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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Buying Typewriters, US-style, 1961

Bargains (?) from Belknap 50 years ago:
Interesting to see the Czech Consul in there with the major US brands. And not cheap, either ($267, matching the Smith-Corona Sterling). But at $374 for a Smith-Corona Galaxie portable, it's no wonder sales started to go down and production moved off-shore. The Royal obviously could be built much more cheaply in Holland. The Royalite undercuts the Smith-Corona Sky(w)riter by almost $50!


Luddite Shaw said...

Interesting post. Used to sell some hardware items to Belknap back in the 70's - didn't know they sold typewriters. Most of their sales were to hardware stores who obviously used typewriters for correspondence. Thanks.

Cameron said...

Fascinating glimpse into what was on the market back then.

I guess I should stop moaning that typewriter prices are rising lately -- dollar for dollar, they were quite expensive "back in the day"!

Robert Messenger said...

Thank you, Luddite Shaw (I'm a fellow Luddite, by the way!).
Thanks, Cameron. I totally agree with you about prices today: I could hardly believe they were asking more than $300 for a portable back then. I'm trying to remember what I paid for a brand new Olivetti Lettera 32 in 1965: I'm sure it was much less than that.

texbodemer said...

In the U.S. (at the Bon Marche, a Seattle department store, a Royalite was around $60 in 1961; the Skyriter was also around $60. I am wondering if those prices were for a larger number, as in a crate of them in bulk.

Robert Messenger said...

I think it would say so it they were a bulk buy at these prices. But the prices you cite closer to the 1939 prices (see earlier Smith-Corona Christmas price post).