The original patent for the Waverely was applied for in the U.K. on June 6, 1889 by inventors Edward Smith Higgins (1842 - 1923) and Henry Charles Jenkins (1861 - 1937). The United States equivalent, patent no.448,037, was issued to them on March 10, 1891. With financial support from a handful of investors, Waverley Type-Writer, Limited was created to market and produce the machine in April of 1894. The company's factory and main office was established at 51 & 53 Handforth Rd., Clapham, London.
1889 - 1897
Waverley Type-Writer, Limited
London, England, U.K.
Of all the various typewriter brands ever designed, which have probably numbered into the thousands, only four were produced with a rear-downstrike typebar arrangement. In layman's terms, their print elements struck the paper from the rear top. The four brands with this very peculiar arrangement included two made in the United States, the Brooks and Fitch, and two made in the United Kingdom, the North's and Waverley. Though, to be fair, Fitch production was eventually transplanted to the U.K., too.
As with each of the other three rear-downstrike typewriters, the inventors of the Waverley had to address the problem of how a sheet of paper should be fed. Conventional typewriters expelled sheets towards the rear because the typebars struck the platen from the front, but expelling a sheet towards the typebars would not have been functional, as the Waverley would have. With it, Jenkins & Higgins devised a system which fed sheets from the front of the platen, then around it, and finally expelled them into a basket in the front where they coiled.
The company marketed the Waverley as late as April 17, 1897, which was when the ad below was published in the Montgomery County Times. However, because Waverely Typewriter, Limited was too far in debt, it was forced into bankruptcy procedures just a few months later on July 14, 1897. By all accounts, the Waverley was a failure.
You are undoubtedly asking yourself who the two people in the photo below are. They are Roberta and Patrick McCool. The Waverely on this page originally belonged to Patrick's mom, formerly of Merseyside, England. After Patrick inherited her Waverely he was kind enough to offer it to me and, of course, I was all too excited to acquire it. Roberta and Patrick met me in Dublin to make the exchange. Visiting Ireland was in itself incredible -- such a magical place -- but the best part was meeting such wonderful people.
To Roberta and Patrick: Thank you and I wish you both all the best.
And yes, their last name was actually McCool!!!