I didn’t drive almost 2 hours to Germany just to take pictures of typewriters and collectors (see my previous post). In fact, I carried a list of typewriters that I would possibly buy if the price would be right.
One of the machines on my list was the Daugherty Visible (1893). It’s not only a very nice typewriter to see, it also has historical value for being the very first completely visible typewriter. Unfortunately, there was no Daugherty for sale, but the next best thing was standing on one of the tables: a Pittsburg Visible (1898). This is almost the same machine as the Daugherty, except for carrying another name. The price was right and it seemed complete to me, so I put it in the trunk of my car.
The serial number of my machine is 11985. According to this serial number list around 10 thousand Daugherty’s were made between 1890 and 1898. In or around 1898, the machine was renamed Pittsburg Visible with continuous serial numbers running into 12 thousand. In 1902 the Pittsburg Visible 10 was introduced, with serial numbers ranging from 13 to 23 thousand.
The Pittsburg Visible that was made between 1898 and 1901 (one of which is my machine) is sometimes referred to as the “model no. 9”. This model designation was never put on any machine, but it is used in the serial number list of Burghagen to distinguish this model from the later number 10.
There are some minor differences between the Daugherty and the Pittsburg Visible no. 9 (mainly different decals) and some more important differences between these two typewriters and the Pittsburg No. 10. The number 10 was stronger and a better typer (see Martin 1949, p. 114), and because of the use of normal shift keys it also had a different appearance than the previous models, which had nickeled shift keys. For more differences between the models, see: the Virtual Typewriter Museum.
I still doubt whether I should buy newly made nickeled ribbon spools. At some time, a former owner of this Pittsburg typewriter replaced the original nickeled spools with regular spools. Newly made nickeled replacement spools do exist and would bring the typewriter back to it original appearance, but I am afraid they would look too shiny on my otherwise not so shiny machine.