Of the Gladstones that have been found thus far, their serial numbers range from about 6,100 to 13,000. These numbers seem to indicate that they were produced inline with the Edelmann. Also based on these numbers, but without concrete evidence, I assume it was A. Greff & Co. of Frankfurt that manufactured the Gladstone, ca.1905, as that was the company producing the Edelmann at the time.

What's even more amazing is that this Gladstone has managed to survive at all. During WWII, the company of Putzeys & Mélot were very active resistance fighters against the Nazi regime, in particular with the printing of anti-Nazi newspapers and leaflets. The flag seen on this page was painted by a member of the Mélot family. It is a representation of the Coq Wallon, the symbol of Wallonia, a French-speaking region of Belgium, crushing the Nazi swastika. This very flag was hoisted at 3 Place Saint-Pholien on September 7, 1944, the day the American troops liberated Liège.

Today there are no remaining markers of the Putzeys & Mélot firm where the business was once located. In its place, at 3 Place Saint-Pholien, is a street-level shop currently occupied by a nail salon with apartments overhead.

Gladstone Typewriter

ca.1905

A. Greff & Co.

Frankfurt, Germany

The Gladstone is a rebranded, German-made Edelmann typewriter. The prevailing theory is that it was produced for markets outside Germany as was another of the Edelmann's name variants, the Columbia. What isn't known is why the name "Gladstone' was chosen and for which markets specifically. Thus far I've found no supporting ads, artifacts or other ephemera for the Gladstone which, quite honestly, is peculiar.

The example on this page, serial numbered 13,011, belonged to Paul Mélot of Belgium before he entrusted me with it. Paul's ancestor, Léon Mélot (1874 - 1949), founded the Putzeys & Mélot company at 3 Place Saint-Pholien in Liège at the turn of the 20th century. It was a well known manufacturer of various scales until it closed in 1970. The Gladstone typewriter was used by the company for clerical work probably since it was manufactured and it stayed with the family ever since.

As I've already stated, it's amazing that the Gladstone survived and with the same family through some of the darkest times in modern history. But it isn't the typewriter's survival that is most important because by itself it is just pieces of metal and wood. It is the stories and the first-hand historical recollections, like that of the Mélot family, that are of utmost importance.

Regarding the Gladstone model, I would love to find any supporting documentation for the typewriter such as an old ad, instruction manual or trade catalog. Please reach out if you have something. 

Comments? Have a Gladstone Typewriter for sale? Email me at Antikey.Chop@gmail.com or call +1 (860) 729-2252
 

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