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Friday 28 December 2012

Salute to the Corona 3 Portable Typewriter on its 100th Anniversary: Part I

Instant International Success
in its First Year - 1912
With only a few days of 2012 left, I cannot resist getting in at least a couple more salutes to mark the centenary of the Corona 3 Portable Typewriter, arguably the most successful typewriter ever made.
Thanks to the monthly issues of Typewriter Topics in 1912, we are able to trace that tumultuous time when the Corona 3 was introduced to the trade and then reached the marketplace - not just in the United States, but across the world.
The first announcement of the advent of this marvelous little typewriter came with this full-page advertisement in the March 1912 issue of Typewriter Topics. Note that the case only is shown in the ad - perhaps the machine itself had yet to start rolling off the production line  of the factory in Groton, New York.
Finally, in the May 1912 issue of Typewriter Topics, an image of the typewriter itself made its first appearance.
Perhaps putting out fires in Locke, six miles away from Groton, put production behind schedule, with typewriter factory workers downing tools to rush to save the little village. The Standard Typewriter Company, however, found a way to catch up:
Not only were Corona 3s being produced in large numbers, but they were rapidly reaching distant markets:
As well, international typewriter sales agents were flocking to Groton to see these wonderful folding typewriters being made:

General Manager Brown was Carleton French Brown, President Conger was Corona founder Benn Conger, and L.J.Conger was Senator Conger's son, Lawrence Jeremiah (Jerome) Conger, born 1882.
Benn Conger
Carleton Brown
Cesare Verona
Thus, by December 1912, 100 years ago this month, the company was able to report in Typewriter Topics its record production and sales figures:

1912 - 14,300
1913 - 12,000 = 26,300
1914 - 12,200 = 38,500
1915 - 22,450 = 60,950
1916 - 27,050 = 88,000
1917 - 39,000 = 127,000
1918 - 55,000 = 182,000
1919 - 81,000 = 263,000
1920 - 91,000 = 354,000
1921 - 71,000 = 425,000
1922 - 81,200 = 506,200
1923 - 67,000 = 573,200
1924 - 22,010

1 comment:

Ray said...

A superbly interesting post. Thanks Robert. I'm already saving for my own Corona 3 - it will be a few years though!

It would have been wonderful if, for the 100th anniversary of the Corona 3, someone had found the lost manuscripts of Hemingway that he typed on his own Corona 3.