Navigation
The Oliver Typewriter The Oliver Typewriter

Oliver Portables

The British Oliver Manufacturing Company had various European portable typewriters branded as Oliver.

Oliver (Fortuna / S.I.M.)
Serial Number 3793Z | Made in 1931

Thomas Fürtig
Serial Number 25522 | Made in 1931
Serial Number 84327 | Made in 1933

Sirvent Vigo Mobiliario Contemporáneo
Sirvent Bros.
Serial Number 90024 | Made in 1935

Sammlung Historischer Schreibmaschinen
Monika & Berthold Kerschbaumer
Serial Number 112257 | Made in 1944

Thomas Furtig
Serial Number 112554 | Made in 1944

Thomas Furtig

The first portable that was sold as an Oliver was manufactured by Fortuna Buromaschinen GmbH of Berlin, Germany. This company was formed from Stolzenberg-Fortuna, which used to distrubute Olivers as the Monopol-Stolzenberg and Stolzenberg. This portable body style was also sold under the names Europa and Junior.

Between serial numbers 80000 and 90000, S.I.M., an Italian typewriter company, started manufacturing portables under the Oliver name. These machines were also branded as Augusta, Nuova-Levi, and Continental. All of these various body styles were intermixed and follow the same serial number scheme.

Navigation
SERIAL NO.
DATE
Navigation
OLIVER FORTUNA / S.I.M. INTRODUCED
001?
1931
3793Z
80000
1932
84000
1933
86750
1934
89500
1935
91750
1936
94000
1937
96750
1938
99000
1939
101750
1940
104500
1941
107250
1942
110000
1943
112250
1944
115000
1945
120000
1946
122000
1947
185574
LAST OLIVER FORTUNA / S.I.M. PRODUCED

Oliver Portable (Patria)
Oliver Patria

Serial Number 511947 | Made in 1951

After World War II, the British Oliver Manufacturing Company rebranded a Swiss machine called the Patria. These were branded simply as "Oliver Portable". They were available in black and grey.

Navigation
SERIAL NO.
DATE
Navigation
OLIVER PATRIA INTRODUCED
480001
1948
490001
1949
500001
1950
510001
1951
511947
1951
520001
1952
530001
1953
540001
1954
LAST OLIVER PATRIA PRODUCED
545000
1954
Oliver Courier
Oliver Courier
Serial Number 56-18785 | Made in 1956

Sammlung Historischer Schreibmaschinen
Monika & Berthold Kerschbaumer

Another Oliver portable was branded as the Oliver Courier. In Canada, this model was branded as "Eaton's" and "Simpson's" for their respective department stores. I have only seen the Simpson's in a dark green crinkle finish. The Oliver Courier was also sold as "Conquerer". All of these names mentioned were numbered with the Oliver Courier serial number scheme. This body style was also sold as a Patria, Japy, and Voss Privat. These names were not part of the Oliver Courier serial numbers.

There are two distinct styles of Oliver Courier. One style displays "Oliver Courier" on a recessed badge on the right-hand side of the cover. The other style displays the name centered on the cover. Similarly, the Simpson's variant also has two styles. One displays "Simpson's" on a badge on the right-hand side of the cover while the other has a decal centered on the cover.

Navigation
SERIAL NO.
DATE
Navigation
OLIVER COURIER INTRODUCED
54-0001
1954
55-5001
1955
55-15112
1955
55-20000
1955
56-10000
1956
56-40000
1956
57-32800
1957
57-42839
1957
A1/47628
1957
A1/53819
1957
BB/53820
1958
BM/73386
1959
CC/73387
1958
LAST OLIVER COURIER PRODUCED
CG/79832
1958
Oliver Consort
Oliver MDT10

The first model of Voss that was rebranded by Oliver was the Voss DeLuxe. This body style was sold as the Oliver Consort. It is distinguished by having individual lids covering the ribbon spools as opposed to a one-piece top cover.

From what I can tell, this body style was first introduced by Voss in 1952 and was manufactured until around 1957. It would be logical that the Oliver Consort was produced around the same time, but possibly not beginning immediately in 1952. I have yet to even find a photo of a known example. The closest I have found in existance today is an Oliver Consort manual.

Navigation
SERIAL NO.
DATE
Navigation
1952?
OLIVER CONSORT INTRODUCED
LAST OLIVER CONSORT PRODUCED
1957?
Oliver M-Series
Oliver MDT10
Oliver MDT10
Serial Number 10748

The Oliver M-Series was likely introduced around 1957, replacing the Oliver Consort. This update occured because the Voss M-Series replaced the Voss DeLuxe. The M-Series is distiguished from its predecessor by having a one-piece top cover as opposed to individual lids covering ribbon spools. I have seen Oliver M-Series models MDT10, MT10, and MT13, which is a wide carriage MT10. Any Voss M-series variation could have been produced as an Oliver M-Series. Note that since the Voss M-Series machines were produced as S-Series machines after the British Oliver Manufacturing Company went out of business, an Oliver S-Series was never produced.

The Oliver M-Series serial numbers appear to be a separate run from the Voss M-Series machines. Unfortunately, since hardly any of these Oliver M-Series portables seem to have survived, the range of serial numbers is uncertain. Therefore, it is also unclear how many were produced. The Oliver M-Series machines were most likely discontinued when the British Oliver Manufacturing Company shut down in 1959, even though Voss manufactured machines until 1965.

Navigation
SERIAL NO.
DATE
Navigation
OLIVER M-SERIES INTRODUCED
1957?
10748
LAST OLIVER M-SERIES PRODUCED
1959?
Navigation

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.