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Antique O Dells Victorian Typewriter

  • $ 1,19500

Antique O Dells typewriter. Original Victorian cast iron American made typewriter with original working slide bar. This rare model 1b of the O Dells was made in the early 1890's in Chicago, ill has its original bar return bell. Not sure if this was originally nickel plated as other late models were.

Brass plaque:
O Dells Typewriter, PATD MAR 5 1889, OCT 7 1889
MFD by Odell Type Writer Co
Chicago, Illinois

The Odell typewriter was a linear index writer that appeared in 1889, originally with a straight base that had little feet on the corners. Soon a new model appeared (known as the Odell 1b that is presented here) with a ornate base.

The machine was used by sliding the bar with the brass type on it along the rail until the pointer met the correct letter. Printing was done by pressing the entire rail down onto the paper.

The bar holding the type was not locked inside the rail (pic 5) and could easily slide out of the machine which often resulted in the loss of the type bar.

Ink was provided by an ink roller that was attached under the type bar with a spring that pushed it up. On printing the paper moved forward one space. A space was produced by pushing down the top handle of the two that were fixed alongside the paper. By lifting the bottom handle, the carriage was released and could be moved back to the beginning of the line.

In total, 6 Odell models were produced. All later models (Odell 2-5) had a round base like the number 1b, but with a different decoration. The Odell 1 wrote capitals only. On later models the type bar could be toppled to write caps or lower case letters.

The original Odell was manufactured byt the Type Writer Co. in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin . It was later manufactured in the round-base form at Momence by Odell and then by Odell-Young Co, in Momence, Illinois (either before or after the move). The last versions were manufactured by a new company,America Company of Momence, Illinois. In 1906 The America company sold the last machine to carry the Odell name: the Odell 5. Soon after, the modernized International, or New American Typewriter appeared (see International).

A great addition to your antique typewriter collection. This would make a great gift for a birthday or christmas gift.


Item measures 11.5“ wide by 11" deep by 5“ tall and weighs 5lb 7oz.


In good working condition with signs of use commensurate with age (please see all pictures as they form part of the condition description).

Shop Ref: Box No. 3


Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions about this item.

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