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The Oliver Typewriter The Oliver Typewriter

Export Olivers

Beginning with the Oliver No. 4, even-numbered Oliver models up to the Oliver No. 16 were exported versions of their odd-numbered predecessors. They were manufactured specifially to be exported to many countries in Europe, as well as some in Latin America. These models were never marketed in the United States, making them hard to find outside of Europe and Latin America today.

These even-numbered machines are nearly identical to their preceding odd-numbered counterparts with the exception of four additional keys and a wider base. The additional keys are for accents and other characters used in various languages. Depending on the language, some of these keys were made to be "dead" keys, meaning that when pressed, the spacing mechanism would not activate. This allowed accent marks to be placed in conjunction with other characters. Far fewer exported models were made compared to their odd-numbered counterparts. Up to and including the Oliver No. 10, the even-numbered Olivers follow a different serial number scheme. Models 4, 6, and 8 have a "D" prefix while the model 10 has an "R" prefix.

Oliver No. 4
Oliver No. 4
Serial number D680 | Made around 1904
French "AZERTY" keyboard

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The Oliver No. 4 is the first Oliver model that was manufactured solely for distribution outside of the United States. This model was introduced in 1904, three years after the introduction of the model 3.

The Oliver No. 4 began a new export serial number scheme starting with D001.

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SERIAL NO.
DATE
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NO. 4 INTRODUCED
D001
1904
EARLIEST KNOWN NO. 4
D159
"OLIVER" TRADEMARKED IN MEXICO
MAY 15, 1905
LATEST KNOWN NO. 4
D1602
LAST NO. 4 PRODUCED
BETWEEN D2423 AND D2444
MAR 1907

Oliver No. 6
Oliver No. 6
Serial number D4301 | Made in 1907
French "AZERTY" keyboard
Oliver No. 6
Serial number D4756 | Made in 1907
German "QWERTZ" keyboard

Following the Oliver No. 4 in the export series is the Oliver No. 6. Since the model 6 is based on the model 5, the model 6 received the same improvements the model 5 received throughout its production run.

I have the second and third earliest Oliver No. 6 machines I know to exist- serial numbers D4301 and D4756.

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SERIAL NO.
DATE
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NO. 6 INTRODUCED
BETWEEN D2423 AND D2444
MAR 1907
BELL CLAP REDESIGNED
EARLIEST KNOWN NO. 6
D2444
FRICTION-FIT PENCIL CARRIER CHANGED TO SIMPLE, TABULATOR ADDED
1910
LATEST KNOWN NO. 6 WITH OLD PLAQUES
D5038
RIBBON REVERSE AND PATENT DATE PLAQUES CHANGED
1911?
BACKSPACER ADDED
1912
EARLIEST KNOWN NO. 6 WITH NEW PLAQUES AND BACKSPACER
D7367
D13877
TYPE GUARDS CHANGED FROM BRASS TO STEEL
SHIFTING MECHANISM REDESIGNED
D14510
LATEST KNOWN NO. 6
D20511
LAST NO. 6 PRODUCED
1914

Oliver No. 8
Oliver No. 8
Serial number D31283 | Made in 1914
French "AZERTY" keyboard

Based on the Oliver No. 7, the next model exported following the model 6 is the Oliver No. 8. Since relatively few Oliver model 7 machines were made, in contrast to models 5 and 9, one would expect even fewer Oliver No. 8 machines were produced; and this is true. I know of seven Oliver No. 8s to exist, five (possibly all) of which are less than 300 serial numbers apart.

The earliest known model 8 in existance is D31245 and the latest is D31445. The earliest Oliver No. 8 is over 10000 serial numbers higher than the latest Oliver No. 6.

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SERIAL NO.
DATE
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NO. 8 INTRODUCED
D31001?
1914
EARLIEST KNOWN NO. 8
D31162
LATEST KNOWN NO. 8
D31445
LAST NO. 8 PRODUCED
1915

Oliver No. 10
Oliver No. 10
Serial number R51842 | Made around 1918

Following Oliver No. 8, the next model exported is the Oliver No. 10. Since the model 9 is the most common domestic model, the model 10 is naturally the most common export model. Most (but not all) Oliver No. 10 machines were exported to France and England.

The model 10 continues with the export serial number scheme, but with an "R" prefix instead of "D". The earliest known Oliver No. 10 is serial number R41001, which may be the very first model 10 produced.

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SERIAL NO.
DATE
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NO. 10 INTRODUCED
R41001?
1915
EARLIEST KNOWN NO. 10
R41001
LATEST KNOWN NO. 10
R60724
LAST NO. 10 PRODUCED
1922

Oliver No. 12
Oliver No. 12
Serial number 1021181 | Made around 1924
Dutch keyboard

The Oliver No. 12 was the last export model manufactured in the United States. It is based on the Oliver 11.

The Oliver No. 12 does not follow the export serial number scheme. Instead, the model 12 serial numbers are intermixed with models 11, L-12 and L-13. I know of around half a dozen Oliver No. 12 machines in existence.

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SERIAL NO.
DATE
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NO. 11 / NO. 12 / NO. L-12 INTRODUCED
1000001
1922
EARLIEST KNOWN NO. L-12, EARLIEST KNOWN B PREFIX
B1003267
1922
1018000
1923
1020000
1924
EARLIEST KNOWN NO. 12
1021181
1924
1025000
1925
LATEST KNOWN NO. L-12
B1026139
LAST NO. L-12 PRODUCED
NO. L-13 INTRODUCED
EARLIEST KNOWN NO. L-13
1032141
1035000
1928
LATEST KNOWN NO. 11?
1049945?
1928
LAST NO. 11 PRODUCED
1050000?
1928

Oliver No. 16
Oliver No. 16
Serial number R1188 | Made around 1929
Dutch keyboard

When the Oliver Typewriter Manufacturing Company opened in England in 1928, they introduced the Oliver Nos. 15 and 16. These British Oliver models keep the same gloss black finish introduced on the Olivers 11 and 12. The most noticeable improvement was made to the ribbon holder lids - they are now flat and pivotable such that they remain attached to the machine and do not get lost.

The Oliver No. 16 serial numbers are intermixed with the Oliver 15 (Generation I) numbers. However, The Oliver 16s have an "R" prefix instead of "LC" or "L".

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SERIAL NO.
DATE
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NO. 15 (GENERATION I) / NO. 16 INTRODUCED
(LC/R)001
1928
EARLIEST KNOWN NO. 16
R1001
1928
LATEST KNOWN "LC" PREFIX
LC1252
LATEST KNOWN NO. 16
R1399
(LC/R)2000
1929
"LC" PREFIX CHANGED TO "L"
(L/R)3000
1930
EARLIEST KNOWN "L" (WITHOUT "C") PREFIX
L3169
LATEST KNOWN "L" (WITHOUT "C") PREFIX
L4258
(L/R)5000
1931
(L/R)6000
1932
LAST NO. 15 (GENERATION I) / NO. 16 PRODUCED
1933

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Sources
  1. Dingwerth, L. (2008). Kleines Lexikon Historischer Schreibmaschinen. Delbrück, Germany: Verlag Kunstgrafik Dingwerth GmbH.

  2. Sellers, A. (1994, December). The First Woodstock. ETCetera No. 29, 3.

  3. The Linotype Company. (1899, May). Battle of Detroit: An Impartial Account of the Fierce War Waged in the Board of Education By the Typewriter Trust Against the Oliver Typewriter, in the Year 1899. Montreal, Canada.

  4. Liste der Herstellungsdaten Gangbarer Schreibmaschinen, published by Wochenschrift für Papier, Otto Hoffmann. 1941, Verlag, Berlin.

  5. Liste der Herstellungsdaten Deutscher und Ausländischer Schreibmaschinen, 10 Auflage. 1955, Burghagen Verlag, Hamburg.

  6. Liste der Herstellungsdaten Deutscher und Ausländischer Schreibmaschinen mit Wichtigen Technischen Daten. Herbert F. W. Schramm. 11 Auflage, 1962, Burghagen Verlag, Hamburg.