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Edland

First year of production:
1891
Company:
Liberty Manufacturing Company , New York , USA
Serial nr:
none

The Edland is a machine that is so rare, that it is a machine of almost mythical proportions. The machine was designed by one Joe Edland of New York and marketed in 1891 by the Liberty Manufacturing Company of New York. Until quite recently, it was believed that no machines had survived 'in the wild'.

In 1965 American collector and typewriter historian Paul Lippman was informed about the existence of an number of mint Edlands found in a warehouse. In 1965 six machines were acquired by Oregon collector Joe Updegraff, all brand new and wrapped in newspapers. Later some other machines showed up, in two different versions even, with embossed and printed circular indexes.
The total number of Edlands known now (early 2002) is 9 with embossed indexes and 2 with flat indexes.

The Edland was a pretty cheaply made machine, that worked with a daisy wheel (pic 5). The pointer was turned to select the right letter and pressed to print. The shift key in front of the machine could be pressed to the left or to the right for capitals or figures.

An example of the gold painted Edland as it was found in the 1960s (photo: Darryl Rehr - Courtesy: Clark collection)
Cheap as it was, the Edland company certainly had a high esteem of the machine. On the instruction card that is visible on the inside of the lid (pic 1), the Liberty company announces a speed contest to be held on the Edland machine, because it would prove that this was the fastest single key typewriter in the world.

Contestants would have to write a memorized text on the Edland typewriter, viewed by two witnesses. The result had to be notaried and could be sent to the company before Dec 24 1892. The fastest writer would win 50 dollars. Second and third fastest contestants could win 30 and 20 dollars respectively. (pic 6)

Courtesy of: Casillo collection