Most collectors will tell you that the Oliver typewriters are amongst their favorite and most prized display pieces! These machines were produced in the USA from 1896 - 1919, most of which came from the Woodstock, ILL factory. Left over inventory was sold until about 1927. All told, over a million of these antique typewriters were produced and there are still some very nice models out there to be found in excellent condition!
The Oliver's were unique in that they had large U shaped keys sitting on two side towers, creating a down stroke rather than an upstroke. This enabled the typist to see his work while typing, a feature that was greatly needed and embraced by many. The down stroke also made for a cleaner, harder strike and was great for carbon copies, up to 10 at a time!
People find old typewriters all the time and often do not know what to do with them so they end up donating them to the local thrift store or selling them on eBay. And that's terrific news for you! While finding an antique Oliver typewriter at your local thrift store is possible, it's rare. But finding one through eBay is not, in fact, it happens everyday! Granted, finding one of these gems in excellent condition isn't going to happen daily, but it does happen often and it can happen for you!
Imagine the excitement of finding a rare Oliver 3 nickel base typewriter for your collection! Or even a model #3 or #5 in great condition? This happens everyday on eBay and often at great savings. Try buying one of these at your local antique shop and you'll pay a small fortune, and that's if they can get one for you!
Perhaps you already have an old Oliver machine or two and need typewriter ribbon or a few parts to get it running smoothly. Another good reason to check out eBay! On almost any given day you can find at least one "junk machine" to buy super cheap just for the parts. A great way to get a working antique Oliver typewriter into your collection without spending a fortune!
Here's a rare glimpse of one of the first Oliver typewriters in action. This is an antique 1896 model and although you cannot see it, the base is made of nickel. All of the model 1 and 2 Oliver's had this and eventually went to Olive green paint. Notice the U-shaped keys and the signature towers. Don't you just love the sound of this antique collectible treasure? Truly a beautiful typing machine!