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14-7-2019 13:43:14  #1

1937 L.C. Smith Super Speed 11 key covers

I recently acquired this machine.  It has odd (to me) removable key covers; however, when one is removed, it reveals a completely blank key beneath (glass top, but black disc underneath).  I would like to remove the covers, but will not as I now know the keys are blank underneath.  Does this indicate the machine was possibly used for teaching, i.e., in a classroom situation?  That's the only rational explanation I can come up with.  Was there another use for these key covers over black keytops?  Alternatively -- and I don't think I'd want to take it that far -- could the metal keytop rings be removed to find that perhaps the black disc itself is also covering up the original keytops from the factory?  Of course, I'd prefer the originals, but this is how the machine came to me and I feel it's all a part of its history.  Other than the aforementioned, it's a fine machine with a great touch and smooth mechanism.  I think I shall enjoy using it very much.

The typewriter gives me things I don't even know I'm working on.  ~ Charles Bukowski

14-7-2019 15:00:18  #2

Re: 1937 L.C. Smith Super Speed 11 key covers

Hi Space Bar

You hit the nail on the head. Typewriters with blank keys were built specifically for typing collage use. If you learn to type on a typewriter with blank keys, you have to program the muscle memory into your hands in order to type. Teaching typewriters are far less common than the regular run of the mill typewriter, so I would be inclined to leave the keys as they are.

You can often find regular Smith-Corona Super-Speed typewriters on eBay, but the average seller has no idea how to pack them for shipping so the frame around the keys usually gets broken. I figure these machines should be bolted to a board before being packed, or shipped on their back with lots of packing around the keyboard. All the best,


We humans go through many computers in our lives, but in their lives, typewriters go through many of us.
In that way, they’re like violins, like ancestral swords. So I use mine with honor and treat them with respect.
I try to leave them in better condition than I met them. I am not their first user, nor will I be their last.
Frederic S. Durbin. (Typewriter mania and the modern writer)

14-7-2019 18:34:52  #3

Re: 1937 L.C. Smith Super Speed 11 key covers

Thank you, Sky!  Well then, I shall keep the L.C. Smith as it is.  Actually, I think the key covers might be conversation-inducing and, again, it certainly is part of the history of the machine.  There is only one of the key covers missing (the comma key), otherwise it's a complete set.  I suppose one could argue the machine was potentially beat to death by students or perhaps not used as heavily as it might have been in an office setting.  In any case, it is in fine shape and fully functional.  It just needs the usual from me -- a good cleaning and checkup, but other than that, it's usable even as it sits now.  Thank you again!  Cheers ~


The typewriter gives me things I don't even know I'm working on.  ~ Charles Bukowski
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