Good for It

ReTyCo Letter Oct 1909

The letter you see reproduced above was sent by the Rebuilt Typewriter Company in October, 1909.  However, it wasn’t sent to the buyer of a typewriter – it was sent to a reference.

In the days of “typewriters by mail” usually the sellers would ask a buyer purchasing a machine on time payments to provide two or three ‘credit references’ along with the completed order blank and first payment.  This rare letter is proof that at least some of the time the companies did complete the credit check process and ask for assurance that the buyer was ‘good for it.’

Another interesting aspect of this letter, which bears at the top the name of the owner once known as “Grady the Typewriter Man” in the trade, is the variety of brands offered rebuilt at the top left.  Today, most people likely think of common front strike machines like Royal No. 10 and Underwood No. 5 as those offered rebuilt but we see here that in 1909 the Rebuilt Typewriter Company was listing “Smith Premier, Underwood, Remington, Densmore, Hammond, Oliver, Yost and others” as available.  As we will see in many later posts on this blog, the variety of surviving typewriters today that might have been factory rebuilt is far larger than most collectors or enthusiasts realize.