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02-1-2018 23:04:24  #1


Anew-comer to this blog with an interest in portable typewriters

I am accumulating mid-century portables whose design I like or that have an external history. I can't seem to find a low-profile US-made and marketed portable. I have the Royal Safari but it loses by comparison with the others in my list (below), even the Olivetti Valentine. From my design POV at any rate. I welcome suggestions for other models I should have, particularly the US. Typewriter design in the US seems to me to follow auto design of that time: bigger is better for the US buyer. I have 5 Hermes (Swiss) - 1933, '37, '47, '62 Babys ( showing design changes as the classic postwar model developed) and a '62 Rocket, the replacement for the Baby. 2 Erikas a '38 S and a '52 9 (German) 1 Olivetti Lettera 22. '52 (Italian) 1 Olivetti Valentine '65 (?) A red heavy larger portable designed by Ettore Sottsass of Memphis* design group in Milan 1 @ ssen TippiGorma KolibriCole-Steel,(German) ... all mid-fifties. The Kolibri was the hidden typewriter in "The Lives of Others" ** 1 Brother '62 first low design in the States. Japanese and sold by Monkey-Ward under the Signature 100 label 1 Royal Safari '64. Looks like the styling on '50-'60 cars. the blue and white color scheme was on my Chevy BelAir. This is my only US Model. 1 Olympia MS9 early '60s - big and heavy but there is an interesting book *** featuring paintings of the typewriter in various moods. (German) You could pack for a long weekend in its' case. I look forward to amy questions and/or suggestions. Dick

 *  https://en.wikipedia...i/Memphis_Group **  https://en.wikipedia...Lives_of_Others ***  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_My_Typewriter

 

03-1-2018 10:24:02  #2


Re: Anew-comer to this blog with an interest in portable typewriters

You have a very interesting and admirable quest, though if I'm reading your post correctly, there seem to be some misconceptions there. 

The Royal Safari is not a single design, but rather a name that was reused by Royal for different designs over the years. If you have one that your consider low-profile, it is the later plastic-bodied one, although the earlier, larger, metal bodied ones are more familiar to us (Your '64 Safari should be one of the larger ones.) I agree the later one loses by comparison with almost anything.

For small US typewriters the Smith-Corona Skyriter is very prominent and common, and even more so is its later plastic-bodied Corsair variation. The Corsair was sold with a large number of other names for the same typewriter. See the discussion at http://typewriterdatabase.com/196x-smith-corona-stenovac.5691.typewriter . You will have to register at the site (free) to read the comments posted. Well worth it.

The Hermes Rocket was not a replacement for the Baby, but simply a marketing name that was used for the Baby in the US. They apparently felt that "Baby" would not appeal to the American buyers. Same machine.

Not sure what you mean by the '62 Brother being the first low design in the States. Please clarify.

Glad to see you're having a fun time!

​EDIT (Uwe): Repaired link.

Last edited by Uwe (04-1-2018 12:59:44)

 

03-1-2018 11:25:10  #3


Re: Anew-comer to this blog with an interest in portable typewriters

Also take a look at the streamlined late 40s Smith Corona portable, such as this Clipper (Uwe's pictures show off its lines to good effect): http://typewriterdatabase.com/1946-smith-corona-clipper.3128.typewriter

 

03-1-2018 12:56:33  #4


Re: Anew-comer to this blog with an interest in portable typewriters

M. Höhne wrote:

.... snip....

For small US typewriters the Smith-Corona Skyriter is very prominent and common, and even more so is its later plastic-bodied Corsair variation. The Corsair was sold with a large number of other names for the same typewriter. See the discussion at <http://typewriterdatabase.com/196x-smith-corona-stenovac.5691.typewriter>. You will have to register at the site (free) to read the comments posted. Well worth it.

.... snip....

Sorry or the non-working link. Algorithms are not so smart as they are made out to be. It should be:   http://typewriterdatabase.com/196x-smith-corona-stenovac.5691.typewriter
 

 

04-1-2018 13:24:05  #5


Re: Anew-comer to this blog with an interest in portable typewriters

That Dick in Hood River wrote:

...I can't seem to find a low-profile US-made and marketed portable.  ...

Prior to the '60s there were a few, some examples have already been mentioned, but ultra-portables were more of a European (and later Japanese) design goal. it's worth keeping in mind that when Brother flooded the market with its budget-priced machines it caused a paradigm shift​ and US manufacturers had to outsource or use factories outside of the States in order to remain competitive.

Not US-made, but made in a US-owned factory and marketed in the US, this pair from Royal: the Royalite (top) and its successor, which was marketed under a few names including this Parade (bottom):
http://typewriterdatabase.com/img/g3944_13948__13948_1419983033.jpg

http://typewriterdatabase.com/img/groyal%20_2898_1406402569.jpg


​Another example of the above scenario, this Remington Premier:
http://typewriterdatabase.com/img/gremington%20_2950_1407266356.jpg


​There are many other examples of these types of models, but off-hand I can't think of one from this era that was made in the US. Underwood was selling rebranded Olivettis, Royal was using machines made in Europe and Japan, Remington too, and Smith-Corona relied on those models that were produced in England. 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

04-1-2018 15:56:31  #6


Re: Anew-comer to this blog with an interest in portable typewriters

Dear All Above who have taken the time to provide me with suggestions, history, corrections, and opinions to my newbie view of what i thought I was doing, THANK YOU!

It is great to be on a blog where so much information is available by simply asking a question, whether dumb or not. This is why I enjoy on Fountainpennetwork. My interests there are much the same: Mid XX century design.

The examples of American branded ultra-portables ( I have learned the correct termof non-US manufacture are handsome indeed. I will  get one just for the example of slow response to consumer demand. WOW, the auto industry is another example of a US catch-up product but with much longer lead times and development/production investment. This is why I have the Montgomery-Ward Signature made by Brother. 

 

     Thread Starter
 

05-1-2018 17:27:33  #7


Re: Anew-comer to this blog with an interest in portable typewriters

I know I buy items based on their design appeal to me. I have read the OZ write up on the design of the 1964 SCM Corsair deluxe, I like the team effort by US/UK designers, the flexibility of the UK manufacturing team, and the design/manufacture goal using plastic for reduced cost. " a last-ditch effort to retain market share", said the OZ write- up. This makes it an interesting piece for me, not as a true collector, but as an appreciator of specific items of a time with good design and a story/history.

I am really interested in the mini-marvels rather than a portable that comes in a suitcase. I have a 1964 Royal Safari that fits the latter description. This SCM, although not made in the States, comes close enough to a product designed for the US. I shall set sail on ebay.

Again, THANK YOU for the information, opinions, references, and histories. This type of quick thorough response is the hallmark of a successful blog!!

     Thread Starter
 

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