Williams Typewriters / a gallery featuring machines from Tilman Elster
John Williams' typewriter, to be named after him, was first manufactured in small numbers in 1891 by the Domestic Sewing Machine Company; shortly, the Williams Typewriter Company was formed to contruct and market the machines, building a plant in Derby, Connecticut.  The machine operated by direct-inking, with the type slugs resting on curved ink pads.  Type action raised the type slug off of the ink pad, up and over the print point, and back down again.  The machine had type bar banks both fore and aft of the platen, requiring paper roll cylinders for feed and takeup -- an inconvenient arrangement at best.  Still, the machine remained in production in various models through about 1909, when, after spending money on the design of a front strike "visible," the company became bankrupt.  Its assets were bought by a new company, the Secor Typewriter Company, which was headed by the consulting engineer who had been designing Williams' visible, which appeared as the Secor.
WILLIAMS No. 1 (wide carriage)    s/n 1173  (approx. 1892.)
WILLIAMS No. 1    s/n 5989    (approx. 1892)
WILLIAMS No. 2    s/n 10356  (approx. 1896)
WILLIAMS No. 3    s/n 1874  Constructed on No. 2 frame
WILLIAMS No. 4    s/n 23467
WILLIAMS No. 6    s/n 41716    (approx. 1906)
The Williams No. 4, first offered about 1900, was a step toward modernity with conversion to four-bank single-shift keyboard, and more complete enclosure of the machine for dust protection.  The No. 6 was the final model introduced by the Williams Typewriter Company.
Some Williams machines are labeled as "Williams Academy," seen below.
WILLIAMS ACADEMY (wide carriage)    s/n 7349
WILLIAMS ACADEMY    s/n 16576  (approx. 1898)
(November 2006 addition)   Recently, we had the good fortune here to acquire a typewriter repair manual, which appears to be wholly the product of an individual and not that of a typewriter rebuilder or manufacturer.  In fact, it appears to be something available by mail-order.  The relevant point here is that, in the front of the manual, some descriptions of early typewriter companies are given, and the author states that the Williams Typewriter Company was reorganized as the Secor Typewriter Company.  This supposition had already been made on this website from patent information; this change is now considered fact here and should update information in all other places.  You can see the Secor on this site; click here.