Companies have been experimenting and manufacturing various shades of colored typewriters from the early beginnings of this industry. We often think in terms of black and white when imagining people, places or things from the olden days, but life was far from that!
Various Typewriters in Shades of Red
Realizing that most office secretaries and typists where staffed with women, the idea of breaking out of the traditional boring "black & white" look was and idea that many typewriter companies took action on by offering colored typewriter housings, or bodies, in order to appeal to a more "at home" decor in the office.
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While not as popular as the traditional black machines, there was certainly a significant number of these colorful machines produced. There are still good colored machines out there in great condition available for today's hobbyists and collectors. While the antique machines from before the 50's are a little harder to find, they are still there and people find them and buy them for their collections everyday!
Smith Corona Colored Typewriters
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The Corona 4 had a beautiful machine with mountain ash scarlet finish from the 1920's along with a 1938 Sterling Streamlined model in Maroon. Remington had it's noiseless portable in two tone green in the 1930's along with Royal Duo Portable Typewriter with it's green duo tone metal housing, also in the 30s. The Underwood Standard portable from 1929 and it's three-bank front-stroke was colored in green marble paint also! Obviously a popular color for the period. There were however, many other brands, models and colors such as blue, red, orange and even purple and pink!
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The Olivetti Valentine typewriter with it's new ABS plastic casting in bright red came out in 1969 and remains a highly sought after vintage machine among collectors worldwide. The Olivetti MP1 model typewriter in Red dates from around 1946, an obvious inspiration for the Valentine.
As the portables became more popular for home use, the colored typewriters kept coming! In the early '60s, Royal offered their standard typewriters in six different colors, including the very popular mint green. The Royal McBee Red Portable Custom III is an interesting colored machine with it's interchangeable keys for different languages.
Royal 1930s Colored Typewriters
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Olympia had the SF De Luxe with cursive font while Triumph took a chance of an Orange typewriter body in the 1960's. The Quiet De Luxe model in Pink as well as the Futura Green with magic margin settings and magic column setting from the late 50's are two contributions of the vintage Royal machines offered in the world of color.
Hermes, Olympia & Triumph Colored Machines
The made in England Smith Corona Cougar had an aqua color while the Silent Super had a really cool looking pink space bar. These electric portables were very popular. There were many colored typewriters produced from metallic reds, blues, greens, yellow and everything in between. All of the major players offered at least a few models in color over the years. Whether you are a fan of Adler, Oliver, Remington, Underwood, Royal, Olivetti or Olympia, there's sure to be a colored machine out there to suite your taste!
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