Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Call of the Corona

I had a Corona that had been calling out to me since the fall, a 1940 Corona Sterling three-stripe Speedliner.  I really loved how the Corona decal shone from the black crinkle paint ribbon cover.  But this machine had a fatal flaw, rust that had struck the segment, springs and levers on the 7, J and N keys.  Everything else was fine and I thought I could repair it, but I ended up breaking the linkage on the N key.  I set it aside and let my frustration subside- oh if I had been more patient and had learned about Evapo-Rust sooner.  My Corona sat in a back room calling out to me.  Every time I saw that beautiful ribbon cover I  promised myself I would put it to good use.  I started keeping an eye out for a "parts machine" that could use a new ribbon cover and then I found a 1947 Silent Speedliner that was selling on the cheap because it's ribbon cover had splotches of white-out on it and one corner had some discoloration.  When this new machine arrived I was pleased to find that it was a Pica machine that was in great condition with the exception of the minor cosmetic flaws on its ribbon cover.  No worries, I had a beautiful Corona ribbon cover that was calling out to me!

The rusty fatal flaw!

Not really all that bad!

I can see the Corona 4 heritage with the cover off

Transplant Successful!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Vermont's Spring Type-In is this Saturday, April 30th

I am looking forward to seeing typospherians both young and old at the spring Type-In on April 30th from 10AM - 1:30 PM.  This expanded type-in will be held at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont. Exciting events include:

  • A visit via video by typewriter author Richard Polt.
  • Activities for children based on the book "Click, Clack, Moo."
  • Speed typing contest
  • and more!
Join us with your typewriter or use some of ours!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Machine à écrire Safari

My wife and I took a machine à écrire safari, or, typewriter safari to Montreal, Quebec, Canada this past weekend for my birthday.  How lucky am I that my wife will allow me to drag her to "foreign lands" in search of typewriters.  Traveling to Montreal is a short two hour drive from my home in Vermont.  It's like having Europe next door.  As for the safari, I had scoped out a few shops the day before and was excited to find shops with multiple machines for sale.
This little shop looked promising, especially when I noticed a Corona 3 in the shop window.  But that excitement turned to disappointment when I found that this machine and the Underwood 4-bank inside were listed for hundreds of dollars and the other typewriters in the shop were Brothers for $60.  It was a fun shop, but they knew their "hipster" market.  

The next stop took me to the market street of St. Laurent to a funky shop called La Boutique du Collectionneur.  A local guide calls it a shop that is not for the faint of heart and it boasted a weird and wonderful collection of objects including a selection of typewriters.
Alas, the only machine I was interested in was a Facit until I noticed that it had an AZERTY layout.  I was in Canada's largest French speaking city after all.  I passed on the Facit and the owner told me about an Olympia that he had out back.  It was a wide carriage SM7 with the issue of the top three rows of keys not striking the platen.  I told him that a common issue with Olympias was worn out bushings and sure enough, the rubber on this machine looked pretty crispy.  I have not found this with my own Olympias so I am not sure if the bushings were the problem with this machine. I passed on this machine too.  My patient wife and I moved on to Montreal's museum of fine art and a nice dinner out before we drove back home. This was my first typewriter safari in a big city which, I learned, brought big city prices!