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The Waverley Typewriter

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 U.S. 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 established in April of 1894 for the purpose of marketing and producing the machine. The company's factory and main office was at 51 & 53 Handforth Rd., Clapham, London.

Waverley Typewriter Ad


1889 - 1897

Waverley Type-Writer, Limited

London, England, U.K.


Of all the various typewriter brands ever designed, which probably number 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. 

Waverley Typewriter Patent

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 most recent ad I was able to locate for Waverley was dated to April 17, 1897 and published in the Montgomery County Times. By then, The Waverely Typewriter, Limited was already too far in debt and 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 (no relation to that McCool). The Waverely on this page originally belonged to Patrick's mom, formerly of Merseyside, England. After Patrick inherited it 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 -- it's such a magical place -- but the best part was meeting such wonderful people.


Roberta & Patrick: Thank you and I wish you both all the best.

The Waverley Typewriter

Comments? Have a Waverley Typewriter for sale? Please email me at or call +1 (860) 729-2252

The Waverley Typewriter
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