This is my latest typewriter, bought at the British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electrical Store (!) Yes its a bit of an odd place to find a typewriter. I wasn’t so sure about it first but then I started to think about it and went back to the shop later that day to buy it. It was £50 which is about the going rate for one (according to e-bay). The Good Companion was made from 1932 to 1961. I have no idea how old this one is but I believe typewriters with circular keys are older.

When I went back to the shop to buy it the lady there said she would be really sad to see it go, she really liked it and thought it was very cute. She also told me that it had been there a few weeks and this man came in a few times and tested it, he really wanted to buy it but his wife wouldn’t let him. I told her if the man came in again to tell him it had gone to a good home, where it would be used and loved. It would not be an ornament on a shelf. I felt a bit sorry for the man, apparently his wife had said there wasn’t enough room – she should see my flat!


The instruction book is really lovely and there are very detailed instructions on how to change the ribbon and maintain your typewriter. It does work, like the Underwood I just need to get a ribbon for it and maybe give it some oil – I’m sure the instruction manual will have all the details.

Close up of the crest on the typewriter it says “to the late King George” The style of the telephone above in the manual may also help date the typewriter.

33 thoughts on “Imperial ‘Good Companion’ Model T Portable Typewriter”

  1. After your comment about the crest I've added a picture of it to the post Ronnie. Thanks for pointing it out, I didn't realise it said "to the late King George" on there.

    Thanks Paper Chipmunk. I feel the same way about cast iron nipping presses. I thought I was going to get my hands on one once but then the person who was going to sell it to me said his father was going to keep it and paint it up to use as an 'unusual' garden ornament! Eeeeeeeek!!!

  2. He he Chipmunk. Yes I think nausea is quite an appropriate reaction. Worse than the humiliation of being used as a doorstop, it would also have to endure the bad weather, become horribly rusted and possibly overgrown with weeds.

  3. Craig – when I was looking for information on the Good Companion I read a link that said John Lennon had one. Didn't realise that it went for that much though! How high did the bidding go for the one you were interested in?

  4. That one looks very similar to one we bought recently and I believe the repair guy (it had a crooked hammer and some sticky keys, but nothing serious) told us that it was from 1935. Even the case is similar, although yours seems to have a new clasp.

  5. Thanks Graeme. It good to get an idea about the age of this typewriter. Although the clasp is bright and shiny on closer inspection it doesn't actually look new. I just think this typewriter was very well looked after.

  6. Thanks very much Eddie I have seen this page before but haven't checked it out fully yet. I think my main problem is actually finding the serial number on the typewriter (as with the Underwood). I eventually found a code on top of the typewriter to the left hand side of the spool and had to take out the spool to see it all. It indicates it at 1933 which is close to what Grame said above.

    I am glad you now have a manual too 🙂

  7. It sounds like you've found the serial no., but yours must be later than 1933 – George V didn't die until 1936. From what I gather, that style of machine was introduced during the war. If the manual is original, my guess would be 1940s. (The telephone in the manual is no help though, that style was made for 30 years!)

    Mine dates from 1953.

  8. Eddie I believe you are right. I was looking at the No.1's on the link you sent me (I can't link directly to the page it just goes to the home page). My model number starts 2HF – which comes under the No.2's. Which actually makes it 1951. Thanks so much for your help, it is very much appreciated.

    The only thing that made me think it was an earlier typewriter was the rounded keys. I would have thought a 1950's typewriter would have more modern looking keys.

  9. I also have the exact same model, I collect antiques even though I'm only 20! I buy things that are unusual to display in my home. Very jealous you have an instruction manual though! However, I only paid £10 at a carboot sale 🙂

  10. Hi, ive recently just brought a typewriter just like this and im unsure about where to find the ribbons for it. Would you be able to help with where you supplied yours from? Thanks.

  11. Hi, Does anyone know how much to repair a broken mainspring in a Imperial Good Companion 7 (1964) Its in perfect condition bar this problem.(I'm in South Australia)Cheers Andy

  12. Hi I have a Good companion model t but am struggling to find its year

    The serial number is
    2II 157. Can anyone help

      1. It’s been a long time since I looked. I found my serial number on there or at least an indication of the year of production based on the first few characters. Where did you find the number on the typewriter? Is it two one one at the beginning? It looks like number two and then 2 uppercase i’s

          1. Hello again 🙂 I’ve just realised something after a lot of digging round. The old website that I found my serial number on is gone – if you read the About on here : It explains:
            The old website was:
            I had a look at Web Archive and you can find it –

            Unfortunately I think you would not to have the exact URL of the Imperial page to get the serial number. Sorry about the confusion. I didn’t realise until I read all the comments that it was where I found my serial number.

            The guy who runs the current website is looking for people to submit photos and serial numbers. It looks like no one has submitted Imperial Good Companion 2. From the list on this page:
            It sound like yours is a Good Companion 2. The nearest serial number I can find is under the Model 2 section:
            No. 2
            Codes 2A 1938 Tabulator Model
            Codes 2B to 2I269 1939

          2. Thank you

            I’d be happy to send over photos to twdb but can’t find a contact do you know if there is oNe

  13. A bit more digging around and Google searches too me here:

    I was able to find the URL for the Brandnames page:

    and then searched for this on Web Archive – which takes you here –

    You can click on the link for Imperial

    Unfortunately I can’t get any further from the Imperial page. I am wondering if yours is a 1939? It says:
    Codes 2B to 2I269 1939

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