Imperial Good Companion Model T

As every four year-old knows, up there in the loft space, in the dark underneath the tiles, hiding in the shadows, are monsters. Monsters you couldn’t imagine in a lifetime of bad dreams. Monsters just waiting to come down into the light and terrorize your daydreams as well.

I have only a vague idea where this one came from–I think it hitched a ride on a removal van some time–and I didn’t know it was up there. It’s an Imperial “The Good Companion” Model T and has seen some action since it was built in Leicester, probably some time in the 1930s. It doesn’t work, I’m afraid; the carriage return is busted. But it has very nice round keys with inlaid lettering.

Edit. 19 November 2008: More glamour shots below.


21 Comments on “Imperial Good Companion Model T”

  1. […] discovering monsters in the attic I’ve become increasingly fascinated with typewriters and what you can do with them. […]

  2. Cindy says:

    I have the exact typewriter passed down to me by my Dad who is long dead. Its an Imperial “The Good Companion Model T” Made in Leicester England. Mine is in excellent working condition with it’s case and all. Does anyone know if its worth anything.
    South Africa

  3. Chris says:

    I think this one has been played with by children. I unscrewed it from its base and a load of chalks and crayons fell out. And some tiny plastic bananas.

    I have no idea what yours is worth–there must be thousands of them out there still–but it won’t be worthless.

    If it’s working, you could make your own font from the typewriter’s typeface:

  4. […] sounds so good I may just have to take a look at the non-functioning Imperial Good Companion Model T I unearthed last autumn and see if I can fix […]

  5. DUNCAN says:

    Does anyone know if the Imperial Good Companion is worth anything? I have one also, Cindy, and in very good condition too. is there anywhere one can get a valuation in Durban?

  6. Jonathan says:

    I think there very common, a good one might reach £50 at a push. But im no expert and am only giving you the prices iv seen them for sale at.

  7. Chris says:

    I think you’re about right Jonathan. They are lovely objects and they seem older and weirder than they really are because they are such dinosaurs, but there must be thousands of them out there.

  8. Gosia says:

    I have Imperial The Good Companion No.1. is it worth the same £50? What year it might be?

  9. Annabel says:

    I have also just bought one of these at a second hand shop for £35… but it’s low on ink, does anyone have an idea of how to change the ribbon and where sells the best ribbons?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi, did you find a ribbon for your Good Companion Model T? I’ve just bought one and can’t find a ribbon anywhere! Any top-tips would be welcome.

  10. Alex says:

    Just picked a IMPERIAL GOOD COMPANION 1 for £5 at a carboot took it home for a clean and to make sure everything is in good working order which it is only downside is that theres no manual with it 😦 it still has original case brush oil rag and oil bottle and all are in exellent condition.

  11. ADW says:

    Ian Fleming used this model, among others. His Imperial Good Companion appeared in the Fleming exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in 2008.

    • Chris says:

      Did he now? That’s interesting. The way they are built suggests to me a very reliable, solid machine. Very ‘civil service’, which would fit with Fleming.

  12. bright says:

    does anybody know why my Imperial Good Companion Model T has a light brown cork drum rather than the black like all other typewriters?

  13. Kasia says:

    Hi All,
    I have just got “The Good Companion Model T” and would like to get more history of it – would you know where I could serch. Also I would like to service it or get hold of cleaning manual or instructions so I can get it up and running as well as purchanse a new tape for it – could you suggest any where???
    Many thanks,:-)

  14. jim kelly says:

    have one for sale in good order

  15. Lorraine Hunter says:

    My husband also has a typewriter exactly like this one. It belonged to his grandfather. Unfortnately, it was left out in the garage for years and is a bit the worse for wear. Do you happen to know of anywhere where we could get it re-furbished??


    • I’m afraid I don’t, Lorraine, mine isn’t working either. They are relatively common though, so you might be able to find another non-working example for spares and have a go yourself. If it isn’t working now, the worst that can happen is that it still won’t work.