I have an update since I wrote this piece a few days ago. I've been ignoring my sad Smith-Corona and focusing on my Remington Model 1, Noisey Noiseless. Encouraged by the tips I learned from Nelson and Clifford I gave the carriage release spring another try. Both Nelson and I had taken disassembly a bit too far and removed the metal covers on the left end of the carriage only to have the carriage release lever fall out and a spring leap from the typewriter. I didn't know how to reinstall the spring and neither did Nelson. In fact, I had taken this machine to Tom Furrier at Cambridge Typewriter to pick his brain and he admitted it could be done but that it took him a while to figure it out as well. Spurred on by my success with the platen, I gave that spring and cover another shot and....it worked! I have learned a lot from this beautiful Model 1. Previous to my trials and tribulations with the platen and springs, I made my own replacement feed rollers by rounding out the flat sides of the existing rollers and applying rubber strips. Not pretty and not really efficient, but they will stay that way for now. My 1935 Model 1 was ready for a test run. It has come a long way from the day I found it in a local antique shop and struck a bargain for $45 because the platen wouldn't turn.
The librarian at the middle school next to me asked if her students could use my typewriters for their NaNoWriMo project this year. I said yes in a heartbeat and learned so much about the tools students pick for their writing.