Typewriter Talk

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?



09-2-2018 04:21:55  #1


Has anyone examined the new 'We R Memory Keepers' typewriter - UGH !

As some of you know, I repair typewriters professionally.  I have been waiting a long time to get my hands on one of these machines to see if they are as bad as I have read on the internet.  I have had two in during the last month, one a 'We R' and a second unbranded machine which strongly resembles the old Olympia Carina.  Both are of course made in China using Nakajima tooling.  Well, I wasn't disappointed !  These do plumb new depths and the sad thing is that with a bit of attention to detail it might be a reasonable typewriter.  Not the best, but reasonable.  The first surprise was that the typeface are plastic.  Plastic moulded straight onto the typebars !  No wonder the alignment is all over the place from new, and there is no practical way it can ever be adjusted.  To compensate for the plastic typeface, the platen is very soft rubber.  This is just as well because the feedrolls are made from hard black plastic !  Amazingly it does grip the paper reasonably well.  At least it does when the machines are new (both needed attention at only a couple of months old since there doesn't appear to be any warranty coverage in the UK).  The typebar rest  is hard plastic, which not only makes the machine noisy but also means that the typebars cannot always return properly because the typeface rub on each other in the rest position.  A wire typebar rest enables the arc to be spread a little to avoid this problem.  The platen and anvil (ring and cylinder) adjustment was hopelessly off on both machines, but I found it impossible to get an improvement due to the sloppy manufacture.  Obviously they get the best compromise at the end of the production line and as long as it makes a print on the paper it is deemed good enough.  There are no serial numbers anywhere on these machines - not even a printed label -   so retrospective quality control by tracing batches is completely out of the window.  Needless to say, almost any secondhand typewriter would do a better job.  So, has anyone else seen these and what do they think ?

 

09-2-2018 07:14:59  #2


Re: Has anyone examined the new 'We R Memory Keepers' typewriter - UGH !

Have you had a Royal Epoch (that's what the model is called over here) in your shop? I'd be interested in a comparison. Plastic slugs -- wow, that's a nonstarter. Too bad, since it's a handsome machine.

 

09-2-2018 07:59:58  #3


Re: Has anyone examined the new 'We R Memory Keepers' typewriter - UGH !

I believe that the unbranded machine (sold here by the 'Chums' mail order catalogue) is the same as the Royal Epoch.  More poxy than epoch

     Thread Starter
 

09-2-2018 09:37:11  #4


Re: Has anyone examined the new 'We R Memory Keepers' typewriter - UGH !

I found a thorough review by Richard Polt, and he confirms they're the same mechanical design. But at least the slugs are metal (albeit not properly soldered in all cases): http://writingball.blogspot.com/2017/03/typewriter-review-royal-epoch.html

 

09-2-2018 13:12:03  #5


Re: Has anyone examined the new 'We R Memory Keepers' typewriter - UGH !

Fleetwing wrote:

(albeit not properly soldered in all cases)

Yeah, the type slugs were loose on the one I saw at Michael's. They were metal, but not attached very well. That machine is such a piece of crap. However bad the reviews, it is so much worse.

 

18-2-2018 19:31:42  #6


Re: Has anyone examined the new 'We R Memory Keepers' typewriter - UGH !

The Royal Epoch is featured in the Vermont Country Store catalogue in the States.
https://www.vermontcountrystore.com/searchresults?Ntt=ytpewriter&Nty=1&No=0&Nrpp=12&Rdm=708&searchType=simple&type=search

The catalogue has been in business for many years. It seems to draw response from retirees of both sexes for clothing and underwear, cosmetics and masculine requisites, medical remedies and appliances, candy and baked goods, and analog household appliances. If you were a propmeister setting up a 1950s production ... this is the place.

I buy soap-on-a-rope there. At 83, , I need a soap in the shower that will stay put!
 

 

18-2-2018 23:18:22  #7


Re: Has anyone examined the new 'We R Memory Keepers' typewriter - UGH !

LOL! We get that catalog also. I think you hit the nail on the head about its target market, but they do offer stuff that's good quality and hard to find elsewhere, though I realize the Epoch is an exception to the "good quality" part. Until recently the machines were actually sold under the Vermont Country Store name, but I notice they now are just badged as Royals. (You'd think their target market would still have "real" Royals, Smith-Coronas, etc.up in the attic.)

 

19-2-2018 04:30:16  #8


Re: Has anyone examined the new 'We R Memory Keepers' typewriter - UGH !

The 'Chums' catalogue in the UK is much the same thing, and plays to the same market.  It is actually a division of a much larger mail-order firm, J. D. Williams.  The 'Chums' machine is practically identical to the Royal, except that it is white, not black.  It even has a universal English keyboard with both dollar and pound symbols.  The machine is more expensive in the UK than the states and the cost of replacement ribbons is a total rip-off - twice what Country Store charge.  They are playing on the fact that no local office equipment dealer (and there are very few of those now) would normally stock them and customers could only turn to the original supplier for new ribbons.

     Thread Starter
 

07-4-2018 13:21:47  #9


Re: Has anyone examined the new 'We R Memory Keepers' typewriter - UGH !

I saw one of the We Are Memory Keepers models at a Michael's a few months ago, they had a test machine sitting out. Granted, it had problably been used a lot by customers but it's easy to tell that the construction/fit and finish on those machines is not very good.

 

Yesterday 05:25:50  #10


Re: Has anyone examined the new 'We R Memory Keepers' typewriter - UGH !

If anybody remembers that old post about a Remington being crushed by a hydraulic press, I would be willing to reenact that with a WRMK, as I think that it is not worthy of sale, and is a great disservice to all of the historic typewriter manufacturers.


I am a dangerous man when turned loose with a typewriter.
- Charles Bukowski
 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum

Typewriter Talk