A 1950 Imperial Good Companion Model T
A 1952 Imperial Good CompanionThere is, of course, no such thing as an Imperial Good Companion labelled a Model 2. The Typewriter Age Guide, however, insists on referring to the No 1 and to the No 2 model. The first Imperial Good Companion to have a model number on it was the No 3, the first segment-shifted IGC.
Presumably the Age Guide's justification was the use of the figure 2 as a code in front of the letter, or letters, in the Model T's serial numbers. That's fair enough - it might have got a bit confusing otherwise; a Model T produced in 1941 would have been a "TT", for example, and one in 1956 a "TJT". (Any Good Companion, as opposed to a Good Companion Model T, or Models 3-7, has no number in front of the letter or letters.)
An Imperial Good Companion "Model T lookalike", the one that isn't a Model T but is just a plain Good Companion, came into my possession with the "booty" of 25 typewriters I received the weekend before last (along with two Good Companion Model 7s). It is the eighth of those 25 typewriters that I have had the chance to take a close look at.
I did service one of these "lookalikes" once, but at that time didn't take the opportunity to look more closely at the differences between it and a Model T, or to put the two alongside one another. I guess there was resistance in my head to thinking of a machine labelled just an Imperial Good Companion as being anything other than the beautiful original model, the 1930s IGC. Sydney IGC collector Richard Amery kept telling me Good Companions were still being made into the 1950s, but when he said "Good Companion", I couldn't picture anything but the shiny black model.
Given this, it seems odd to me that, with the additions made to the Model T and maintained on the Model 3, the on-going plain ol' Good Companion would appear to have become the cut-price version.
The Model T above, serial number 2HC894, was made in 1950. The Good Companion beside it, serial number HV501, was made in 1952. On both machines the serial number is under the left side ribbon spool. On earlier models, the serial number is on the front right, under the spacebar. On later models, the serial numbers are under the machine, near the bell.OK, so having now compared the two, I can see many differences from the Model T. Like the original IGC, the one above has no left side platen knob, no paper plate guide and, of course, no tabulator.
The arrow (above) is a tab clear switch.Here is the original IGC:
I can't say when this Model T lookalike version of the IGC was first produced, but I can say that the first Model T, in 1938, was different from the post-war Model T seen above. For one thing, the tabulation device changed from an out-moded one on the first Model Ts, a design dating back to 1919, to a more up-to-date and conventional one.
This is the tabulation device used on the first Model T. The shiny black model seen above, serial number 2G185, was made in 1939. This device was based on a 1919 design by Eric Pilblad and Arthur Tomlinson to go on one of Hidalgo Moya's very first Imperial "portables", the Model DThis is the more conventional system introduced to the post-war Model Ts:
Here is the original Model T:
There are also many variations to the non-Model T Good Companions, which continued to be made up to 1957, when finally succeeded by the Model 4 and the segment-shifted Model 5. At the same time as Imperial introduced the Model T in 1938, this shiny grey model (serial number BR121) was launched:
A much more noticeable design change to the IGC line emerged in 1951, with the wonderful segment-shifted No 3:
This machine, serial number 3V312, was made in 1956.