.Davis Typewriter Works

.Davis Typewriter Works

Our History

Here are some of the highlights of our typewriter collecting adventures. Will started collecting typewriters in late 1999.  Dave joined the effort in the summer of 2006, and our father, David B. Davis started collecting himself in about 2004. It's a family effort these days! I have been fortunate, through not just our efforts but the efforts of many generous and talented collectors and researchers the world over, to have been able to put what we would guess to be about eight hundred to one thousand different makes and models of typewriters online or in print somewhere over this decade-plus time frame. (There are 428 on the European Typewriter Project site alone.) The dates following are only some of the highlights:

August 1999: Will started collecting typewriters

March 2000: First typewriter page online (later became Portable Typewriter Reference Site)

March 2001: First collaborative website article (w/ Norbert Schwarz, on the Alpina)

September 2001: Will interviewed in ETCetera "Collectors' Corner"

December 2001: Will's first ETCetera article

March 2002: Will's first regular "Portables, ETCetera" column in ETCetera

October 2002: Portable Typewriter Forum opened

October 2004: Harris Visible website section opened

November 2004: Barr website section opened

September 2005: Typewriter Annex Site opened (now defunct)

January 2006: European Typewriter Project site opened (this collaborative project was the effort of Thomas Fuertig, the late Tilman Elster, and Will.)

July 2006: Davis Typewriter Works (original) opened; Dave joins the effort!

August 2006: Visible Typewriters section opened

June 2007: Portable Typewriter Historical Spotlights opened

September 2007: Australian Typewriters section opened - collaborative project with Robert Messenger and Richard Amery

March 2009: Will's last regular "Portables, ETCetera" column

December 2009: Will's first post-column era article for ETCetera

July 2010: New Davis Typewriter Works Blog opened to showcase our newer, refocused efforts in the world of typewriter collecting and research.  One of the very first typewriter collector blogs.

January 2012:  David B. Davis passes away after a brief illness

December 2012:  Article in 100th issue of ETCetera, dedicated to our late father, David B. Davis


A limited list of our achievements.

•Our typewriter related web pages and sites have been on line for 13 years

•Many of the most familiar varieties of portable typewriter, including the Cole-Steel, ABC, Alpina, and Voss, first appeared on our web pages

•Our pages were the first anywhere to feature Bulgarian-made, Czech-made, Korean-made or Yugoslavian-made portable typewriters.

•We were the first to attempt to provide a complete cross-reference of distributor brand names for modern portables, including wholesalers, importer/exporters, distributors and department stores .. in many cases even including specific models

•Our pages were the first to identify movement and license production of modern portables.  For example, the West German-made Princess becoming a Maritsa variant; as another example, the smaller of the two Silver-Seiko machines becoming the Clover from South Korea.

•Our pages were the first to explore the world of Japanese-made portables.  We distinguished Brother, Silver-Seiko, and Nakajima and were the first to give details on their differences. 

•Our pages were the first to explore, in detail on the net, the time period in which visible writing, standard typewriters were introduced

•Our pages first explored the vast license-produced family of European portables based on the PATRIA

•Our pages were the first to explore the minor Italian manufacturers on the net - showing machines such as the Everest portables, the Montana portables and finally the IMC portables

•Our pages first introduced readers to Chinese-made portables, some including a mixture of previously manufactured designs

•The European Typewriter Project was the first attempt of any sort to get a large number of European made typewriters illustrated and classified in easily searched format for English-language audiences

•The Portable Typewriter Forum on Yahoo Groups is the largest typewriter-related forum of any kind in the world

•Will had a regular column in ETCetera from March 2002 through March 2009, covering much of the era of Chuck & Rich's editorship and bridging well into Richard Polt's editorship

•Will's site is a Collectors Weekly Hall of Fame site


Those who have been along on the ride with us on our typewriter adventure in one way or another and / or contributed to the websites....

Tilman Elster*
Thomas Fuertig
Norbert Schwarz
Peter Weil
Richard Polt
Don Hoke
Herman Price
Martin A. Rice
Rich Cincotta
Chuck Dilts
Bruce Beard - "Bruce of Oz"*
Robert Messenger
Richard Amery
Jim Dax
Ed Neuert
Gary Bothe
Don Sutherland*
Alan Seaver
Mike Brown
Ernie Jorgenson
Francois Babillot
Mike Fritch
Nick Fisher
Brayton Harris
John Pulley
John Tomlinson*
Angie Jimenez
Paul Robert
Ned Brooks

* - No longer with us.