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18-3-2016 17:32:52  #1


Typewriter Backstories

Ever wonder about that old typewriter, sitting on the shelf, with the price tag on it, just waiting for a good home?  Where has that machine been before?  What kinds of stories could it tell?  How many different kinds of people used it?  I have always found it fascinating to wonder these things, and imagine what it must have been like over there that long ago, meeting those people.  I remember one time picking up a 1913 L. C. Smith from a very old lady who told me her father used it in his real estate business.  It was in a box in her garage, and it has not moved from that shelf for 35 years back then!  I took it out of the box, and found it wrapped up in a newspaper that was printed in 1961.  I still have clippings from that paper.  This typewriter was very well preserved, but needed a tension band, some oiling and a few adjustments.  It took a little over 1 hour to get it to working again.  It has worked every since, and I am still the proud owner.    


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

18-3-2016 23:17:52  #2


Re: Typewriter Backstories

One of the stories that I wish I knew, is the one behind my 1946 Remington KMC. My mother got it at an estate sale fro free because the cover plates were falling off (easy fix luckily) and so I know nothing. All that's on it, is half of a service sticker (that's from the next town over) and W.S. Hinds written in at least four places, and etched on the the shift keys and on the inside of the ribbon cover. Whoever this guy was, was obviously either protective of his typewriter, or a very proud owner.

Another interesting one, is the Royal KMG that I own. I found it in the back of my school's prop closet last year, so I dragged it out, and took out the glass chunks in the basket (not sure how they got there...) and the chorus teacher said I could have it. A few months later, I went digging in some yearbooks, and I found a picture of a secretary with a typewriter that looks a lot like my KMG. Wide carriage and light grey color and everything. Wish they had kept around the Olympia SG-1 that I also saw... The school had apparently threw out a lot of the typewriters a few years ago, so I'm not sure why this one survived... It's been there for awhile too from all of the holes in the platen from kids just jamming on the keys. Perhaps we'll never know...


A high schooler with a lot of typewriters. That's pretty much about it.
 

19-3-2016 09:34:41  #3


Re: Typewriter Backstories

My Olivetti Underwood 21 was purchased at a local thrift store (that itself is no longer in business). The proprietor said the guy who sold her the typewriter indicated he came to New Mexico in the late 1960s on a motorcycle, then traded the bike for the typewriter, to become a writer.

When I got the machine home, in the case I found the original receipt, indicating a date of 1968 and a trade between a car dealership and a typewriter store.

I don't know who the writer was, unfortunately.

~Joe

 

19-3-2016 16:58:08  #4


Re: Typewriter Backstories

And a picture of that typewriter:
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5054/5484836400_7afbb001ec_z.jpg
P1100809a by Joe Van Cleave, on Flickr

 

20-3-2016 07:23:42  #5


Re: Typewriter Backstories

My Hermes 3000 has a sticker on the back with the former owner's name. The sticker indicates that she worked for the Air Transport Association and lived in Atlanta, GA.  I found an address for her in Florida and tried to write a letter, but it came back as not-deliverable.  It's possible that she's passed away in the meantime, or moved to another retirement community. I did find her son on Facebook, but I didn't try to contact him.

 

22-3-2016 12:41:41  #6


Re: Typewriter Backstories

My Royal FP has a name and address on a label taped on the front of the machine.  I haven't looked into who it might be or anything.  It along with my Remington 17, a Smith-Corona Coronet 12 and a Royal Academy were rescued from my parents' basement just before it flooded in December.

I have an L.C. Smith that called to me at an antique store because it had (of all things) a decimal tabulator.  I had just seen the US Navy video about advanced typing shortcuts and there was a machine with a decimal tabulator on it and I thought that was the neatest thing I'd ever seen.  So, I was hoping to find one locally.  It turns out that when I went antiquing with Spazmelda just before Christmas last year, we found this one in a store.  It seemed to work just fine so it went home with me.  I was up until 2 am one night (on a Friday night or weekend) cleaning out the dust from it and found a purple marble inside.  I did take it to the local repair shop for a tune up, but I like to use this machine.


Smith Premier 4 typewriters are cool!
 

01-5-2016 23:35:39  #7


Re: Typewriter Backstories

ztyper wrote:

One of the stories that I wish I knew, is the one behind my 1946 Remington KMC. My mother got it at an estate sale fro free because the cover plates were falling off (easy fix luckily) and so I know nothing. All that's on it, is half of a service sticker (that's from the next town over) and W.S. Hinds written in at least four places, and etched on the the shift keys and on the inside of the ribbon cover. Whoever this guy was, was obviously either protective of his typewriter, or a very proud owner.

Another interesting one, is the Royal KMG that I own. I found it in the back of my school's prop closet last year, so I dragged it out, and took out the glass chunks in the basket (not sure how they got there...) and the chorus teacher said I could have it. A few months later, I went digging in some yearbooks, and I found a picture of a secretary with a typewriter that looks a lot like my KMG. Wide carriage and light grey color and everything. Wish they had kept around the Olympia SG-1 that I also saw... The school had apparently threw out a lot of the typewriters a few years ago, so I'm not sure why this one survived... It's been there for awhile too from all of the holes in the platen from kids just jamming on the keys. Perhaps we'll never know...

This latter story reminds me of a similar story of my own:  It was in the sixth grade center where I once attended school many years ago I first saw my future 1952 Royal HH standing sentinel in the utility workroom across from the library.  Before I go on, I found out that Royal made two series of typewriters in 1952:  the KMG and the HH.  It was about either late April or early May they started with the HH.  Anyway, it was back then when I was 12 years old I fell in love with that machine.  I was too scared t ask anyone if I could try it--figured they'd all say no.  I asked my science teacher about it, and he told me he liked that one because it was pica type, but it needed a ribbon and the letter C stuck.  I always wondered how I was going to fix that one.  Fast forward about thirty or so years.  A man, who was a former trustee of my local school district had brought  two typewriters to my house for me to service--both from the sixth grade center I attended, and one of them was my sweetheart--the 1952 model.  You ask me how I knew that was the same machine.  It still needed a new ribbon, and the letter C still stuck.  I also remembered the shape of the spring drum adjustment knob, and the two gouged screws holding the back plate on.  It was her all right!  I asked if I could trade him out for it, and I gave him a 1960 Royal FP.  Now that the sixth grade center has been torn down, there are at least four bricks I copped from the site, plus my 1952 Royal HH typewriter that attest to the fact that Sul Ross Sixth Grade Center once stood on the spot where a Chick-Fill-A now stands.
 


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

01-5-2016 23:37:18  #8


Re: Typewriter Backstories

P. S.  I put a new ribbon in it and unstuck the letter C.  I've typed many a love letter to my girlfriend on it since.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

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