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Furthermore, the condition of a typewriter affects its value significantly.
Tony Casillo of TTS Business Products in Garden City, NY, carries many varieties of ribbon and can advise you on the correct spool, ribbon material, etc. He can sometimes provide ribbons in colors other than black or black/red.
In the UK, try Kleen Strike, Brian Rothwell, Office Buddy, or Globe Typewriters (on e Bay). Often, a problem with a manual typewriter can be fixed at home with a little time, a little ingenuity, and some simple tools such as a screwdriver.
For a few tips on mechanical repairs and restoration, see Basic Typewriter Restoration.
If it's not on my list, it dates from after World War II.
Patent dates can tell you that a typewriter was made after a certain date, but sometimes the machine was made quite a few years after the latest patent date.
Electronic typewriters with a daisy wheel date from the 1970s at the earliest.
The monetary value of a typewriter can't be determined precisely, because there are relatively few collectors and the market is always changing.It may take time to find it, and you may need a flashlight.You may need to move the carriage all the way to the left or right and look at the area revealed (especially on Royals); lift up the ribbon cover and peer at the inner frame of the machine (especially on Smith-Corona portables and '50s Remington portables); look in a corner of the slotted panel behind the keyboard (earlier Remington portables); or look at the bottom of the typewriter.Typewriter ribbons are still being made and are not too hard to find.Almost all manual typewriters use half-inch-wide ribbons, and most typewriters can use dual-color ribbons (such as red and black), so look for one of those -- they look nice and can be useful.I cannot give you any expert advice, but I have a list of repair shops around the world that will work on manual typewriters.