MOYA 1

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We might effectively begin the Imperial story with the sub-plot of the Moya, since the concern which made the Moya was folded into Imperial at the latter's inception.

Hidalgo Moya invented this type-sleeve machine just after the turn of the century, and it was offered first about 1903.  The machine was rather clever, but also rather clumsy in some respects, and had little success.  Moya, a resourceful engineer familiar with many varieties of typewriter design, quickly improved the machine into the Moya 2 seen next.  This example is serial 1081.
MOYA VISIBLE

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Labeled as "Moya Visible" on the top cover, this Moya 2 (serial no. 7114) displays the revisions to design that allowed the machine to have some sales success in England, as well as license-built success in France and Germany.  Still, the design was not one which lent itself to large market share, as type bar machines were, for the most part, the most well-accepted for general use (particularly in the profitable office machine sector.)  Moya decided to develop a new machine, and obtained working capital from investors.  This led to the formation of the Imperial Typewriter Company in 1908.
IMPERIAL MODEL A

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The machine that began Imperial's production and assured its success.  The downstrike type bar format was not yet antiquated in 1908 in Europe, and this machine was more successful than the Moyas by far.  Serial number 9294; produced 1908-1915.
IMPERIAL MODEL B

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Serial 24759; produced 1915-1921
IMPERIAL MODEL D

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Serial 56773; heavily redesigned version of 1921-1927.
IMPERIAL MODEL D / WIDE CARRIAGE

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Serial number 53731, built about 1919.
IMPERIAL MODEL D PORTABLE

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Light-weight version built 1919-1927.  Serial X55903.
IMPERIAL MODEL D WITH BASKET

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Serial 57900D.
IMPERIAL MODEL 50

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Imperial made the intelligent choice to develop a completely new front-strike four-bank machine when it became clear that the older design was not competitive.  Introduced 1927; this machine is serial 118316, built 1932.
IMPERIAL MODEL 55

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Introduced 1937 and produced along with the Model 50.  Serial number 291486, built 1948.
IMPERIAL MODEL 58

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Introduced 1948.  Serial number 315401X, built 1949.
IMPERIAL MODEL 66

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Introduced in 1954, produced until just after the takeover of Imperial by Litton Industries in 1966.
IMPERIAL GOOD COMPANION NO. 1

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Imperial introduced portable typewriters in 1932, and this 1935 example is typical.  Serial number 5836.
BRITON

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The first body style remained in production a long time, as this 1944 BRITON displays.  Serial FC709.
Left, IMPERIAL GOOD COMPANION 1 and right IMPERIAL GOOD COMPANION MODEL T.  Both Tilman Elster collection. 

This body style first appeared on the Model T in the early 1940's.  Imperial typewriters were built right through the war.
IMPERIAL GOOD COMPANION 4

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This 1961 machine displays the fact that little had changed on these machines over some number of years.  Most of the alteration is cosmetic.  This example is serial 4AP522.
IMPERIAL GOOD COMPANION 6T

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This styling on the Imperial portables appeared right around 1961 but again encloses essentially the same machine.  Serial number 6BB269T.
IMPERIAL MESSENGER

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Imperial finally heavily redesigned their portable typewriter in 1964 -- but it was to be short-lived.  By 1967, it had been dropped, and various other portables brought in by new owner Litton Industries carried the Imperial name forward.  This machine is serial number 8AN142T.
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Click here to see the Imperial standard machines as they transition into the Litton era.
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