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13-8-2021 23:37:28  #1


Facit 1620 Generations?

Currently, TWDB serial numbers for Facit 1620s ends in 1973 with a maximal number of 885617.  Yet, in the photo section of TWDB, many owners of Facit 1620s post machines with serial numbers of 6,xxx,xxx and 7,xxx,xxx, all also made in Sweden.  These owners often put 197? or 197x as their machine’s date of production, owing to the lack of a reference point in the TWDB serial number listing.
 
Additionally, repair guides for the Facit 1620 (https://dingasty.com/?p=190) and reviews of the Facit 1620 by trustworthy sources (https://oztypewriter.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-facit-1620-portable-typewriter.html) do not appear to differentiate between different “generations” of *Swedish-made* 1620s.
 
I would like to venture a few observed differences between different generations of 1620s based on my own direct experience with these machines.  I use “generations” loosely, as I have no way of knowing whether these observed differences actually correspond to chronological production changes, as, say, with the earlier curvy Hermes 3000 versus the later boxier Hermes 3000, or the very early Smith Corona 1930s flattops with the shorter return levers and the paper fingers versus the slightly later 1930s flattops with the longer return levers and the paper bars. 

Perhaps other members might also add their own observations, some of which may surely contradict and/or revise the patterns I outline below.
 
“Early” 1620 Generation, generally corresponding to serial numbers that currently exist in the TWDB:
 


  • Badging tends to be on the lower front of the ribbon cover, facing outwards towards the keys.  Lettering and numbering on badging tends to be brown, and includes the logo with a smaller circle within a larger circle
  • Carriage housing color scheme is bi-color, with both cream and brown
  • Platen knobs are shorter, and both right and left knobs attach via set screws
  • Variable line spacing is engaged by pulling the left platen knob away from the carriage
  • Platen has a metal rod that inserts all the way through it; removal of platen requires removal of this rod [the instructions for platen removal at the website mentioned above correspond to this design]
  • Lock nuts for adjusting the escapement trip and the line lock/margin release are 6 millimeters, and the black metal plate they mount to is larger in size than the later generation
  • The ribbon color/stencil selector indicator is made up of protruding red, white, and black dots

 
“Later” 1620 Generation, generally corresponding to serial numbers that do not currently exist in the TWDB, e.g., 6,xxx,xxx or 7,xxx, xxx:
 

  • Badging tends to be on the top left of the ribbon cover, facing upwards towards the sky.  Lettering and numbering on badging tends to be black, and does not include any circle logo.
  • Carriage housing color scheme is mono-color, lacking the bi-color cream accents of the earlier generation
  • Platen knobs are longer, and protrude wider from the body of the machine than the early generation.  Both left and right platen knobs attach to the platen by screw thread, and lack any set screws.
  • Variable line spacing is engaged by pushing a button inwards on the left platen knob
  • Platen does not have any metal rod running through it.  Rather, the variable line spacing is created by the mounting of the platen gear onto three retracting spikes and held in place by a large C-clip [the instructions for platen removal at the website mentioned above would not apply to this generation of 1620]
  • Lock nuts for adjusting the escapement trip and the line lock/margin release are 5.5- millimeters, and the black metal plate they mount to is smaller in size than the earlier generation.  However, the actual screws are identical in diameter, and will accept the 6-millimeter locking nut from the early generation.
  • The ribbon color/stencil selector indicator is a blue, white, and red sticker with each color occupying a rectangular shape.

 
Aside from these changes, many aspects of the two generations are interchangeable.  For example: the outer shell; the ribbon cover; the part with the bell / line lock / margin trip; most or all of the screws and springs; and even the ribbon color/stencil selector indicator.
 
I invite other members with 1620s to add their observations. 

Additionally, I have not found any information on where the number 1620 derives from.  The leap from TP1 to TP2 to 1620, as opposed to, say, TP3, makes me curious about the significance, if any, of 1620 in Swedish culture or history.  (I have also seen some 1620s with Swedish keyboards badged simply as Facit Privat, with the Privat in cursive.)
 
Cheers!
 

 

13-8-2021 23:58:23  #2


Re: Facit 1620 Generations?

Corrective Addendum:
 
            “Early Generation:”
 


  • Platen knobs are shorter, and left knob attaches via set screw inset into a U cut-out in the plastic of the platen knob, whilst right knob threads in and, on the platen-side of the right carriage wall, has a reinforcing collar with a set screw.

 
 
“Later” Generation:”
 

  • Platen knobs are longer, and protrude further from the body of the machine than the early generation.  Both left and right platen knobs attach to the platen by screw thread, and lack any set screws, but the right platen knob has a similar reinforcing collar with set screw as the “early” generation.

     Thread Starter
 

14-8-2021 08:28:31  #3


Re: Facit 1620 Generations?

Here is my 1969-made Facit 1620.  SN-P6452xx.  Looks to be part of the Variation No. 1

The Facit T2 went through 2 variations.  1st. variation had some features in common with the older T1 model (i.e. layout and style of key-tops, etc.) and the 2nd. variation design and layout was more finalized and very different than the T1.

Maybe the 4-digit model designation of the "1620" was decided upon at Facit to be more in line with the model designators of their electric typewriters that Facit was transitioning towards ?  Just a WAG, though.

And then the ADDO subsidiary comes out with their version of the "1620" but assigns its designator as "621".  But no "621" badge anywhere on their machine and only shown in the User Manual.
.

https://i.imgur.com/VIUC2AF.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/PcuWoc5.png

 

14-8-2021 11:58:48  #4


Re: Facit 1620 Generations?

Love the Volvo homology, Pete.

Anyone have thoughts on the typing experience on these various versions of the Facit? Sticking only to variations on the 1620, I have found the early variation to be more solid feeling, with more of a snap, and the later variation to be slightly mushier, although still wonderful and by no means truly "mushy."

As has been extensively pointed out on this forum, however, with such a small-n, the individual history and condition of the specific machine may matter much more to its typing feel than its model, make, or variation iteration.

Still, it would be fun to hear about the judgements of others who have typed with multiple Facit models.

And, a question for Pete E: how would you compare the standard Facits with the portable ones, in terms of ease of use?  This forum has generated considerable enthusiasm in favor of standards in general (and especially the Olympia SG1) over portables for extended/extensive writing, but I am curious about a Facit-specific comparison on this dimension.

Cheers.

     Thread Starter
 

14-8-2021 14:20:32  #5


Re: Facit 1620 Generations?

Dragon...

1.  Still miss our white Volvo GLE (similar to that in the photo). Still made in Sweden and had rear wheel drive, etc.  And it was a 5-speed manual.

2.  My 1969 Facit 1620 is very well built and accurate...no side-to-side movement of the key-levers when typing.  I do not have a later 1620...so no direct comparison.  But my later ADDO (from 197x) does sway a bit more when typing.

3.  My T2 is my Swedish dream-machine.  Everything to like in a TP1 and TP2...but in a bigger, more secure platform.  I can type my fastest on it and very seldom mis-strike.  Yet it is nimble and does not feel like I am behind a Sherman tank when typing...like my Olympia SG1 treats me.  But the SG1 is still very good...just have to do more work with it.

 

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