.Davis Typewriter Works

.Davis Typewriter Works

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Wondrous Thing

A while back, we acquired the Harry A. Smith No. 4 machine you see here, complete with its shipping crate and some paperwork and tools.  The photo essay showed the machine being unpacked; we thought it would not only be fun, but important from a historical perspective, to document the machine on video and discuss it briefly.

Click here to see a short video on the Harry A. Smith No. 4 - surely the most complete machine of its kind in terms of accompanying original material.

Above, Harry A. Smith No. 4 ad from 1916 seen in video.
After his years of misadventure (at times) with rebuilt machines carrying his name occasionally, Smith attempted to enter legitimate business by manufacturing a true $100 standard machine from scratch; this was the former Blick Bar machine, whose total rights he had acquired from Blickensderfer after George Blickensderfer passed away in 1917.  That venture failed when Smith and the new board of directors of the Harry A. Smith Typewriter Company could not agree on how to run the company and it was placed in receivership in 1921.  From there, Smith went on to take a job handling advertising and sales for the Annell' and after that failed was simultaneously employed by L. C. Smith  Bros. and also by his former rebuilding company, by this time known as Smith Typewriter Sales Company.  He brought these two together apparently through agreement that the Smith Typewriter Sales Company would only handle L.C. Smith & Bros. standard machines from then on; this was 1923.  Smith passed away in 1925.

By the way - Harry A. Smith was buried in Dowagiac, Michigan.  Click here to see his marker.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Annell' - A mysterious typewriter examined in detail.

Last October, I was lucky to finally be able to acquire a rough but mostly complete Annell' typewriter from Herman Price in a trade.  I have been wanting to compare this machine to a Woodstock forever, considering the normal story one reads about this machine's heritage.

In a new 20 minute plus video (our longest to date) you'll see this machine in considerable detail, as well as some other family members. 

The serial number of the machine we now have is A1506, making it the second earliest of the known Annell' machines (that is, for which serial numbers have been allowed for trade among collectors.)  There are a number of mysteries surrounding this machine's heritage, and of course, it doesn't hurt that Harry A. Smith -- one of our favorite subjects -- was intimately involved with the sales of this obscure typewriter (which would be much more obscure were it not for collectors.)

Click this link to see the new Annell' video on our YouTube channel.  Learn about the machine, about Woodstock typewriters, about ephemera, "trade papers," and more in this new video.  We certainly enjoyed making it, and hope you enjoy it.