This Oliver was made in 1903, Teddy Roosevelt was president at that time, Cuba just leased Guantanamo Bay to the United States and the Wright Brothers were working on their airplane in preparation for their first flight in December of that year.
In Chicago the Oliver Typewriter company produced this fine machine and it is still in excellent cosmetic and mechanical condition. Any antiques from this era are popular and rare in this condition. It's serial number is 117564.
This Oliver No. 3 has been professionally cleaned and lubricated. The carriage has been completely disassembled and the rollers have been recovered as well as new rubber on the platen.-VERY SMOOTH. The carriage bearings have been cleaned and inspected. The type bars have been cleaned of all dried ink and crud. No adjustments were needed, it types as it should and everything works – more on that later. The original carriage return strap has been replaced with a stainless cable so it will last a very long time No.3’s are quite rare in this condition and I would not subject this one to heavy daily use like a No. 5 or a number 9 because of its rarity and historical significance.
There is a new ribbon installed as well. (Ribbons are readily available for this model; so do not worry that you will not be able to buy replacements I always have some available if the winning bidder is interested in purchasing some extras.)
This machine will last another century if properly maintained Oliver’s were built to last and they do, I use one every day, it is very handy to have a manual typewriter they can do things that computer printers and inkjets cannot.
This machine was obtained from an older Amish gentleman in Pennsylvania after considerable and intense negotiations that also included a replacement Oliver. When I saw that it typed perfectly and required no adjustments I looked up the serial number and found it was serviced by my Dad back in the late 50’s it was owned by a different person back then but it has been stored and used properly for the last 106 years. It is funny how things come back around.
When typing with an Oliver it is a thrill to watch the type bars swing down and type this machine should give you many good years of service. Or you could just look at it, as it is a great conversation piece; you can enjoy demonstrating it to visitors who always express a lot of surprise that an object as ordinary as a typewriter can be really cool. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
It has the original case and it is relatively dent free, the wood base is in decent shape too. I will also include a set of the original wooden ribbon spools to go with this fine historical machine that you can use if you choose to.
I have restored hundreds of Oliver’s if you have any parts for sale, need parts, interested in a trade in or in need of routine maintenance feel free to contact me.
One common question I get is why is it so important to replace the platen and rollers? If the platen is hard and cracked you could ruin the typefaces, there is a lot of mechanical advantage built into these machines a light push of the keys puts a healthy whack on the paper (it takes some practice to use a manual typewriter) and the rollers make everything roll smooth. If the rollers are hard or have flat spots the paper will move around on you as you type – not good.
If you have any questions feel free to ask.