strips of tin cans, as a means of producing more legible sermons. He was awarded his first typewriter patent on April 7, 1891. After four years of development, a “crude working model” composed of 500 parts had been produced.
it goes onto talk about how he went to chicago to find investors and sold the company–keeping 65%–to a businessman who began manufacture in chicago. THEN! in 1928 the company was sold to investors in croydon, england and it became the british oliver typewriter company.
i love it! who knows if we are related or not, who cares really, i just love me a good bit of interesting history: a christian dude named oliver had bad handwriting, so instead of simply working on his handwriting, he decides to invent something to write for him–out of tin cans–and ends up having an international company at the turn of the 20th century and changing the way we all process our words.
your sweet macbook would not have the keyboard it does if it weren’t for this guy.
needless to say, i had to have one, so i trawled on eBay during naptime last week and found this little beauty only 20 miles away and managed to get it for £10! it is a ‘courier’ model which (yes i looked it up. remember?!) apparently is one of the models licensed for production in austria.
i am in love. it is vintage. it is a typewriter. it is an ‘oliver’ typewriter. the only thing that could make it better would be if it was blue or yellow or something. but i am good with my vintage olive green colour. it matches my vintage phone.
now, go discover something cool about your (potential) past. it’s super fun…or super nerdy…