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10-7-2018 21:16:39  #1

Smith Corona portables

Curious what your opinion is as to which Smith Corona Silent, Silent Super or Sterling in what era is the most mechanically sound and why?  30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s.


10-7-2018 23:35:17  #2

Re: Smith Corona portables

Hi Gaust

My personal opinion is the 1950's machines were pretty well the pinnacle of the Smith-Corona line. The earlier ones were unquestionably well built and reliable. The later ones saw a movement towards cutting production costs by reducing the materials used as in thinner type bars, lighter frames and so on. I just feel the 1950's machines had a proven track record and a top notch pedigree behind them and were still being built from real steel. Other members who have far more years of experience than me will have valid opinions on this subject, so hear what they have to say too. All the best,



11-7-2018 05:36:18  #3

Re: Smith Corona portables

A 1940s Sterling or Clipper in good condition is an absolute workhorse. Very rock-solid.
A mid-1950s Silent Super in good condition is a dream to write with. Very snappy key and typeslug action.
I have each of these and I can't fault them. For ultra-portables, I had a mid '50s Skyriter with the short return lever and ended up selling it and replacing it with a later 1950s Tower Chieftain III, which is a Skyriter branded for Sears-Roebuck back then. This one had the longer return lever and came in a leather case instead of the steel clip-on cover that the short return lever models used to have. Another great Smith-Corona model.
I also have a 1936 flat-top Sterling. It's a sluggish machine to write with, and the bell gives off a half-hearted 'ding!' at the end of each line, but this thing looks like a cross between a Steinway baby grand and Capone's coffin,
Worth keeping just for this reason alone.

In terms of mechanically sound, '40s and '50s machines, if found in good condition or serviced properly, will give you a wonderful typing experience with no hassles.
Best of luck!

My blog, about typewriters,wristwatches, fountain pens, Bond, and whatever else happens to be polluting my mind at any given time;
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19-7-2018 16:59:00  #4

Re: Smith Corona portables

One thing I have found common to Smith Corona typewriters in any era is their responsiveness to my weak little fingers on both hands, especially when it comes to typing the letter 'A' in small or caps.  I find some other typewriters, i.e. Olivetti Letteras, are tough on them and I really have to emphasize the stroke to get a clear, dark print.  The other fingers are fine, however.  There's something about the direct, snappy response of the Smith Corona.

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