I don’t get too many Oliver typewriters in the shop and each is a story. This beautiful black Oliver No. 11 is a family heirloom that had been in storage many years. A greased up dust bunny ready for some typing fun.
The Oliver was saddled with a way too long fishing line draw cord tied to the side of the carriage, and as soon as Mr. Montgomery tried to show me (for what seems like the fiftieth time) how easy the carriage is removed from the body, the fishing line and spring drum goes Sprooooiiiing! Sigh…
There was much corrosion, which on any other typewriter would have me telling the customer to maybe just clean it up to look pretty on a shelf. Nope, this is an OLIVER! I’ve taken the most rusted and stuck Olivers and made them work again, just like the early Underwoods.
The Oliver comes with a unique configuration that I’ve often thought other manufacturers could have adopted; to remove the carriage you just slide it to the left, leaving the draw string attached to a holder on the base. Olympia is the only other manufacturer who came close with their desktop interchangeable carriage.
Since a few key items were missing, I made them (draw cord, cord clip and draw cord guide). The draw cord clip is key and is easily duplicated (there are several folks on the interwebs who share detailed ways to recreate it). Basically, it must be 3/4 inch tall, 1/4 wide, a W shape with a hole for the draw cord knot. The Oliver is a pretty forgiving machine. Also missing was the draw cord guide which is simply a wire near the spring drum to guide the cord so it aligns with the clip at the base. With out it, the clip misses the base.
I love making parts! Here are some selfish photos for my own pleasure.
Take a close look at the key tops. I love the three medical symbols when you type the FIG, very nice and I’ll ask the customer if the person who originally owned this Oliver was a physician or pharmacist.
Left to right: scruple (apothecaries’ unit of measure), ounce (apothecaries’ unit of measure),”Recipe” (‘take …’) in recipes and medical prescriptions. More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apothecaries%27_system