Friday, September 27, 2013

Underwood typewriter

Seen at a local flea market. I wondered where the Canadian Underwood factory may have been located and discovered this curious ad in the Mar 5th 1926 Ottawa Citizen

From the Dominion Business Machines website:
"Dominion Business Machines originated as Dominion Typewriter Company, a business that arose from the initiative of Telegraph Operator J.J. Seitz who lived in Buffalo, New York.
 On a trip to New York City in the late 1890s Seitz noticed recently introduced Underwood Manual Typewriters and brought what were surely the first of these machines into Canada, to Toronto, about 1898. 
He started The Underwood Typewriter Company of Canada, selling machines that were hailed as amazing labour saving devices in much the same way as the Personal Computer was presented about eighty years later."
The Dominion Business Machine company is still around, having moved from Adelaide St in Toronto to Mississauga. Although they probably sell more computers these days than typewriters, they say they do have a museum of over 150 antique typewriters.

And finally, there is still a good following for these machines as evidenced by this website.


S. Bell said...

I am presently writing about the Underwood Typewriter Company and have found that the company purchased Creelman Bros Tyepwriters from Georgetown, Ontario in 1903 and operated under the name of United Typewriters. These were first manufactured by Creelman. They held a 10 year exclusive contract to sell Underwood Typewriters in Ontario and other contracts to sell Empire Typewriters and other office supplies. The company operated as United until sometime around 1934.
My father worked for United from 1924 and through several transformations of the company to Underwood Elliot Fisher and finally Underwood Canada until and after it became Olivetti Business Machines.
Stephanie Bell

Mister G said...

Thank you for this information! another piece in the puzzle of history.