The Typewriter Database

To find out when your typewriter was made, start by choosing the brand from the select box below.

Select Brand:

Green Serial #'s • Black notes, no #'s • Grey no info.


From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Christopher Ochs:
191X Reliance Visible

Typeface Specimen:

qr code

191X Reliance Visible
Serial #

Status: My Collection
Created: 12-19-2016 at 10:44AM
Last Edit: 03-20-2017 at 10:32AM

Reliance Serial Numbers
Reliance Typewriter Galleries
Reliance Visible Typewriter Galleries


Taking typewriter hunting a step further, I often treat 'the hunt' like investigation. When I visit antique shops for typewriters, I always ask shop owners about what typewriters they might have in their back stock. This has proven beneficial because twice now, I have bought perfectly redeemable machines that were considered 'damaged' when all they needed were new drive bands and a thorough cleaning. As a result, they were sold for ridiculously low prices. This Reliance Visible is one of those, sold for $15. The other is a 1929 Remington Portable No. 3 with a seldom-seen two-tone exterior in cyan and teal, sold for $20.

At the same antique shop where I found the Remington Portable No. 3, I found this Reliance Visible sitting on a tool bench in the back room. I was left to tinker with it so I could decide whether or not I wanted to buy it. Fifteen dollars was clearly a steal in terms of typewriter acquisitions, but given I had never heard of the Reliance Typewriter Co. or seen its machines, I wondered if I would like using it. After a few minutes of examination, I determined a broken drive band was the only problem. Once I started clearing some of the dust off it, I knew it was coming home with me.

Once home, cleaning and polishing the Reliance Visible inside and out was much easier when I realised that the type basket lifts out of the shell of the typewriter. This was a highly-marketed feature of this machine so different type baskets with different typefaces could be inserted.

This Reliance Visible came back from the shop on 18-Mar-17 after the following repairs: new platen, new paper feed rollers, new drawband, new spools fashioned (the small originals came from an old adding machine), corrosion cleanup underneath the platen, and an adjusted typebar.


 4 Hunters Like this gallery.

Christopher Ochs
Username: ChristopherOchs

Hello, fellow typospherians!

I consider myself to have officially joined the typospherian world in March 2016. Despite being relatively new to collecting vintage and antique typewriters, I find 'the hunt' to be quite addicting. My current fleet is diverse and I intend to keep it that way. My first acquisition was a mint-condition 1945 Smith-Corona Clipper I bought in 2012, but at the time, the ‘typewriter fever’ hadn’t taken hold, and I seldom used the Clipper. After I rediscovered the Clipper in March 2016 while cleaning out my roll top desk, the intrigue hit me with permanent force. These days, little time goes by before I get the urge to browse online or visit antique shops in search of the next one. I particularly adore the classic black metal manuals with round, glass-topped keys.

I'm 33 years old and currently live in Redmond, WA. I remember using typewriters from a very young age before my family had our first PC and 'the interwebs'. The typewriters in the house were electrics, but even with the powered models, there was something about the tactile results I got on paper that stuck with me. As an avid collector of non-electric (but functional) antiques such as furniture, looms and spinning wheels, manual typewriters have quickly made their place in my household and an indelible mark on my life and creative soul.

191X Reliance Visible Photo Gallery

Click a thumbnail to view slideshow