Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal (PAARP)

Navigation Aids

Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal (PAARP)
Search Finding Aids
 

Main Content

Typewriter trade cards

225

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Hagley Museum and Library. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
Hagley Museum and Library: Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department
Creator:
Royal Typewriter Company. Underwood Typewriter Company.
Title:
Typewriter trade cards
Date:
1925-1935
Call Number:
225
Extent:
2 items
General Physical Desription:
2 items: trade cards with b&w photographs ; 6 x 4 in or smaller.
Location:
GL Box 1.
Language:
English
Abstract:
The Underwood Typewriter Company was founded in 1895 by John T. Underwood (1857-1937). The "No. 5" model was so successful it outsold all of its competitors combined for the first two decades of the twentieth century. The Royal Typewriter Company was founded in 1904 and began operating in 1906 in Brooklyn. By 1908 it had transferred to Hartford, Connecticut. One card features a photograph of a small image of an Underwood "No. 5" typewriter. The second one features a man posing with a Royal typewriter.
PDF Version:

Return to Top »

Biography/History

The Underwood Typewriter Company was founded in 1895 by John T. Underwood (1857-1937). He began as a maker of typewriter ribbon and carbon paper, supplying them to Remington, which was the leading typewriter manufacturer in the late nineteenth century. When Remington decided to start making typewriter supplies, Underwood decided to start making typewriters. He teamed up with inventor Franz X. Wagner (1837-1907) and purchased his patents in 1895 creating the Underwood Typewriter Company. The "No. 5" model was so successful it outsold all of its competitors combined for the first two decades of the twentieth century. In 1927 it merged with Elliot-Fischer. Olivetti bought out Underwood in 1959. The Underwood name last appeared on a portable typewriter model in Spain in the 1980s.

The Royal Typewriter Company was founded in 1904 and began operating in 1906 in Brooklyn. By 1908 it had transferred to Hartford, Connecticut. Its early success was in standard desktop models. It did not come out with its first portable until 1926, at least a decade later then the competition. It was also hugely successful. Starting in 1969, Royal went through a series of mergers with Litton, Volkswagen, and finally Olivetti before finally becoming a privately held American company again in 2004. It is now known as Royal Consumer Information Products, Inc. and manufactures a diversified line of business machines.

Scope and Contents

One card features a studio photograph of Barney Stapert (1904-1965), "former world's amateur champion typist," and a small image of an Underwood "No. 5" typewriter. The second one features a man posing with a Royal typewriter. The copy reads,  "Try it! See why ROYAL is [sic] World's No. 1 Typewriter."

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Return to Top »

Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Ephemera.
Subject(s)
  • Typewriters--History.

Return to Top »