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Monday, 23 January 2012

Vale David B. Davis, Typewriter Collector

David B. Davis, of North Ridgeville, Ohio, passed away on his 78th birthday, on Friday, January 20, following a brief illness.
Sadly, I never got the chance to meet David Davis senior, but from the dealings I had with him, from his warm welcome to me on the Portable Typewriter Forum to email correspondence, I gleaned he was a gentleman and a scholar, a kind and caring man. I'm sure he will be missed in the worldwide typewriter collecting community.
David was himself an avid typewriter researcher, restorer and collector.
His interest in typewriters came through his sons, Will B. Davis and David A. Davis. Will Davis was the first typewriter collector in the family, and after Will had been collecting for some years, David B let it be known he too found this hobby fascinating - enough for him to get involved.
Will recalls, "After he and I started going out on typewriter hunting trips together, he went nuts, buying everything he could get his hands on, in particular Underwood standards and Smith-Corona portables."
Later David B discovered the ease with which Will could buy him typewriters on eBay. Says Wills, "But all of us had good laughs (him too, very much so) at him having acquired, say, his sixth or his 10th Skyriter or Silent-Super. At least the Silent-Supers are in different colors!
"There are lots of good stories about our collecting trips and so forth."
Eventually all three members of the typewriter-collecting Davis family became involved in spreading "the good word" about typewriters. Will Davis and Dave Davis have their Davis Typewriter Works blog, and Will Davis's websites, including the Portable Typewriter Reference Site and the European Typewriter Project (with the late Tilman Elster), as well as his portable typewriter contributions to ETCetera, have long since became some of the most important sources of information for typewriter collectors worldwide.
David Davis senior was born on January 20, 1934, in Chicago. He was raised in Illinois, and  attended Harvard University until answering the call to serve in the Navy during the Korean War. Following his service he moved to the Cleveland area, where he worked at the National City Bank for 47 years, retiring as the Vice-President of the Corporate Trust Division.
Apart from William B. Davis and David A.Davis, both of North Ridgeville, David is survived by his daughter-in-law Michelle and grandson Dawson.
The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 24, at 11am. Father Tom Kowatch will officiate. Interment will follow at the Resthaven Memory Gardens, Avon.

For more information, or to leave an online condolence, visit



Martin A. Rice, Jr. said...

I'm stunned and saddened! To think I found out about this by reading your blog, 12000miles away when Cleveland is practically next door to me! My condolences to the Davis family.

Will Davis said...

Wonderful. Thank you.