Still Standing

W. H. Young launched the Young Typewriter Company in Chicago in 1911 – a period in which several companies that would become significant rebuilders were launched.  According to a 1926 trade catalog issued by his company, Young had previously achieved success both as “an expert mechanic and a successful salesman.”

The company moved more than once in its lifetime, but its final factory location was 652-654 West Randolph Street, Chicago.  Here we see a photo of the factory in operation from the 1926 Young Process Remanufactured Typewriters trade catalog.

Young Typewriter 652 W Randolph

As with other plants of the day, the Young plant operated on the newer design wherein a single machine did not stay in one spot during its rebuilding by a single expert, but rather was broken down with parts traveling through the plant in streams to later be assembled by a bank of experts.  Below, we see an early phase of the rebuilding operation; a power washing machine was employed to completely clean sections of the machines, already disassembled; they were then dried after this by compressed air.  Although not advertised in the catalog, there is at least one Smith Premier No. 10 and at least one Oliver machine in the cleaning room seen here.

Young Power Washing Machine

We’ll be seeing a lot more of the Young plant and the machines it turned out in future installments; we’ll also meet Mr. Young himself.  What may be surprising is that the building that housed the Young Typewriter Company (which appears to have ended business during the Great Depression) is still standing today.  The photo below, from Google Maps, shows the Young building as the right-most of the two taller buildings at the center of the photo.

652 w randolph chi google maps Young Typewriter

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