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Monday, 10 November 2014

Finding a Typewriter's Serial Number

In the past week or so two readers have asked for directions in finding the serial numbers on their typewriters, a later model Imperial Good Companion portable and an L.C.Smith No 8 14-inch carriage standard. By chance, while looking for something else entirely, I came across this page from Wilf Beeching's Century of the Typewriter (1974 edition). It's not a complete guide by any means, but it may help some. For example, later model Imperial portables don't have the serial number where Beeching points to, but underneath the left side ribbon capstan. I hope this helps John, who owns the L.C.Smith seen below. John wrote, "The serial number has eluded me. I have flipped it on all sides, slid the platen to both the extreme right and left and snooped around with a bright flashlight - all to no avail." Don't feel alone, John, I am very familiar with that sense of frustration!


Bill M said...

Nice serial number map.

Richard P said...

Useful! I had forgotten all about this diagram in Beeching.

John said...

Thanks Robert, that’s a handy guide. And sure enough, I found it. T’were it a snake, it’ve bit me. Now, with serial number in hand (875707) indicates she was made in early 1929. She has traveled: constructed in Syracuse, NY (I think), I bought her in Merced, CA in the early 1970s and she now resides in Charleston, SC.
I really like the 14” carriage, using it to type wide faux-newspapers for the grandkids. What, do you think, was the original purpose of such a wide carriage?
There are all kinds of curious buttons and levers on this machine; enough to keep my 10-year-old grandson and me investigating their functions long enough to keep him off MineCraft for a while.
Now, Robert, please post the owner’s manual? We can find neither the copy/paste nor the delete button.

Courtney Coulombe said...

Hello! I am trying to locate the serial number for my Underwood Standard Portable Typewriter - I can only find a 6 digit number on the left side '475287'. I am trying to find out what year this is from. Any help would be appreciated!