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21-2-2018 12:32:07  #1


Remington Portables

Hi there,

So, I've been reading up on Remington portables and I had a few questions for anyone who would be willing to impart what they know upon me. Whatever thoughts and advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated. 

My first question is, besides the Brother-made machines, did Remington make anything that would qualify as an Ultra-portable? My first thought was of the Remette, which looks small, but I've never actually seen one up close.

My second question has to do with the differences between the early portable designs. I understand that the Portable 5 design is slightly larger than the 3 and 4 designs, which themselves looks roughly similar in size to the 1 and 2. --Could anyone comment on the size difference between these three design phases. 

I know all three of the designs I just mentioned use similar geared type bars, but obviously the type bars on the 1 and 2, with the way they are raised up, have to travel a shorter distance to strike the platen. Does this seem to provide a significant difference in the typing "feel" between the 1/2 and the 3/4/5? I had an early Portable 2, but I can't for the life of me recall how well it typed. (I didn't have it very long. Regardless of what I like about the rest of the design, the naked type bars standing in front of you like a wide jaw with too many teeth just doesn't work for me.)

Thanks!


There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. -- Ernest Hemingway
 

24-2-2018 07:53:51  #2


Re: Remington Portables

Tricnomistal, I cannot really answer your first question, but I can help with your second question.
I have owned a model 2 portable for a couple of years now and have always liked it. To me it has a fairly light action. Recently, I was able to type a little on several model 3 portables and (depending on the machine) they seemed a little more solid or roughly the same as the 2. I think it has to do with age of the machine and how much use it got. I did test a couple of 5s, the earlier boxy style, and they seem quite solid while typing. Again it all has to do with the condition of the machine.
Also, though I have never seen a model 4, they are the same as the model 3, only they have a settable tabulator unlike the paragraph key on most Remington portables.

Hope this helps.
OliverNo.9

 

25-2-2018 21:05:38  #3


Re: Remington Portables

OliverNo.9 wrote:

Tricnomistal, I cannot really answer your first question, but I can help with your second question.
I have owned a model 2 portable for a couple of years now and have always liked it. To me it has a fairly light action. Recently, I was able to type a little on several model 3 portables and (depending on the machine) they seemed a little more solid or roughly the same as the 2. I think it has to do with age of the machine and how much use it got. I did test a couple of 5s, the earlier boxy style, and they seem quite solid while typing. Again it all has to do with the condition of the machine.
Also, though I have never seen a model 4, they are the same as the model 3, only they have a settable tabulator unlike the paragraph key on most Remington portables.

Hope this helps.
OliverNo.9

 
Thanks for the input! I'm grateful for whatever opions people offer. If you recall, do the 5's seem noticeably larger than your portable 2?


There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. -- Ernest Hemingway
     Thread Starter
 

25-2-2018 23:10:50  #4


Re: Remington Portables

Hi Tricnomistal

​The 1950's Travel-Riters were smaller than the Quiet-Riters, but I would not really call them a travel typewriters. One could call the Remington Bantam a very portable machine, albeit not very practical for everyday writing. I think you'll find the only time that Remington sold ultra portable, or travel typewriters was when the mostly plastic Dutch built Envoys, Streamliners, Ten-Forty's  and similar machines came on the market in the 1970's to compete with the worldwide flood of Japanese typewriters. Just my thoughts,

​Sky

 

26-2-2018 00:23:28  #5


Re: Remington Portables

skywatcher wrote:

I think you'll find the only time that Remington sold ultra portable, or travel typewriters was when the mostly plastic Dutch built Envoys, Streamliners, Ten-Forty's  and similar machines came on the market in the 1970's to compete with the worldwide flood of Japanese typewriters. Just my thoughts,

​Sky[/color]

 
That's sort of the impression I got reading up on them. I wonder why they didn't target that segment of the market as much as other brands. Thanks for the input!


There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. -- Ernest Hemingway
     Thread Starter
 

27-2-2018 06:11:06  #6


Re: Remington Portables

The Remette is a small machine, but man it's a rough typewriter to use. I had a 1938 model. I also had a late 1930s Portable, but it had no number designation on it.
Both of these machines had the laying down straight typebars. They didn't have to travel the same distance to the platen as a standard type bar arrangement, but they were plenty loud just the same. The Remette has no bell and it's a fairly small typewriter, less than twelve inches across in both vertical and horizontal measurement.
If you Google "teeritz Remette" and "teeritz Remington portable", you'll land on my write-ups of these typewriters on my blog.
Personally, if you want ultra-portable and you're not 100% stuck on Remington, go for a Skyriter with the long return lever. Find one in good condition and they're an absolute pleasure to use.
Best of luck!


My blog, about typewriters,wristwatches, fountain pens, Bond, and whatever else happens to be polluting my mind at any given time;
---->   http://teeritz.blogspot.com.au
 

27-2-2018 08:57:06  #7


Re: Remington Portables

teeritz wrote:

The Remette is a small machine, but man it's a rough typewriter to use. I had a 1938 model. I also had a late 1930s Portable, but it had no number designation on it.
Both of these machines had the laying down straight typebars. They didn't have to travel the same distance to the platen as a standard type bar arrangement, but they were plenty loud just the same. The Remette has no bell and it's a fairly small typewriter, less than twelve inches across in both vertical and horizontal measurement.
If you Google "teeritz Remette" and "teeritz Remington portable", you'll land on my write-ups of these typewriters on my blog.
Personally, if you want ultra-portable and you're not 100% stuck on Remington, go for a Skyriter with the long return lever. Find one in good condition and they're an absolute pleasure to use.
Best of luck!

 
Thanks for the advice! I'll be sure to check out your blog.


There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. -- Ernest Hemingway
     Thread Starter
 

27-2-2018 12:05:35  #8


Re: Remington Portables

teeritz wrote:

The Remette is a small machine, but man it's a rough typewriter to use. I had a 1938 model. I also had a late 1930s Portable, but it had no number designation on it.
Both of these machines had the laying down straight typebars. They didn't have to travel the same distance to the platen as a standard type bar arrangement, but they were plenty loud just the same. The Remette has no bell and it's a fairly small typewriter, less than twelve inches across in both vertical and horizontal measurement.
If you Google "teeritz Remette" and "teeritz Remington portable", you'll land on my write-ups of these typewriters on my blog.
Personally, if you want ultra-portable and you're not 100% stuck on Remington, go for a Skyriter with the long return lever. Find one in good condition and they're an absolute pleasure to use.
Best of luck!

Quick question, just for clarity: In your blog posts for both machines you describe them as working like "old farm tractors." As a writer, I appreciate the interesting simile, but my knowledge of farm tractors is limited, so would you mind illuminating what you mean by that? 


There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. -- Ernest Hemingway
     Thread Starter
 

28-2-2018 05:29:06  #9


Re: Remington Portables

tricnomistal wrote:

Quick question, just for clarity: In your blog posts for both machines you describe them as working like "old farm tractors." As a writer, I appreciate the interesting simile, but my knowledge of farm tractors is limited, so would you mind illuminating what you mean by that? 

Because both machines are 80 years old, they make a racket when you type on them. Whereas something from the 1950s, such as an Olympia SM model for example, might have type-bars that hit the page/platen with a sharp 'thwack', the Remette sounded a lot louder, almost like a motorbike trying to start, or putting a sheet of tin into a paper shredder. Not that I've tried that, mind you. The other Remington was similar. Everything sounded rough on these typewriters.
By contrast, my 1936 Smith-Corona Standard has a 'leaden' feel to it when you type on it, with a half-hearted 'tink!' at the end of each line as though the bell suddenly remembered what it's there for, but can't be bothered doing its job, just the same. Ooh, I'm getting slightly Chandleresque. Which is a good thing. 

And don't worry, I grew up nowhere near a farm, but I wanted to stress the fact that these two typewriters ran like any other machine that was eight decades old. I think much of it has to do with the ageing of the platen rubber. After 80 years, it's almost as hard as steel. I suppose the same could be said about the rest of the rubber used on these machines. It becomes like hard plastic over the years.

If they had a snappy action to them back in 1938, that was a long time ago.

I hope this helps, and best of luck with your decision/hunt.
 


My blog, about typewriters,wristwatches, fountain pens, Bond, and whatever else happens to be polluting my mind at any given time;
---->   http://teeritz.blogspot.com.au
 

28-2-2018 22:54:30  #10


Re: Remington Portables

teeritz wrote:

tricnomistal wrote:

Quick question, just for clarity: In your blog posts for both machines you describe them as working like "old farm tractors." As a writer, I appreciate the interesting simile, but my knowledge of farm tractors is limited, so would you mind illuminating what you mean by that? 

Because both machines are 80 years old, they make a racket when you type on them. Whereas something from the 1950s, such as an Olympia SM model for example, might have type-bars that hit the page/platen with a sharp 'thwack', the Remette sounded a lot louder, almost like a motorbike trying to start, or putting a sheet of tin into a paper shredder. Not that I've tried that, mind you. The other Remington was similar. Everything sounded rough on these typewriters.
By contrast, my 1936 Smith-Corona Standard has a 'leaden' feel to it when you type on it, with a half-hearted 'tink!' at the end of each line as though the bell suddenly remembered what it's there for, but can't be bothered doing its job, just the same. Ooh, I'm getting slightly Chandleresque. Which is a good thing. 

And don't worry, I grew up nowhere near a farm, but I wanted to stress the fact that these two typewriters ran like any other machine that was eight decades old. I think much of it has to do with the ageing of the platen rubber. After 80 years, it's almost as hard as steel. I suppose the same could be said about the rest of the rubber used on these machines. It becomes like hard plastic over the years.

If they had a snappy action to them back in 1938, that was a long time ago.

I hope this helps, and best of luck with your decision/hunt.
 

 
Excellent description. Thanks for the advice. I already have a streamline Remington 5, and I have the platen and feed rollers out to JJ Short for recovery now. I agree that it does make a decent bit of noise--both the typebars hitting and the rattling of the mechanisms. I'm doing quite a bit of cleaning/adjusting/tightening on it, so hopefully that brings down some of the noise.


There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. -- Ernest Hemingway
     Thread Starter
 

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