1930 Oliver 15 #CL4846
Status: My Collection
Created: 08-01-2020 at 11:52AM
Last Edit: 08-08-2020 at 08:59AM
Ever since I started diving into typewriters, the unique Oliver design haunted me. I had to have at least one in my collection! And now here it is, a black British Oliver Model 15, manufactured in 1930, two years after Oliver had started producing typewriters in Great Britain.
It is not uncommon to find an Oliver on eBay at a reasonable price, but, at least for me, the shipping cost to Greece was raising the total price too high. So, you can imagine how happy I was to find this Oliver for sale on a Greek website and very close to where I live (I brought it home on foot). The price was really low and another thing that makes this Oliver special for me is that it has a Greek keyboard - I had never seen an Oliver with Greek keyboard before, on eBay or anywhere.
The machine is in quite good aesthetic condition, fortunately without much rust, but it is non functionable as purchased. Some typebars work, some not, no keys missing, the platen is in good condition as well, but the carriage is not moving at the press of any key. It only responds to the back space, because it is a totally different mechanism. That is why in the pictures you will see the carriage a little bit more on the right, as I was testing the back space and now I cannot move it back. Also, the spring barrel has no cord and the ribbon carrier is crooked - but not damaged. Maybe there are other problems which I cannot see. The serial number appears in two places, on the right of the frame underneath the carriage and on the back of the carriage - you will see both in the last picture.
I am really happy to have this magnificent machine, even as a display piece, but I really hope someday, somehow, with the help of an expert of course, it will become capable of writing again.
Read the linked below article from the Davis Typewriter Works blog, to find out more about the transition from the US Oliver to the British Oliver.
*** UPDATE 8/8/2020 ***
Today I tried the first intense cleaning of the machine. With the help of compressed air dust remover and a very effective engine cleaner spray, I managed to remove the carriage that was not moving at all before and reach more parts of the mechanism for cleaning. I installed a new drawcord and then oiled some crucial parts. Now the carriage advances with the press of keys and the space bar, it moves softly after the oiling and also the tab works fine too. As a result, I managed to get a first typing sample of my Oliver 15 with the use of carbon paper, since it doesn't have ribbon yet.
I am very very happy!! After some time I will repeat the cleaning for even better results, but the next step should be to make all typebars work again - you will understand from the typing sample that not all of them work for now.
Hunter: Dimitris Nikou (dimnikou)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
Writer and art person from Athens, Greece.
My blog: dimitris-nikou.blogspot.com