The Oliver No. 1 is an exceedingly rare machine. One offered on eBay in 2013 was withdrawn after bidding topped $6,000, and it is likely the machine was sold offsite for considerably more (Richard Polt commented that the machine may have fetched as much as $15,000! — see here). Only 500 were manufactured between 1893 and 1896, and today, only 10 are held in collections.1
Thomas Oliver, the inventor of this novel machine, offered extensive comments on why the Oliver was so distinctive in The School Journal in 1903. He explained, “That my machine is unique in construction and a departure from all other models employed in typewriting is, no doubt, in large measure, due to the fact that I was not a typewriter operator. Had I been familiar with the use of other machines I should have had my favorite, and, in attempting to construct another, I would have, unconsciously or otherwise, imitated that machine.” (See here for the full article.)
The Oliver No. 1 was introduced in The Illustrated Phonographic World on September 1893 —
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