By the time of the First World War the existence of the rebuilt typewriter industry was not only fully established but undeniable. The major typewriter manufacturers all realized this and reacted sooner or later. Even the minor ones, such as the Fox Typewriter Company, realized this and got into the act. We’ll look at two May, 1916 advertisements from the company (via Google Books) to show their efforts.
The May 1916 issue of Homiletic Review carried the announcement that the Fox Typewriter Company was launching the factory rebuilding of its machines. The ad made a very important point as well – according to the company’s claim, no other company could rebuild Fox typewriters.
Fox made it clear that “the same men who originally built the typewriter do this rebuilding” and that the quality was exactly the same as a new machine. Another ad from the same time period (not shown) made it clear that from 40% to 50% of the machine was brand new when it emerged as a rebuilt machine. An incredible three year guarantee was offered, and it’s also important to note the mail order time payment plan that most rebuilders were offering (and had for years.) The price for the rebuilt No. 24 was $42.00.
The company also simultaneously began offering “slightly used” Fox machines. Here is another ad from the same May 1916 Homiletic Review.
These “slightly used” machines carried the same three year guarantee and were just slightly higher priced than the rebuilts, at $52.50. As can be seen, time payments were also available.
The Fox Typewriter Company had changed hands in 1915, and it’s interesting to observe that after the buyout the company not only entered actively into the rebuilt typewriter business and the second hand business, but also very shortly launched a portable typewriter. As we know today the expansion didn’t assure the company’s permanence, and it folded and liquidated in 1922. But for now, we can certainly add the Fox Typewriter Company to the roster of original equipment manufacturers that also rebuilt machines.