Like the Original

The front of a small flyer published by the Pittsburgh Typewriter and Supply Company in about 1918 points out something many don’t realize today about rebuilt typewriters.

Pittsburgh Typ 1918 flyer

The guarantee made by this company includes the promise that each typewriter the company sells was not only rebuilt to run like new but “To Look Like New.”  It’s a fact that the rebuilders of the early years (say, before the 1930’s) worked extremely hard in most cases to ensure that the rebuilt machines looked exactly like they had originally looked when first manufactured.  That meant that the companies acquired the right decals, duplicated the pin-striping and paint, and duplicated the key top legends so that the rebuilt product couldn’t be distinguished except perhaps by an expert — and, maybe, not even then.

We’ll see much more evidence of this effort to duplicate in later posts (and reveal how that was all done) but for now, it’s important for today’s enthusiasts to realize that very many of the typewriters found, offered for sale, and displayed “surely in perfect original paint” are not nearly all “original paint” but in fact carefully reproduced, like-new finish applied by careful and thorough rebuilders.