Sunday, September 10, 2023

American Typewriters catalogue, but who is it from?

A 'prospectus' or catalogue of 'Amerikaansche Schrijfmachines', i.e. American Typewriters.

And that's what it is, showing standard office typewriters from the major American makers. The booklet opens with the point that instead of only one make they sell all brands, so are better positioned to recommend the machine most suitable to your specific business needs.

The pages that follow have an illustration of a machine with a paragraph explaining that machine's commendable aspect. The major brands and types are all there, including even the Demountable and an Oliver. From the machines and features shown, the catalogues will date from about 1923.

Notable that the Woodstock has the briefest paragraph; unlike all other machines it gets no mention of a differentiating feature. It's a typewriter.

For private use or for small firms, also one portable machine is included; the Corona 3 folding portable.

This booklet may have lost an outer cover, because nowhere is mentioned who this office supply company is! There is no name or address anywhere. The staples however are tight around the current set of pages, no hint that a page or card cover is missing. When being given out back in 1923, it would have been accompanied by a letter, business-card or company circular - but even so, it seems strange to not have any mention of the trading company anywhere on the 16 printed pages.

There is on corners a medallion logo with an L, C, M and an '&'. That may well have been the initials of the trading company, but am mystified who that could have been.

This LC&M (or L&M C or etc...) becomes even more mystifying when seeing that this same logo is also on the back-cover of a ~1920 Comptometer instruction manual

To my best understanding Felt & Tarrant had their own offices in Amsterdam to sell and service Comptometers. The manual also is clear that it's by the Felt & Tarrant company in Amsterdam.

Was the Amsterdam office of Felt & Tarrant in reality a local dealership, i.e. a trading company also masquerading as a local F&T office? Or was the Felt & Tarrant office in Amsterdam selling a sideline in typewriters too - they already had a sales staff visiting larger offices and had repair capabilities. (Or is the logo merely a printer's way of making his mark?)

Either way; it's a nicely illustrated catalogue of American standard typewriters with their differentiating points - now available on The Archive

And it's also a little mystery; who was this published by? 

With archives being placed online, perhaps another booklet or newspaper advertisement will show up in time to clarify the logo :)

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