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Odell 1b

First year of production:
Odell's Typewrite Company , Chicago , USA
Serial nr:

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 remarkable round base.

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

Tye bar holding the type was loose inside the rail (pic 5) and could easily slide out of the machine. Many Odells are found today, missing 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 platen moved forward one space. A space was produced by pushing down the top handle of the two that were fixed alongside the platen. 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 (just north of the Illinois
border). 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).

Courtesy of: Costa collection