Crandall Universal No.3

1893 - 1896

Crandall Machine Co.

Groton, NY, US

It's often argued that Lucien Stephen Crandall (1844 - 1919) manufactured the most beautiful typewriter ever, the Crandall New Model, which was adorned with scrolls, pinstripes, mother-of-pearl inlay and contoured by a curved two row keyboard. Sadly, the Crandall Universal No.3 was stripped of almost all of those beautiful details. The basic form and functions of the earlier New Model, however, were retained, including the type element: the type sleeve. 

The type sleeve was the cylindrical print element with all of the characters around it. When the typist depressed a key on the keyboard, the type sleeve reacted accordingly by turning and raising so that the desired character struck the platen. It then sprung back to its rest position. Crandall typewriters, thanks to this innovation, earned the distinction of being the first typewriter to be produced with a singular type element. Yes, even before the Hammond type shuttle and before the Blickensderfer typewheel.

With its minimal embellishments, the Universal No.3 may seem quite uninspired in contrast to the New Model. Its "Universal" designation was probably in reference to its keyboard, now a straight, three rows with a double-shift mechanism and QWERTY layout. Besides the keyboard, this model and its predecessors were functionally almost equal. The Universal No.3 was produced for just a few years before being replaced by the Crandall Visible No.4 model.

The Crandall factory had relocated twice after it was initially established in Blodgett Falls, NY; first to Syracuse and then to Groton, both also in NY. From ads I've seem it appears that No.3s were produced in Groton by which time the company's name was changed from Crandall Typewriter Company to the less restrictive Crandall Machine Company. In 1893 Crandall was commissioned to produce the first 1000 Daugherty typewriters. Crandall was also producing Lehigh bicycles at time.

Have a Crandall for sale (any Crandall) or some other Crandall artifact?Please email me at Antikey.Chop@gmail.com or call +1 (860) 729-2252