Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Last of the Good Smith Coronas?

As I have said before, it is good to let people know you collect typewriters.  I received the latest addition to my collection from Gail, a Foster Grandparent at my school.  A friend of hers had a Smith Corona Coronet Automatic 12 that she was thinking of taking to the recycling depot.  I'm glad they gave it to me.  My collecting focus is on manual typewriters, but I like this little Coronet.  My guess is that it is from the early 1970's since it has an actual ribbon rather than the slide in cartridge that SCM would introduce around 1973.  I actually took one of those cartridge Smith Coronas to college in the 1980s.  This Coronet takes a lot of cues from the Galaxy 12 and in my mind, is the beginning of the end for Smith Corona typewriters.  It types really well and I could remember what it felt like to type out essays for college on an electric typewriter.  The only issue with this Coronet is that the "Automatic Return" key has jammed, causing the carriage to return again and again.  I wish it had the manual return of the less expensive models.  I wonder if the issue might be solved with a cleaning.  I would welcome any insight on trouble shooting these electrics.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Inspired by an old Remington

Robert Messinger hosts a great blog called oz.Typewriter where he has recently chronicled his restoration of an old 1920's Remington machine.  You should visit his site to see how he has brought this old machine back from the grave.  You should also check out his many, many posts about typewriters.  Look at the picture of Robert amongst his collection.  Now that's a serious collector! I must say, Robert's post has me inspired to tackle the restoration of my very first typewriter, a Remington 12.  This Remington was the one that started it all of when my mother gave it to
me when I was five years old!  As you can see by this picture, I loved that machine.  I still have it but it is definitely showing its age and will need a total restoration.  I plan to write Richard to ask him to describe his restoration in more detail as I would love to find out how he made his old Remington look so fine.  One thought I am contemplating is to respray my machine black as I know I can get Remington decals to replace the ones I will lose.
 But I want to make sure I can find the advertizing emblem from this old Remington which states "To Save Time is
to Lengthen Life." I am not sure if old typewriters can save
time, but having them around makes life enjoyable!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Corona Sterling Streamlined

It's a good idea to let your friends know that you are collecting typewriters.  This is how I found the newest addition to my collection, a 1938 Corona Sterling Streamlined.  I have coveted these machines since I first saw them on some other blogs in the typosphere. This 1938 Corona is the predecessor of my 1950's Silent-Super.  Once you have a great design you stick with it.  My 1938 actually cleaned up easier than the two Super 5's that I have restored with just a little dusting off.  This little machine types great and looks cool with its jet black finish.  

I am really struck by how different this Corona is from Remington 5 Streamline that I gave my daughter as they are both built in 1938.  The biggest difference is the floating shift of the Corona with the type bars moving up and down vs. the carriage shift of the Remington with the whole carriage moving up and down.  But it is more than that.  The Corona feels more evolved from the ribbon spools to the carriage return.  I know I am going to enjoy typing on this "new" machine.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Typewriters for Writers

I want to take a moment to promote a book that been very helpful to me as I've started my typewriter collection: Typewriters for Writers by Scott Schad.  Every typewriter collector and anyone who wants to use a typewriter on a regular basis should get Scott's book.  Scott covers the basic features of a typewriter, how to use a typewriter, how to find a typewriter and how to avoid having a broken typewriter shipped to you. Scott is a typewriter collector himself,  you can tell that Scott loves his machines as he describes the many, many typewriters that make up his own collection.  The title of Scott's book, Typewriters for Writers describes his main focus.  Scott appreciates these machines as tools for writing as well as objects of beauty.  Scott's book will guide you to the perfect writing machine that you can use to create your own novel.