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British Olivers

British Olivers paragraph.

Oliver No. 15 (Generation I)
Oliver No. 15
Serial number L4238 | Made around 1930
Sirvent collection

The first models manufactured by the Oliver Typewriter Manufacturing Company in England were the Oliver Nos. 15 and No. 16. These British Oliver models have the same gloss black finish introduced on the Oliver 11 and 12. The most noticeable improvement was made to the ribbon holder lids - they are now flat and pivotable, presumably so that they would not get lost. Unfortunately, it took over a dozen Oliver models for this improvement to be made.

Some lists show a serial number range for the Oliver No. 15 being LA001 to LA7000. However, this is incorrect. The serial numbers start with an "LC" prefix, but the "C" was later dropped.

Improvement/Introduction
Serial Number
Date
LC001
1928
LC1252
"C" dropped from serial number
L3169
L4238
1933

Oliver No. 16
Oliver No. 16
Serial number R1188 | Made around 1929
Dutch keyboard

The Oliver No. 16 is the export version of the Oliver No. 15. Just like the export models produced in the United States, this machine is identical to its previous odd-numbered counterpart (the Oliver 15) with the exception of the four additional keys and wider base.

The Oliver No. 16 serial numbers have an "R" prefix. It is unclear as to whether these numbers are intermixed with the Oliver No. 15's serial numbers or not. The first Oliver 16 may be R1001.

Serial Number
Date
R1001?
1928
R1001
R1399
1933

Oliver No. 20
Oliver No. 20
Serial number ------ | Made in 19--

In 1935, the British Oliver Manufacturing Company begain selling the Halda-Norden 5 rebranded as the Oliver No. 20. Some Oliver 20 machines are olive green but most are black.

It is unknown exactly how many Oliver 20 machines were produced. This is because the serial number count restarted every year. Note that the first two digits of the serial number determine the year of production ("35" for 1935, "36" for 1936, and so on).

Serial Number
Date
350001
1935
-
1935
360001
1936
-
1936
370001
1937
-
1937
380001
1938
-
1938
390001
1939
-
1939
400001
1940
-
1940
410001
1941
-
1941
420001
1942
-
1942
430001
1943
-
1943
440001
1944
-
1944
450001
1945
-
1945
460001
1946
-
1946
470001
1947
478017
1947
-
1947
480001
1948
489766
1948
-
1948
490001
1949
4911400
1949
500001
1950
-
1950
Similar Models
Oliver No. 21

Oliver No. 15 (Generation II)
Oliver No. 15
Serial number CS15326 | Made around 1938

During production of the Oliver No. 21, the Oliver Typewriter Manufacturing Company reintroduced the Oliver No. 15 for the British Government. (Note that the Oliver No. 16 was not reintroduced.) This second generation of Oliver 15 machines were painted matte black with a crinkle finish, which is sometimes referred to as the "war finish".

This second generation of Oliver 15 machines started a new line of serial numbers, each with a two-letter prefix. The known prefixes are listed in the table below.

Serial Number
Date
CA001?
1938?
CA458?
CL6947
CL8623
-
CO15105
-
CS15326
1938?
CS15608
1938?
-
CT19083
CT20000
1939
EA20001
1939
EA24750
1940
EB24751
1940
EB28350
1941
EC28351
1941
EC31350
1942
ED31351
1942
ED31800
1943
ED31801
1943
EE34050
1944
EE34150
1944
EF34151
1945
EF34259
1945
EG34260
1946
EG34389
1947
EH34390
1947

Oliver No. 21
Oliver No. 21
Serial number 021-4978 | Made in 1950

The Oliver No. 21 was the last desktop typewriter offered by the British Oliver Manufacturing Company. It is a rebranded Halda 6. Most Oliver 21 machines are black but some are grey.

The Oliver No. 21 serial numbers incorporate the year of production and the model number. The first digit is the last digit of the year of production, and the second and third digits are always 21. In 1950, the serial number count reset from 1949 and began at zero. From then on, the count continued over from each previous year.

Serial Number
Date
921-0001
1949
921-9999
1949
021-0000
1950
021-9999
1950
121-10000
1951
121-11149
1951
221-11500
1952
221-15700
1952
321-15701
1953
321-17279
1953
421-17280
1954
421-18849
1954
521-18850
1955
521-20299
1955
621-20300
1956
621-21553
1956
721-21554
1957
721-22428
1957
821-22429
1958
821-23334
1958
921-23335
1959
921-23490
May 1959
Similar Models
Oliver No. 20

Remodelled Oliver
Remodelled Oliver
Serial number RM10642 | Made between 1915-1922

At some point, the British Oliver Manufacturing Company was remodelling Oliver No. 9 machines in the style of Oliver 11 machines- black with gold pinstriping. They most likely remodelled these machines anywhere between shortly after they opened in 1928 to the end of production of the Oliver Nos. 15 (Generation I) and 16 in 1933. I have never seen any other Oliver remodelled besides the Oliver 9.

The remodelled Olivers were given a new serial number in place of the old one. The new number has the prefix "RM", meaning "remodelled". I only know two serial numbers of remodelled Olivers, both listed in the table below. It is possible they started at serial number RM10001.

Serial Number
Date
RM10001?
1928?
RM10305
RM10642
1933?

Oliver Portables

The British Oliver Manufacturing Company sold many different European portables under the Oliver name.

Click here to see the Oliver Portables.

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