Typewriter Talk

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



23-3-2013 11:43:25  #1


Recent Acquisitions Thread

Let's hear about your most recent buy, whether its a treasure that you just stumbled upon at a yard sale or one that just arrived in the mail from overseas. Where did you find it? How much did you pay? What are your first impressions? And remember, without photos it didn't really happen! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png


Now let's see your newest pride and joy!


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

23-3-2013 13:49:07  #2


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

Uwe, I would love to share my typewriters with everyone here but I have one problem:  Photobucket was where I had many photos stored and where I easily stored new photos.  But Photobucket has changed their format where it no longer is pleasant to use so I need to find another host.  I don't suppose there is any way to post photos on this forum without having a host or a link, is there?  Really wish there was an easy way to post my photos until such time as I find a new and suitable photo host.
 

 

23-3-2013 14:11:57  #3


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

Steve Stephens wrote:

I don't suppose there is any way to post photos on this forum without having a host or a link, is there?  Really wish there was an easy way to post my photos until such time as I find a new and suitable photo host. 

Steve, this we can't upload images to this forum's servers because it's a free hosting service, but I believe that uploads are available as part of a pay-to-use upgrade package. Maybe we'll go that route and  provide members here a few more functions one day, but first we'll have to see how much traffic TT generates.

I'd suggest using either Flickr (Yahoo) or Picasa Web (Google). Both are free and it only takes a couple of minutes to set everything up.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
     Thread Starter
 

23-3-2013 16:15:02  #4


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

Today was a good day for buying a typewriter. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png


In response to a local Kijiji ad, I got up earlier than normal this morning to be the first at the door for a house contents sale. The ad for the sale promised "six antique typewriters" would be available, and although it was accompanied by a poorly taken photo, it was enough to entice me into an uptown drive to take a look.

When I pulled onto the street, a good five minutes before the sale's official start time, I was horrified at the sight of dozens of parked cars surrounding the house. Was I already too late? Having been beaten just yesterday to another advertised typewriter by another member of TT, I was a little paranoid that other typewriter collectors had arrived before me.

A quick scan of the items for sale in the house proved fruitless; I was convinced that all six typers had already been sold. I meekly asked one of the ladies conducting the event if there were any typewriters left. "Oh sure, they're all in that back room over there," she indicated with a nod of her head. Sure enough, as I walked inside the hidden room I found four typers nicely lined up for inspection on a wooden shelf.

It only took a few minutes for me to eliminate the ones that I'd seen in the ad's photo. The first of the two big full-size machines, an Underwood, had quite a few keys not properly reposed and generally looked to be in rough shape. The Remington next to it was even worse. Nothing on the machine seemed to work properly and it was obvious that it required a lot of work. Had the asking price for either of them been $15 or less, I would have bought them, but each had a price sticker with $190 written on it. I laughed out loud a little and moved on. The third machine was a '50s Smith-Corona, some Super-5 model. I already have four similar to it and definitely wasn't after another, especially not this one with its green keys that had turned white from plastic degradation. The last one was a small portable SCM that looked junky. I already own a Pride Line model and one is enough for me.

At this point I felt that I'd wasted my time and started to leave the room. It was then that I noticed two typewriter boxes at the opposite end of the shelf. Did they actually have typers in them? I opened the first and groaned. No markings of any kind, all plastic, and badly beaten with an ugly stick; you would have had to pay me - a lot - to take that one. Then I opened the last box - half expecting more bad news. BINGO! Although it was upside down in the case (why does that happen so often), there in front of me was a good looking example of an Underwood Champion.

I removed the typer from its case and looked it over. Superficially, everything seemed to be in order, so I slipped in a sheet of paper that I had brought with me and started typing. Everything seemed to work and checked the case for its price tag: $120. I laughed again. Another shopper standing next to me asked what the joke was. "The prices," I replied. "Too many people assume that if something is old that it has to be worth a fortune." He understood. Apparently he was a collector too, only his interest was in antique toys and he mentioned that he often experiences the same problem.

Approaching the woman who had directed me to the cache of typers, I asked who had set the prices for the typewriters. "I did," she said, "why, is there something wrong with them?" I smiled, and gently said, "they're rather steep for what you're selling." I pointed toward the Underwood that I'd pulled off the shelf. "I can give you $50 - tops - for this machine," I stated with a shrug of my shoulders. "Sold," she answered quickly, "but you're not going to rip the keys off of it are you?" I was both surprised and impressed by her comment. "I'm not a keychopper, I can promise you that," I explained before telling her that I collected these things and that this particular Underwood would not only be used, but also treated with love and respect.

After returning home I gave the typewriter a more thorough test, and was happy to discover that it worked flawlessly. Even its ribbon still provided a solid black impression. Most shocking though was how well it typed; this Underwood might actually have the best action of any machine I own, and that's saying a lot. Its keys depress smoothly with minimal pressure and snap their slug upward with such a quick response that it provides a most satisfying report, which makes the machine sing once your fingers get up to speed.

Looking up its serial number determined that it was a 1942 model, the final year for the Champion before a three-year break in production caused by World War II. It might be a little premature for such a claim, but at the moment it feels as though this was the best $50 I've ever spent on a typewriter.


1942 Underwood Champion ($50 CDN from a house contents sale in Toronto, Canada)
http://www.vorg.com/typers/Underwood_Champion_Overview.JPG


"To save time is to lengthen life."
     Thread Starter
 

23-3-2013 18:35:00  #5


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

My first, and only so far, arrived this week : "Brother Correction 100".  Needs a new ink-tape and the E key has a slight bend, but other wise in great shape for it's age.
http://gallery.photo.net/photo/17074635-md.jpg


One who learned to type BEFORE typewriters were electric http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cool.gif
 

25-3-2013 00:12:03  #6


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

I was on my computer this afternoon when I thought about the Royal flatbed I was going to bid on.  Hey, I didn't receive an email that I won or didn't win it so I looked at the item and it had 52 seconds left to go.  I watched the countdown, saw another bidder come in at the last moment but my snipe bid held and I won it.

I've been looking for a Royal Standard for some time now and, specifically, an early one such as this which was probably made during Royal's first year, 1906.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-ANTIQUE-ROYAL-STANDARD-FLATBED-STAIRCASE-TYPEWRITER-/350740589124?nma=true&si=tKKuwpR9dmzZLrugN0YMX7F08Fk%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

The one missing key worries me a bit and hopefully can be sourced and attached.  The keytops are the earlier celluloid ones and not the more common glass tops.  Original ribbon spools are always nice to have.  What can I do with the paint?  There is what looks like a film over much of the paint and whether it will polish off I don't know.

Does anyone know how I might find a replacement key for the missing one and how it would be attached?

My Royal collection is growing with Nos. 5, 10 (1914 and 1917), a KMM and four portables from the 1930s and 40s.  There is something about those Royals!

 

25-3-2013 00:26:17  #7


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

I think the key would have to be soldered or welded onto the key-lever. Or possibly, it fixes on in some sort of snap-top/friction-fit manner. It's my experience that typewriter keys were of a fairly universal size. So finding a glass-top E key shouldn't be TOO difficult. But fixing it to the typewriter may be. 


"Not Yet Published" - My History Blog
"I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit" - Sir Pelham Grenville "P.G." Wodehouse
"The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon" - Robert Benchley
 

25-3-2013 11:27:10  #8


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

Can you see Shangas that the keys on my new Royal are not glass topped?   I am not sure of the material but something like celluloid I think.  Glass keytops will show that the letters are printed about 1/16" under the surface and have the clear gloss of glass but with other keytops the letters are printed on top of the surface of the key.  Try sticking a pin at a slight angle into a keytop by the edge and it will dig in if not glass; slide off if glass.

I was quite surprised when I saw one of the very first Royal flatbeds, serial # 524, in a collection and it did not have glass keys but the same as on my new Royal.  Most Royals from quite early did have glass keys to well into the 1940s but not the very first ones.  My Royal 5 Standard has the glass keytops.

I know a fellow who salvages old typewriters to make art work out of.  I think I can visit his warehouse and may get a better idea of how the keytops are attached.  Maybe if I take my Royal over to him he might even have a keytop that will work.

 

25-3-2013 14:45:25  #9


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

If it ain't glass (and I've known very few typewriters from this early stage which didn't use glass), then it's probably celluloid. That was the main plastic of the period. There was Bakelite as well, I believe. But Bakelite is notoriously brittle. One missed keystroke would probably snap the keytop right off. 

I MAY be wrong, but I'd be willing to bet that the keys are just friction-fit or slotted onto the key-levers. It's not exactly the same thing, but I once saw a video of someone restoring one of those old, hand-cranked cash-registers. And they've got those old, round keys as well. From what I could see, they simply levered them off with a pair of pliers or something. Then they just hammered them back on, afterwards. 


"Not Yet Published" - My History Blog
"I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit" - Sir Pelham Grenville "P.G." Wodehouse
"The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon" - Robert Benchley
 

25-3-2013 21:13:11  #10


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

HaroldB wrote:

My first, and only so far, arrived this week : "Brother Correction 100".  Needs a new ink-tape and the E key has a slight bend, but other wise in great shape for it's age.

Nice typewriter, HaroldB! I have a couple of Brothers of the same vintage. One of my favourite typewriters is a Brother. I like their styling and find them nice to type with. 
 


"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the typewriter."
 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum

Typewriter Talk