The Typewriter Database

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The Typewriter Database

What is this? History and Future: Updates and News:

The "Database" is probably the biggest source of typewriter serial numbers on the Internet today. As far as I know, it's even the most complete collection of serial numbers ever. But when you see the number of given brand names, it's still only a beginning.

This Database is also a collection of typewriter photo galleries from the collections of enthusiasts all over the world. These galleries are linked to manufacturers and not only serve as a valuable additional resource for research about various machines, but also are fun to page through and see what collectors have in their collections.

This site was created by and for collectors of antique typewriters, with the help of many old documents and other collectors. Its primary task is to help collectors to date their typewriters by the serial numbers of the machines. The data in the database is pretty reliable, since listings of different sources were compared and evaluated, but please don't hold me responsible for any mistakes in old listings. For some of the brands there are no serial numbers available yet and I try to help with some information about the years of production in these cases. Step by step, I'll add data, which was researched by other collectors or by myself. In my opinion, it's very important to focus this information in the database, even when it might be fragmentary sometimes.

Since there were more than 1000 brands of typewriters all over the world, this web page will never contain all the information. But we try our best and we need help. So, if you have any information about serial numbers of typewriters and the related years of production, please e-mail them to me. I need them urgently! We have only the information we can get from old documents and colleague-collectors, so when you contribute, you will help everybody. Thank you for visiting this site. I hope you'll find what you are looking for.

Dirk Schumann's TW-DB has been an excellent resource for typewriter collectors for many years, but has not been maintained in years, and is now gone to the heaven of deleted websites where we hope it's midi excesses and garish color scheme will be forgiven by Saint Christopher (Sholes).

In 2011, I had an email discussion with some other collectors who had tried to contact the owner and had failed, and who were concerned that the site might disappear along with all of its valuable information (which on March 7, 2014, it finally did).

Since 2012, I've been slowly working on cleaning up the html of those original serial number lists and updating them where I have newer, more credible sources. I've also been building this site, which now has this information in a relational database that I can connect to other things, like member's uploaded collections.

Thus I will be splitting my time between building things and updating the data that we have currently. The search continues for more complete and accurate serial number lists, so lend a hand if you can!

Typewriter Database is now seeking typewriter collectors who have photos of their collections and serial numbers handy to beta-test the Typewriter Gallery Uploader. If you would like to be among the first intrepid Typewriter Hunters to upload typewriter galleries for your collection and sightings, please check out this post on my blog and leave a comment indicating you would like to be upgraded to "Typewriter Hunter" status. (make sure you've created an account here first.) Yes, I know it's a convoluted process - but it weeds out the spammers, so please be patient with it. (:

Fri, 19 Aug 2016
Noiseless, Rochester and American Pocket Typewriter Updated!
Following a lose thread from the last set of updates, specifically the designs of W. P. Kidder, there’s a few new links forged in that chain..
Full Story

Fri, 05 Aug 2016
Update! Bennington and Xcel
The Bennington and Xcel serial number pages have been updated to the new format. Read here:
Full Story

Fri, 05 Aug 2016
Update! Fox
The Fox serial number page has been updated to the new format. Read here:
Full Story

Fri, 05 Aug 2016
Update! World, Boston, Garbell, Venus and Venus Portable
The World, Boston, Garbell, Venus and Venus Portable serial number pages have been updated to the new format. read here:
Full Story

Fri, 05 Aug 2016
Update! Victor Index, Franklin, Victor and Victor Portable
the Victor Index, Franklin, Victor and Victor Portable serial number pages have been updated in the new format. Read more here:
Full Story

Fri, 05 Aug 2016
Update! Williams, Secor, Emerson, Visigraph, Federal, National and Musicwriter
The Williams, Secor, Emerson, Visigraph, Federal, National and Musicwriter serial number pages have all been updated with new info and a new format that includes relevant patents and thumbnails. Read more here:
Full Story

Thu, 31 Mar 2016
Hermes 3000 updated
While poking at the H3000 galleries, I found a very late serial number that allowed me to approximate the serial list an additional 3 years to 1979. The sparseness of machine galleries between 1971 and 1979 seems unusual. Anybody got any boxy, plastic 3000's that you haven't uploaded yet?

Sat, 12 Mar 2016
Updated Voss serial number page
Figured out I could extrapolate the 5 missing years from the Voss serial number list based on previous production and the high range of serial numbers shown in the Voss galleries, so did it! (:

Sun, 31 Jan 2016
Juniors have pages now!
Went cleaning up the Bennetts and Juniors and found a Gescha Junior in the mix that I hunted down the correct category for. While I was there, I looked up what I could find for all three brands and compiled a couple of pages for them. Bennett, Junior and Gescha Junior pages are updated!

Tue, 19 Jan 2016
Woodstock updated again!
We got to fine-tune some numbers and add more info to Woodstock in the 20's and early 30's thanks to some research into the Alger Hiss case by Robert Messenger.

Sun, 17 Jan 2016
Fox and Adler pages updated!
Thanks to some great research by Tyler Anderson and Robert Godlieb, respectively. Fox just got a whole lot more interesting! (:

Tue, 29 Dec 2015
Woodstock page updated!
Review of BMED '27 and ADBM '24 clarified much of the early Woodstock numbers, and added a list of Electrite serials. There was a number of years in the middle of the old list that were actually December numbers in the middle of January ones, which I've fixed. Also, say hello to Woodstock numbers all the way back to 1917! I've re-dated and re-classified all Woodstock galleries in the database to suit the new info.

Sat, 26 Dec 2015
Gossen Tippa serial numbers updated.
Took a deep dig into the info we have on Gossen Tippa and rebuilt the page..
Full Story

Mon, 21 Dec 2015
Moskva Updated, Janalif added!
More research from Alex Sandler gives some more clarity on some brands we knew very little about, and even some nice info on Janalif, which is apparently more correct than the previous spelling of "Yanalif". Additionally, some orphaned categories like Progress, Volga and Ortekh got logically linked to their respective predecessors. I recommend checking out the source documents for #64 for additional identifying photos and the list of documented serial numbers from which these lists were compiled.

Fri, 18 Dec 2015
Moskva Age List added!
Well, we haven't got much on many of the old Soviet-era manufacturers, but there is some research going on there with collectors, and thanks to member Alex Sandler and his list of dated Moskva serial numbers, we have a *very rough* approximation of that manufacturer's production now, which is better than nothing. :D

Thu, 17 Dec 2015
Remington page updated
Zetix noted some clarification could be made in the portables section for the very earliest serial datecodes for Juniors and Early Portables and could use the addition of the early Rem-Blicks. This has been done (:

Mon, 16 Nov 2015
Gourland and National Portex updated!
Added a page for Gourland, now that we've got two of 'em, and updated page for National Portex, adding sub-brand "Portex" to suit a machine now in that category.

Sun, 16 Aug 2015
Triumph Page Updated
Thanks to the eagle eye of Georg S., I've updated the Triumph page with new info from sources 24 and 30. Also fixed a bunch of broken tags.. :D

Mon, 20 Jul 2015
Smith-Corona page updated
Added a couple more years worth of extrapolation to the early Galaxies, and put in some data from the Color chart included in the 1964 5-Series Service Manuals. Interesting color names used by Smith Corona in the late 50's and early 60's suggest that the "baby poop brownish-green" we all love to hate is actually called "Sapphire Grey". Bizarre. :D

Sat, 27 Jun 2015
Royal Portables updated!
Many updates to the section on Royal Portables. I've also re-classified, normalized and re-dated almost 300 galleries, so now the "Model by date/serial number" pages for Royal portables are now much more coherent and correct. (:

Wed, 29 Apr 2015
Japy page has been updated!
Japy page has been expanded with new data from Source #24.

Sat, 18 Apr 2015
SIM/SimType/Montana/Oliver (Italy) pages updated!
I've re-examined the sources in light of newest research compiled by collectors of these brands, and have finally made the connection that SIM and Montana were the same company. This realization causes a number of things to fall into place, and allows us to unify several disparate categories into a single serial number page that offers a concise and holistic view of the history of this particular manufacturing concern from 1931 to 1968. Whew! (:

Thu, 02 Apr 2015
Sub-brands now linked to top-level Brands in some searches.
I've modified the queries that return results in the "Brand" searches so that if you search a top-level Brand (like "Brother"), you'll also get results from Brother's sub-brands (like Wedgefield, Mongomery Wards, Western Auto, etc..)

The inverse is not so, thus if you specifically search a sub-brand (like Wedgefield) you will not get results from the other sub-brands or the top-level brand.

This is meant to allow you to see the progression of model designs if you sort the result by year, and you get to see the machines made by that company but sold under different brands. It is primarily useful to me to visualize where models go in the timeline - catching misfiles and misdates is much easier in this view, as well as acting as a visual reference that helps to make the serial number pages a little clearer in my head. Hopefully you will also find it useful.

Sat, 21 Mar 2015
Underwood Model names mostly Normalized!
Confused about why some of your Underwood galleries have had the model names changed? There's a reason for it, namely simplicity and clarity in navigation and logical grouping of like machines. Read about it in more detail below, there's much more coming down the pike...
Full Story

Fri, 20 Mar 2015
Say Hello to TWDB Mobile!
When I set up this current layout for the Typewriter Database, my primary concern was optimizing for SEO, Desktop browsers and printers. Increasingly though, mobile devices are becoming the preferred devices for finding information, and so it's about time to take a stab at creating tools for accessing the TWDB elegantly on smartphones and tablets. The full realization of a mobile-friendly TWDB is still a ways off, but we'll call this a fairly useful first draft...
Full Story

Sun, 08 Mar 2015
Express Portable serial numbers now revealed!
Thanks to Richard Polt for the translation of the relevant passage of the 1953 and 1962 Herstellungsdaten, we now have a short but complete guide to Express serial numbers, a short-lived bakelite portable produced between 1951 and 1954.

Sat, 31 Jan 2015
Typewriter Patent Database now online!
Thanks to Richard Polt who sent over a copy of Dirk Schumann's Typewriter Patent Database DVD. It took some finagling of the data, but the Patentbase is now a part of the Typewriter Database, with patents linked to Google Patents. Enjoy!

Wed, 31 Dec 2014
Updated Corona 4 numbers
In my continuing quest to make sense of the most senseless bits of the Smith-Corona page, the Corona 4 serial number list has been updated. Full story below.
Full Story

Mon, 29 Dec 2014
Standard Folding serial numbers added.
I was digging around in preparation to re-do the Corona 4 serial number section when I noticed I had numbers for the old Standard Folding #1 and #2 from 3 sources that all matched up really nicely. I added this to the Smith Corona page just above the Corona 3, and attached the Standard Folding category to the Smith-Corona serial number page along with Corona and other marques.

Sun, 21 Dec 2014
Added Top-20 Models
There's now a list of the top 20 Models, listing machine galleries by the most uploaded models. Of course, the problem with this is that often, people enter the same model under different names. Such was the case with the runaway favorite, the Royal Quiet De Luxe, which was often listed as a "QDL" or "Quiet Deluxe". With certain popular models such as this and certain Olympias, I took the liberty of running a few name normalization queries to set the mis-named ones right. I may add such queries to the nightly batch jobs at some point in the future to keep these particularly often mis-named models normalized.

Fri, 19 Dec 2014
Added section showing Serial Number pages by last modified date.
Finally got around to filling up the third slot on the Manufacturer listing page. It's now occupied by a list of Manufacturers ordered by the serial number file's last modified date - newest at the top. Yeah, this page takes awhile to generate, be patient. It's doing quite a lot of stuff to present the information so ordered.

Fri, 19 Dec 2014
Fixed timestamps for News
When I rush-built this little news updates app, I never bothered to get the timestamps working, so just didn't display them. Today someone nudged me to display timestamps, and so now I know someone actually reads these news blurbs.

So, I fixed them. Unfortunately, now all news previous to today is dated today. So it goes...

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Imperial page updated
Imperial page updated with info from OMEF 1980.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Groma Page Updated
Nick Beland did a quick update to the Groma page, compiling in dates from some new sources. Better dates for Kolibris!

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Victor Page Updated
Richard Polt pointed out research done by Will Davis which puts some dates on Victor machines. His findings were condensed down to a short date table. It's better than nothing, which is what was there before (:

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Brother Page Updated
We've cracked the mysterious "decade code" in Brother serial numbers, which is to say there isn't one. Instead, efforts centered on nailing down what types and models were made in which decade and correcting the slightly wrong OMEF month code error. This page is in a unique format, but should provide clear answers to your dating questions.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Hermes Page Updated
Added some expanded date ranges for Hermes Electrics.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
IBM Page Updated!
Thanks to the organizational efforts and additional information collected by ProfessorC, the IBM page has been greatly expanded.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Xerox Page added
I found a PDF of a 1987 Xerox Factbook which indicated the year of introduction for each model made up to that point. Well, it's better than what we had, which was *nothing*. :D

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Remington Serial Number Page completely re-written.
Source #18, the Sheridan Binder, gives us Remington factory production numbers with a granularity of 1-month increments. It took a loooong time, but I've finally typed it all in. Behold, the Mother Of All Serial Number Pages! (:

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Hammond and Blickensderfer pages updated!
Peter Weil submitted his lists of documented serial numbers for Hammonds and Blicks, and so I've added his research as Sources #39 and #40 and added his observed numbers to the relevant pages. Thanks Peter!

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Demountable page updated
I found some new info on Demountable in Source #18, so added that to the Demountable page.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Olivetti Graphika serial numbers added to Olivetti page
Olivetti Graphika serial numbers added to Olivetti page, thanks to Rob Bowker alerting me to some information from collector Domenico Scarzello in Italy.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Olivetti Page updated yet again!
Thanks to a sheet of info from collector Enrico Morozzi in Italy, we have more accurate and complete serial number ranges for the oldest Olivetti standards and a few other categories.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Bennett/Junior Pages Updated
Thanks to an email alert from ProfessorC about a tidbit of info dropped in the Yahoo groups by Thomas Furtig, we now have some info about the different models. No luck with dates to serial numbers yet.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Blickensderfer Page Updated!
Thanks to Georg Sommeregger for alerting me to Source #32: "The Five-Pound Secretary. An Illustrated History of the Blickensderfer Typewriter" by R. Blickensderfer and P. Robert - and providing a table of serial numbers for Blicks, we now have Blick years covered with serial numbers in range. Be careful, these are Dec 31 numbers, not Jan 1 like you're used to. (:

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Bijou serials updated!
Thanks to the research and compiling efforts of Nick Beland, assisted by information provided by Georg Sommeregger, we now have new, and we think better numbers for Erika. We're currently debating splitting Erika away from S&N and giving Erika it's own serial number page. There's been quite a lot of updating for DDR manufacturers, and more is coming!

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Robotron Serials now Available!
Thanks to the research and compiling efforts of Nick Beland, assisted by information provided by Georg Sommeregger, we now have good numbers for Robotron. Nick is also doing research on Erika which should result in better numbers for that manufacturer soon as well.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
OLYMPIA page updated and corrected
The OLYMPIA page has been updated and corrected. OMEF 1980 expanded the serial number range of existing models (SM models gained *13* years of new serial number data and is now complete from 1950 to 1979!)

In addition to expanded and corrected date ranges for SM1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9, SF & Traveller, SG Models and most of the SGE models, we now have coverage up to 1979 for: Olympiette, Report, SGE 77,65,60,45 and SKM, models that we had nothing at all on before.

There's some confusion between Schramm 62 and OMEF 80 on the SM2 model, similar to the confusion over Olivetti Lettera 22's. In both cases the data from both sources is presented, with a note stating which I think is more credible.

If you've dated your Olympia before, please date it again using the new data. I had to correct a few typos made in the original numbers from Schumann's data. If you weren't able to find your date before, try it now!

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Added: Serial numbers for ADDO
OMEF 1980 happened to have a section of serial numbers on Addo typewriters, so I added them.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Added: Serial numbers for SILVER REED
OMEF 1980 happened to have a section of serial numbers on Silver Reed, so I added them.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Olivetti page completely redone!
The Olivetti page has been completely redone. With the addition of OMEF 1980 and a re-examination of Schramm 1962, quite a few numbers have changed and a lot of models have been added. Additionally, I've added Platen Diameters and some notes from OMEF 80 that state in no uncertain terms that dating an Olivetti from the serial number past 1978 is pretty much impossible.

That bit about "past 1978" is the bad news. The good news is that we've made *some* inroads on Lettera 22 serial numbers, Added or expanded on Linea 88, Linea 98, Linea 98 Special, Studio 45, Lettera 25, Lettera 31, Lettera 32, Praxis 48, Editor 3, 3C, 4, 4C, 4 Special, 4C Special, 5, Lexicon 90, 90C, Lettera Electric and Lexicon 83DL. I've also added a huge and badly needed swath of new numbers for Studio 42 and 44!

There are still some holes, and the whole Lettera 22 issue is still up for grabs as OMEF and Schramm still disagree between 1954 and 1956. I'm feeling that Schramm may have those years right, or alternately there were two different serial numbering schemes in those years from two different factories. Schramm makes more sense given some of the L22 examples in the gallery database. If you have a Lettera 22, please re-check your serial number against the new list. You may find it now makes a little more sense.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Mercedes Page Updated!
Prompted by an article on Robert Messenger's blog indicating that the DB has errors in this list, I took a look at what data I had on Mercedes. I have none of Schumann's original sources, but I do have Schramm 1962, which verifies most of the numbers already there, and adds quite a lot more for Models S6, S6A, SE3, SE4, SE5 and K45.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Messed up the Last Modified timestamps in galleries
which just means that the order on the front page is a little screwey until more activity occurs. I was fixing a problem with something else, and well - you know...

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Added Pages for many manufacturers of plastic wedges
What the heck, they're typewriter manufacturers too! (:

Added Swintec, Canon, Panasonic, AT&T, Xerox, Sharp and other manufacturers that pretty much only manufactured daisywheel typewriters.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Discussion Threads for Galleries
Open to Typewriter Hunter level members only, there are now Discussion Threads added to each Typewriter Gallery.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Added pages for Messa and Harry A. Smith
Added pages for Messa and Harry A. Smith and the various Marques that they were labelled as and that they labelled other machines as.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Added pages for Nakajima ALL
Added Nakajima ALL and some Marques thereof that Robert Messenger knew about. No serial number data yet, sorry.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Points now compiled nightly.
Points are now being compiled nightly for Typewriter Hunter members who have uploaded typewriter galleries or have added links anywhere on the site. Currently, the points are compiled as so:

Gallery entry: +1 point each.
if it includes front-facing photo: +3 points.
if it includes type sample: +3 points.
each additional photo uploaded to gallery: +2 points each.
Links added anywhere on the site: +1 point each.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Added Marques of Talleres Alonso S.A. of Valencia, Spain
Added Marques of Talleres Alonso S.A. of Valencia, Spain, including: Regia, Junior (AKA Winsor and Turia), Talbos, and Andina.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Montana page added.
Added page for Montana (and all of its marques) with what little Schramm 62 had, and added a bunch of notes/dates for some of the more obscure manufacturers. Also, opened up the Typewriter Hunters for invited beta testing. you should be seeing more typewriter galleries soon, as these intrepid pioneers bring their collections to the typewriter database. (see note to the left)

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Many Manufacturers added.
Added all of the manufacturer aliases from tw-db into the Manufacturer table, plus a bunch that weren't in tw-db. Please let me know if I've missed any or have any of them wrong. The goal is to have every typewriter manufacturer that actually put out a typewriter represented.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Underwood page updated.
The Underwood page has been updated and corrected. Also, added "Last Edited" timestamp to each page.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Numbers and diameters fixed on some pages.
Alpina, Antares, Archo, Bar-Let, Barlock, Barr, Beucourt and Blickensderfer updated to reflect JANUARY numbers rather than DECEMBER, and added Platen Diameters where available.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Platen diameters added to some pages.
Patria/Swissa, Hermes, Adler, Princess, Voss, Zeta/Consul and Royal pages updated with Factory platen diameter measurements for all models. Generally speaking from now on, if you see platen diameter listed on one of the pages, it means I've at least partially updated it with new sources.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Patria/Swissa, Zeta/Consul and Princess pages updated.
The Patria/Swissa, Zeta/Consul and Princess pages have been updated.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Hermes page updated.
The Hermes page has been updated and corrected.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Adler page updated.
The Adler page has been partly updated and corrected.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
AEG page updated.
The AEG page has been verified and updated.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Voss page updated.
The VOSS page has been corrected and updated.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Royal page updated.
The Royals page has been completely revamped, corrected and updated.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Tower page added.
I'm on a kick to figure out the Smith-Corona and Sears Tower portables, and whether Towers even run in the same serial number series as SCM's do. There is much to learn about this subject still. I've added a page for Tower, with what I do know. More complete information on Smith-Corona models beyond 1964 is desperately needed, as well as any information on more precisely differentiating Towers.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Updated Patria/Swissa page.
I've just updated the Patria/Swissa page to reflect information obtained by Georg Sommeregger in an interview with Peter Birchmeier in Aug 2012.


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