11 december 2011

The Williams Typewriter Academy Model No 2 Foolscap

In my last post about the Williams Academy Typewriter, I pointed out that the address stamped on my machine corresponds with the address published in several post-1904 Williams advertisements. This means that the Williams Academy was probably made after 1904, and not in 1898, as previously mentioned on Will Davis' website.

Yesterday, I found an advertisement that was published regularly in the Irish Independent from April till May 1905. As far as I know, this is the only Williams advertisement that mentions the Academy model. The advertisement teaches us a lot about how this machine was marketed at the time (1905): 

"Six months ago we commenced selling our well-known WILLIAMS TYPEWRITER No. 2 at a discount of 40 per Cent from the established price. We not only reduced the price but added some new devices, thereby making the machine a little better than before. To distinguish from previous models we call it the Academy Model"

In the same advertisement, it is pointed out that the Academy model was on hire for 12 shilling and 6 dimes per month (roughly 50 dollars in todays US money). One year later, in 1906, a magazine called "The Shorthand World" placed a Williams advertisement according to which the company would "send a brand new latest model No 2 Williams Typewriter on two months trial at 12/6 per month". The Williams No. 2, however, was introduced in 1897, so it seems a bit weird to talk about it as if - nine years later - it was still the "brand new latest model". I think it is more probable that this advertisement was also about the Williams Academy.

I didn't find similar advertisements in old US papers, but on the internet, I found two pictures of the Williams Academy, made in USA: one on Flickr and the other one in the online Powerhouse Museum Collection.

Ah, and in case you wonder what is Foolscap: here is all you need to know.

Edit: I just received a copy of "Die Schreibmaschine und ihre Entwicklungsgeschichte", written by Ernst Martin (1949), and there it is (p. 129): "1904 erschien eine Neubearbeitung des Modells 2 zum preise von $ 65. Diese Maschine hatte jetzt die Verbesserungen des Modells 4, behielt indessen das dreireihige Tastenfeld bei." 

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