Vintage Typewriter Values and the Best Collectible Brands

Prior to the invention of smartphones and computers, typewriters were used to type. Now, you may be wondering, “Can I sell the old typewriter now that technology has changed so much?” “Does the typewriter I have qualify as a vintage typewriter?” “What is its value then?”, and “How do I sell an antique typewriter?”

All of these are reasonable concerns, especially if your old typewriter is still in excellent condition. To help answer these questions, this article examines the value of vintage and old typewriters, as well as the best collectible brands.

What Is a Vintage Typewriter?

Although the terms “antique” and “vintage” are used interchangeably, there is a distinction between the two. A typewriter that is between 20 and 99 years old is called a vintage typewriter. If your typewriter is older than this, it is considered to be an antique.

Identifying a Vintage Typewriter

The serial number is one of the primary determinants of whether or not a typewriter is vintage. When a typewriter’s serial number is put into a typewriter database, it helps figure out how old the machine is.

To do this, locate the typewriter’s serial number, which is usually located on the right side of the frame, beneath the right end of the carriage.

antique typewriter serial number
antique typewriter serial number

Simply go to the Typewriter Database website to get started.  Select the brand of your typewriter from the menu. When you do so, a new page will load. This page contains the most recently modified typewriter gallery listings.

The next step is to scroll down the page, where you will find information about typewriters. Typically, the information on typewriters is organized into categories: standard machines, electrics, and portables.

You can date your typewriter by selecting the appropriate category and serial number range. This is only possible if the model is available on the website.

5 Most Valuable Collectible Vintage Typewriter Brands

If you have an antique typewriter lying around, you may be missing out on a opportunity to make some extra money! This is because not all antique typewriters are valued equally, if at all, especially most modern typewriters. Some old typewriters, however, are worth their weight in gold.

Oliver Typewriters

Antique Oliver No. 9 Bat Wing Standard Visible Typewriter Green AS-IS
An antique Oliver No.9 Batwing Standard Visible Typewriter in Green AS-IS

The Oliver Typewriter Company, which was located in Chicago, Illinois, was a pioneering typewriter manufacturer. The Oliver typewriter company was founded in 1895.

The Oliver typewriter has two type bar towers that strike down onto the steel plate, keeping the text visible at all times. The Oliver typewriter became known as The Standard Visible Writer because of this unique typewriting feature.

Furthermore, Oliver’s early typewriters have a distinct personality. The Oliver typewriter has two typebar towers that strike down onto the platen, ensuring that the text is always visible.

Because of their unique structures, Oliver typewriters are frequently purchased by many dealers as an old typewriter brand to keep. Older Oliver typewriters go for around $225.

Royal Typewriters

A Vintage 1930 Royal Model P Wood Grain Portable Typewriter
A Vintage 1930 Royal Model P Wood Grain Portable Typewriter (Sold 25.53)

Royal typewriters are among the most widely used old typewriters. Many royal typewriters were manufactured when the Company began operations in 1904.

As a result of its longevity and ease of use, many journalists consider this typewriter to be their most reliable.

The Royal typewriter company also introduced the portable typewriter in 1926, and in 1930, the company produced the Quiet De Luxe model, a compact design that sold for about $50. This design was popular from the 1930s to the 1950s.

A large number of typewriters were produced by the Royal Typewriter Company, making it relatively easy to come by. A Royal typewriter vintage can be purchased or sold for $103 or $1,065. This is determined by the model you have.

Underwood Typewriters

An Antique 1918 Underwood Model 5 Vintage Typewriter 
An Antique 1918 Underwood Model 5 Vintage Typewriter (Sold $365)

Before John Underwood took over the business and renamed it the Underwood typewriter, it was known as the Wagner typewriter company.

Even though it wasn’t the first typewriter ever made, the Underwood Typewriter had better features than other typewriters at the time.

The Underwood Typewriter was the first widely successful modern typewriter, and it was by far the better-engineered machine. The typewriter had three main design elements: a four-row straight keyboard, a single shift key, and front striking bars, which made operation easier.

Underwood typewriters are amongst the most valuable antique typewriters. A vintage Underwood typewriter is worth approximately $1,000 and they are still in use.

Smith Corona Typewriters

Antique 1931 Smith Corona Red (Maroon) S-C Vintage Typewriter
Antique 1931 Smith Corona Red (Maroon) S-C Vintage Typewriter (Source: Ebay $375)

The Smith Corona typewriter company is well-known for making portable and small electronic typewriters, personal word processors, electronic reference products, and accessories.

The company enjoyed commercial success from its inception in the late 1800s to the 1980s, but saw a decline in sales when personal computers with more complex word processing capabilities were introduced.

The Smith Corona typewriter company no longer manufactures typewriters, but a vintage Smith Corona 3 typewriter, which was the most popular typewriter produced from 1912 to 1941, can be purchased on auction sites such as Etsy for between $120 and $1,146.

Remington Typewriter

Antique 1936 Remington Model 5 Vintage Typewriter
Antique 1936 Remington Model 5 Vintage Typewriter (Sold $375)

The Remington typewriter company started out as E. Remington & Sons, which also made pistols. In 1874, the first Remington typewriter model was listed in company records as “No. 1 Old Style,” with no uppercase lettering.

In 1868, Remington signed a contract with the Sholes and Glidden typewriter company to manufacture their typewriters. The typewriter was the first commercially successful typewriter.

A vintage Remington typewriter sells for $375 or more on eBay and $432 or more on Etsy.

Factors That Affect the Value of a Vintage Typewriter

A number of factors influence the value of antique typewriters. These elements contribute to determining how much a vintage typewriter is worth:

● Age

The age of a typewriter is what distinguishes it as vintage. How long have you had it? How long ago was it invented? The age of a typewriter is the first factor in determining its value.

Earlier models of the typewriter were developed between 1920 and 1940. They will almost certainly sell for more than typewriters manufactured in the 1980’s.

The older the typewriter, the better. Most collectors seek and pay a high price for typewriters manufactured before 1920.

● Fonts

The typewriter’s font also adds to its value. The majority of typewriters invented today feature standard fonts, rendering special fonts obsolete. The era of old typewriters are over.

Many typewriter owners and collectors are looking for typewriters with specialized fonts. As a result, the typewriter is more valuable because it is scarce and in high demand.

Vogue and cursive fonts are two font styles that stand out among others and are highly sought after by typewriter owners and collectors.

vogue font typewriter
vogue font typewriter
smith corona typewriters
smith corona typewriters

● Design

Because there are so many typewriter manufacturers and models, collectors are likely to find a number of older examples with unusual keyboards or organized cases, brass plated casings, or even fancy inlay work.

Most of the time, typewriters with better, more interesting designs and unique features are worth more than typewriters with plain, ordinary designs.

● Origin

How valuable a typewriter is would also depend on its origin. In fact, antique German typewriters are often worth more than typewriters made in other countries.

This is due to a design differentiation, making them rarer and more exclusive, qualities that buyers and users will appreciate.

● Rarity

The Royal Typewriter Company, for example, produced a large number of typewriters, making them easy to find almost anywhere. This factor would prevent Royal typewriters from being sold for the high price they could have been if they were limited in quantity.

The rarity and uniqueness of a typewriter are essential factors that influence the value of vintage typewriters.

● Brand

Over the past century, hundreds of companies have manufactured and produced typewriters. Now, when determining the value of a typewriter, the brand should be considered.

Some collectors prefer to stick to certain brands. This factor is entirely subjective. Some collectors believe that an Underwood typewriter is more valuable than a Corona typewriter, while others may disagree.

● Condition

How well a vintage typewriter works and looks affects how much it’s worth. If the typewriter is in good condition, chances are it will be purchased quickly at the price or value placed on it or even more!

Nobody wants a typewriter in poor condition. Collectors are even more intrigued to see that a vintage typewriter from the early 1900s is still in good condition.

An old typewriter in excellent working condition is valued much higher than a typewriter in poor condition.

● Repairs

Old and vintage typewriters are easy to fix, and unlike some other types, getting new parts or fixing vintage typewriters doesn’t scare collectors away.

Despite the fact that a typewriter may appear worn, dirty, rusted, and broken, its value can be attributed to the seller’s ability to repair it, and the price can be significantly higher than it initially appeared to be.

● Oddity

Odds are not necessarily rare. For example, the Oliver typewriter has strange-looking groups of arms on each side that look like wings. But more than a million of these were produced at selling prices of under $300.

How Much Are Vintage Typewriters Worth?

Not every vintage typewriter is valuable. In general, a typewriter’s value increases with its age. Most typewriters made between 1950 and 1980 don’t sell for a lot of money.

Since they were produced more recently, they are still available everywhere. As a result, they do not command value.

Typewriters from World War II, for instance, are extremely rare and very expensive because they are so old.

If they are in good working condition, typewriters from the 1940s and earlier, especially those from the 19th century, can be highly valuable.

While non-functional antique typewriters are usually worth $50 or less, refurbished typewriters can fetch up to $800 or more.

A Guide for Pricing an Old Typewriter

If you are ready to sell your old typewriter but have no idea how much it is worth, this section is for you. This section will assist you in determining the value of an antique typewriter before you place a price on your own.

Look On EBay

Ebay is an online platform that is best known for selling auction items such as books, furniture, typewriters, and other collectibles.

In order to get an idea of how much other sellers are charging for their typewriters, you can look on eBay. Using this information, you’ll be able to determine the best price for the typewriter you own.

Check Etsy

Etsy is similar to eBay. Etsy is also an online marketplace where people make, sell, buy, and collect unique items.

You can use the search button to look for the specific brand you have, and if it appears on the site, you can look at the prices and other information. This allows you to better tag your typewriter.

Consult an Expert

Before you put a price on your typewriter, consult with a vintage collection expert who understands how to professionally evaluate the worth of a typewriter. This is another excellent option, and it may even be the best.

Where Can I Sell My Vintage Typewriter?

Are you ready to give up the vintage typewriter you inherited? It is critical that you post it on sites that people visit, trust, and are likely to purchase from.

If you list your typewriter for sale on a reputable website, you may be able to sell it quickly and for a reasonable price that matches its value.

We will review sites where you can sell your vintage typewriter for a good price below:

Etsy

As an online marketplace, Etsy enables buyers and sellers to meet and purchase, sell, or collect unique items. Now, how can get started selling on Etsy?

You need to set up a shop. To set up a shop, first create an account, then set your shop location and currency, select a shop name, create a listing, and finally select a billing method.

After successfully setting up your shop, you can list your typewriter for sale, including all relevant information (price, model, and location), and wait for it to sell.

Ebay 

eBay is a marketplace where you can sell anything you believe to be valuable. From clearing your house of unwanted items to starting a business, eBay is the best place.

To sell your typewriter, you must first create an eBay account. This account is what gives you access to the site as a seller.

Sign up first, then register to sell on eBay if you have a verified address in any of the countries, regions, or overseas territories listed in the ‘eBay country listing.’

There is nothing you can do if your country is not on the list. As a result, you’ll need to find another platform to sell your item on.

Vintage Cash Cow

Vintage Cash Cow is a company in the UK that pays people money in exchange for products like costume jewelry, medals, gold, cameras, old currency, and typewriters.

Vintage Cash Cow buys all types of portable typewriters. They allow you to send your portable typewriters using their free post service.

When the typewriter reaches them, it is appraised by an expert to determine its value. Then, an offer is presented for your approval.

If you approve, you will be paid in full the same day, and if you do not, the typewriter will be returned to you at no cost.

Where Can I Buy Vintage Typewriters?

Are you a typewriter collector looking for places to buy vintage typewriters? Then this is the section for you!

Authentic vintage typewriters aren’t just listed anywhere. Sellers of these vintage typewriter collectible brands know better than to list them on dubious websites.

We have inserted some links to websites where you can purchase the best vintage typewriters. Offline options are also available.

Gramercy Typewriter Co.

Abraham Schweitzer founded the Gramercy Typewriter Co., which has been managed by the Schweitzer family since 1932. The company has a long history of providing the best typewriter sales in New York City, as well as expert service and repairs.

The company has a physical store where fully reconditioned vintage typewriters are available for purchase. If you want to buy an old typewriter here, the company recommends that you call ahead and make an appointment.

Etsy

Etsy is the best place for typewriter collectors to find vintage typewriters to add to their collection. The website offers a variety of vintage typewriters from various vendors.

Input the typewriter brand into the search bar or check out the available typewriters to find one that meets your specifications. Most of the vintage typewriters uploaded have detailed descriptions that make it easier to decide which one to buy.

ebay

eBay offers free shipping on the majority of items purchased through the website. There are various collectible typewriters for sale on the website.

You can visit the typewriter section or search for the specific brand you’re interested in and select from the many desirable options.

Amazon

Almost everything that can be sold is available on Amazon. They are one of the most popular sites to buy antiques, including vintage typewriters.

The best thing about Amazon is that you can read honest reviews from other customers who have already purchased what you are considering.

The website lists a plethora of typewriter manufacturers. Amazon also ships items to many different countries. All you have to do is search for the brand you want and purchase it.

A Local Antique Store

Local antique shops are another place you could try to sell your typewriter. Antique shops buy old things to sell them to people who want them. This includes collectors of vintage typewriters.

Google search is the most effective method for locating local antique stores based on your location.

A Pawn Shop

Although pawn shops do not exactly sell antiques, they are another potential buyer for your old typewriter. The pawn shop primarily serves to exchange goods for money.

Tips for Vintage Typewriter Collectors

Some people collect typewriters for their historical and sentimental value. Others purchase them solely to brag about their collections. They have no plans to use them.

Every collector’s dream is to find machines in good working order, with no paint scratches or broken carriages, whereas adventurers will have no trouble acquiring machines that require repairs.

If you’re a vintage typewriter enthusiast, keep these five tips in mind:

Check the Carriage: One of the first things to do is move the carriage and see if it advances when typing. Check that the drawstring isn’t broken and that the front-to-back movement isn’t excessive. If it makes any unusual noises, it needs to be repaired.

Inspect the Plate: Examine the plate. Check for any splits or areas of concern. The cover plate protects the top of the typewriter and must be in good condition.

Try it Out: This is vital. Verify that the carriage does not jump when you type. If it does, it could be due to dirt or a problem with the escapement. Pay attention to how the paper is pulled through the machine as well.

Examine the Hood:  Inspect for any missing type bars or type slugs, and confirm that the ribbon advances when typing. If you notice visible corrosion while inspecting, you have the option of purchasing and repairing it or not purchasing it at all.

Check the Functions: Check the tabulator, margin release, line lock, and backspace functions to ensure they work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Famous Typewriter?

The Hermes 3000 typewriter is the best ever made. The mechanics, smoothness, soft keys, and light carriage all contribute to it being the best typewriter.

What Type of Typewriter Did Hemingway Use?

Ernest Hemingway used the first generation Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter. The Royal Typewriter Company produced a portable typewriter.

What Typewriters Were Popular In the 1960s?

Some of the typewriter brands used in the 1960s included the Olivetti Lettera 32, the Remington Monarch, the Olympia Splendid 33, and the Antares Parva Typewriter.

Conclusion

A typewriter that has been kept in good working order for many years should be worth a lot of money to match its historical value. We hope this article has given you all the information you need to get the best value for your vintage typewriters. Please leave a comment if you have any further questions about the vintage and old typewriter collectible brands and their values.

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