Today, so long after the fact, we tend to think of rebuilt typewriters as machines that were sold by mail order (to individuals or small offices), by catalogue or else by dealers who wished to either supplant a brand-new high-grade make or else compete with such makes. It’s been largely forgotten that there were, many years ago, retail showrooms for factory rebuilt typewriters.
Above, we see a view of the inside of the Young Typewriter Company retail showroom in about 1926. This retail store was located at 169 N. Dearborn St. in Chicago, and offered a complete line of nothing but “Young Process” rebuilt typewriters to the public. This view comes from a Young trade catalogue in my collection.
Visible on the heavy island display tables in the center of the room are not only standard machines (such as the Underwood No. 3 near the front) but also two Corona No. 3 portables. In other spaces of the store we can see other well-known standard makes such as L. C. Smith – but we can also see in the bottom of the near display table a Smith Premier No. 10. Also, on the back wall at the top is a Hammond Multiplex. There appears to be a wide variety of machines in the cases, although it’s hard to identify all of them. Identification notwithstanding, the view here helps to support the fact that almost any machine made in any real numbers was available somewhere, sometime as a factory rebuilt typewriter – and that you could walk right in off the street and not only see but try out such machines yourself in a long-ago time.