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The Edland Typewriter Legend

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Posted 2 years ago

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MrTypewriter
(4 items)

The Edland Typewriter Legend,
by Tony Casillo

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Back in the early days of typewriter collecting, the only reference of the Edland in typewriter history books was that of a small circular index typewriter. Little else was known about it. The 1923 Typewriter Topics, a trade publication commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the typewriter industry, described the Edland in the same manner. Most other publications followed suit. Its actual existence had not yet been confirmed. But in the early 1960s, the report of a small cache of brand new, unused, Edlands being found in upstate New York was the first evidence that the typewriter did indeed exist. A collector reading about this could only imagine what it would be like to be the person making this legendary discovery.

In his 1992 book, American Typewriters - A Collector’s Encyclopedia, Paul Lippman wrote: “…Twelve of these machines were discovered about 30 years ago, unsold in an upstate New York general store still in their 1892 newspaper wrapping, and are the only known survivors.” He went on to say that “the Edland was cast of toy-soldier metal washed with a gold tint to make it unconvincingly look like brass. So brittle are its white metal castings, the lever can be broken off by hand…”. Lippman was not alone, other typewriter historians reported similar stories of the discovery of a stash of like-new Edlands. The existence of the Edland typewriter was finally confirmed. Since then a few more survivors have surfaced, but not enough to reduce its status as a super-rare and desirable typewriter.

Pictured here is an Edland (NOS) that was discovered in upstate New York. Still in its original pine box along with a small ink container and, like its early 1960s counterparts, it too was wrapped in newspaper, this one a NY paper dated Feb. 13, 1893. This specimen showed no signs of ever being used. Even on the most often handled parts, such as the shift toggle lever in the very front, its “cheap” gold tint is amazingly still intact. The lever developed a bend caused by being stored tight in its box for more than a century. All parts are free and the typewriter is operable and useable, just as it might have been in 1893.

This typewriter can also be viewed at www.typewritercollector.com .

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