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Odell: Typewriter Serial Number Age List

Serial Number Table Last Edited: 08/29/16 12:28
NOTE: dates shown are JAN 1 unless noted, so the serial number shown is the *first* serial number produced the given year. Exceptions are serial numbers preceded by "up to"(where you can assume that the numbers reported in that subsection are DECEMBER 31, END OF YEAR NUMBERS) or rows where a month is given in the month column. If the serial number is shown as a range (xxxx-xxxx) it indicates that we know the entire range of serial numbers for the given year.

  1885-1889 Patents:
US399205
Issued Mar 5, 1889
US437791
Filed Mar 15, 1888 • Issued Oct 7, 1890
US457840
Filed Mar 24, 1890 • Issued Aug 18, 1891
US932167
Filed Apr 15, 1907 • Issued Aug 24, 1909
Designed by Levi J. Odell of Chicago, Ill., USA. First manufactured by the Odell Typewriter Company first in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, USA then later by Farquhar & Albrect in Chicago, Ill., USA, and still later in Momence, Ill., USA. At least one example shows a New York origin. It was made by several different manufacturers from 1889 through 1906, and possibly longer.
Odell model numbers run 1 through 5, but there were several different versions of the No. 1.
Distinctive linear index machine where the index travels across the platen at right angles, with the index housing pivoted at the far end. A small projection on the index held between thumb and forefinger selected the letter and was then pressed to make the impression. Roller inking. Very few manufactured. A later 1918 attempt was made to revive the design as the "New America".
1,5,27, 61
Models and s/n Y M D Remarks Ref.
Model 1a
"Seal"
1889 Linear index machine with long, straight base. Base has feet that extend out from the ends ending in "toes" that have earned this model the nickname "Seal" among collectors. It typed in capital letters only, and had a nameplate with "Lake Geneva, WIS" as its origin and "patent pending". A similar model with a dogbone-shaped base and no "toes" was illustrated in an early Odell catalog, but no examples are known. 5
Model 1b
1889 This later model featured a redesigned round base, and is usually found as a caps-only version. One example with both cases is known. Top surface of base is painted gold with etched ornamentation. There are at least 3 different nameplate variations: the earliest show "Lake Geneva, WIS" as origin and "patent pending", as on the 1a. Later 1b's included a patent date of 1889, and still later ones show "Chicago, ILL." as the origin. Some 1b's have bells and some do not. Nameplate reads "Odell's Typewriter".
Weight: 8lbs. Originally sold for $20. Prints 42 characters.
5,61,78
Model 2
1890 The No. 2 has a circular base with a new elaborate Art Nouvea design. The machine is nickle plated, but some have been seen with gold painted trim on the upper casing. Upper and lower case printing, though one example in caps-only known. An end-of-line bells is included. Nameplate reads "Odell's Typewriter".
On dual-case models, a key is used to rock the index to the desired case.
5,27
Model 3
189x Circular base similar to No. 2, but the top casting now includes a larger half-moon shaped nameplate with the model number "3" cast in. The manufacturer's name is attached on a separate plate. Upper and lower case printing. Nameplate reads "Odell Typewriter".
On dual-case models, a key is used to rock the index to the desired case.
5,27
Model 4
1904 Circular base similar to No. 3, the top casting now includes a larger half-moon shaped nameplate with the model number "4" cast in. The manufacturer's name is attached on a separate plate. Upper and lower case printing. Nameplate reads "Odell Typewriter".
On dual-case models, a key is used to rock the index to the desired case. Prints 78 characters. Priced at $5.
5,27,65
Model 5
19xx   Circular base similar to No. 3, the top casting now includes a larger half-moon shaped nameplate with the model number "4" cast in. The manufacturer's name is attached on a separate plate. Upper and lower case printing. Nameplate reads "Odell Typewriter".
On dual-case models, a key is used to rock the index to the desired case.
5,27
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