For the 1st version was similar to the original patent drawing and was produced with a wood base and flat index. The 2nd version, like the one at the top and bottom of this page, had a metal base and embossed index. Lastly, the 3rd version, the "Typewheel Edland," utilized a typewheel print element, like that of a Blick, as opposed to the first two versions which utilized a daisy wheel like that of a Victor. The Typewheel Edland was covered by patent no.489,072.
1891 - 1893
Liberty Mfg. Co.
New York, NY, U.S.
On July 14, 1891, inventor Joseph Laurentius Edland (1869 - 1949) of 73 4th Ave., Brooklyn, NY, was awarded patent no.456,025 for a typewriter that was such a spectacular failure it was nearly lost to history. Not until 1964, almost 3/4 of a century later, when a few unused Edlands were fortuitously found stashed away in a warehouse in the town of Galway, New York, did anyone expect any would ever surface. Incredibly, despite how nanoscopic the Edland's production run was, no less than 3 distinctly different versions were developed.
Joseph Laurentius Edland
The Edland was neither better nor worse than a number of its contemporaries but why any brand does well while another does not is often debatable and speculative. However, it not being a marketable success is just one of the reasons so few survived. Another is that it was constructed of a cheap, white-metal alloy called pot metal, like the metal of a Keystone's carriage. Pot metal does not survive well and can warp, crack and crumble under the slightest of pressures.
I've found no trace of Edland related advertising outside 1893 and it's fair to assume that production ceased that year. Joseph Laurentius Edland, who anglicized his Swedish middle name to Lawrence, worked as a machinist for the rest of his life and died at the age of 80 with many surviving descendants.
Given how few of these fragile Edlands were sold, it is staggering that 5 or 6 unused examples were found in 1964 in their original wood crates, padded with the crumpled pages of an 1893 newspaper. Paul Lippman, the collector that originally found them, could not come to terms with their seller so he enlisted the help of another collector, Joe Updegraff, who was able. The example on this page is one of those original Edlands. I brought it home from Oregon to Connecticut after purchasing it from collector and friend Frank Drew who purchased it from Joe's estate in 1968. Frank kept invaluable contemporaneous notes so you may read more about the provenance of my Edland in Frank words here...
Want to know how an Edland works? See an original Edland typewriter instruction manual here...
The fellow in the photo holding the Edland is Frank Drew. The date was May 19, 2020 and that was the last time he held the typewriter before passing it on to me. Thanks Frank!