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30-7-2014 12:25:39  #1

Remington 12? Help a newbie out...

Hi there,

I acquired an old Remington typewriter to sort out and clean up, as the keys and carriage were all sticky. Seems to be working a lot better now, so I'm looking to source a ribbon and some spools (which seem to be missing) to get it in use!  This is my first typewriter, so excuse me if I'm getting it all wrong. 

It was only at this point that I realised that I had no idea what I was working on, as there seem to be no markings on it, other than "Remington" in gold across the top, and a serial number of LC61274. After some fairly blind Googling, I decided it may be a Remington 12 of some description, but I'm not sure as it looks a lot more stripped down than anything else I've seen. The RHS shift key has also been replaced with a button reading "Rebuilt by Low's London". They don't seem to appear anywhere online either. Any experts care to help me out and decipher what I've got and why it's all weird? 

Here are some photos to help. I've taken the sides off for a better look.

So yeah, main questions:
What is it? And does anyone know who Low's are?
Am I right in thinking it's a little bit odd?
Am I right in thinking I will need to acquire some new spools as well as the ribbon?
Can I buy the spools with ribbon loaded anywhere?
Where can I get this stuff? (Preferably in the UK)


30-7-2014 12:42:32  #2

Re: Remington 12? Help a newbie out...

The good news when it comes to ribbon is that pretty much every machine used the exact same size. Spools however are a different matter. Some models work fine with generic spools, but others need specific spools to the machine. Worst case scenario you buy any ribbon you can find and just spool it onto the spools already on your machine (assuming they're correct). Never throw out spools! 

I would contact Typewriterman and ask him to help you out. He's another member here (you can find him in the User List) who is local to you and sells/services typewriters and parts. He'll be able to fix you up.

As for the machine you have, without studying it in great detail it appears to be a Remington 10 to me. Can you verify the serial number, because that would help pinpoint the exact model. Are you sure it's LC and not L0 or something else? The second digit should be a number, not a letter.

30-7-2014 12:47:16  #3

Re: Remington 12? Help a newbie out...

I'm wondering if you have the same machine as featured in this blog post. It tells you about the kind of spool you will need if it is the 12, and how to install it. Not sure where you can find them, though you could put a request on the Parts forum?


30-7-2014 12:58:59  #4

Re: Remington 12? Help a newbie out...

I'm pretty sure about the serial numbers, have a look here. This image makes me think that it is a 12, and a lot on that blog post looks very familiar, thanks for that. I'm very glad my girlfriend speaks spanish! 
Unfortunately my spools are already missing, but I'll get in touch with Typewriterman and see what I can get hold of, thanks for that!

     Thread Starter

30-7-2014 15:03:54  #5

Re: Remington 12? Help a newbie out...

Well, Andy, your spools will be a challenge. They don't fit on the top like you're used to seeing on most typewriters---they fit below the top cover on those two spindles you see on either side pointing forward; they are a proprietary design to fit over those very large keys you see on those spindles; and they are held on by special thumbscrews (which seem to be missing on yours). (Those thumbscrews might have a common thread, so you might be able to fit a common bolt or screw and washer.) They are also a little bigger in diameter (at about 2-7/16 inch) than what you are likely to find and although smaller spools would work if they would fit, the reason the originals are larger is to make room for that big key (and also to force customers to keep buying the ribbons from Remington).

Beside all that, when you find spools already loaded with the ribbon, you will have to disconnect one end anyway in order to thread the ribbon through those holes in the top deck---you can't fit a spool through there. Not a big deal, though.

I have a Remington No. 10, so marked on the front, which looks a lot like yours, but I can't identify yours any better than that. It is a little odd, though not very odd for its time, when a lot of invention was going on.

That right shift key with the Low's label---that still works as a shift key, right? I think they haven't replaced the shift key with a button, but simply changed the label, to advertise themselves. Common practice.

I hope all this helps. Have Fun!


04-8-2014 20:28:59  #6

Re: Remington 12? Help a newbie out...

Hello, Andy, all!

I found this forum checking the stats from my blog; I'm the author of that post in Modernidad y Obsolescencia where we see the kind of spools used by the Remington 12 typewriters.

I think I can tell you a couple of things about your machine. It is indeed a Remington 12, and an early model at that. You recognize it because it has the paper advance - carriage return lever located on the right side of the carriage, instead of the left.

At some point, it was taken to a shop in England where they took it apart and refurbished it. It was something quite common back then; bear in mind that a typewriter was not only an important tool, it was an expensive piece of machinery, and, particularly during the Great Depression, a good one could cost a lot of money; by way of comparison, the amount of money you had to spend to buy a good typewriter, expressed in today's dollars, would be enough to buy a fully-loaded Mac. And that's a lot of money when you are in an economy strapped for cash; so it was common for people to buy machines of an older model that had been refurbished in order to keep them working. My own Remington 12 is a refurbished machine, only it was refurbished in the Remington factory in Ilyon, New York.

The reason why your typewriter looks so stripped down is because, at some point, it lost all its metal covers, except the front metal panel. You can see your machine has four small threaded holes on each side; this is where the metal covers were fastened to the frame by screws. I'll go further and say that it was definitely painted over at some point. The original finish on these machines was a shiny black, with gold stencils adhered to the front panel, the frame around the space bar, behind the machine, and the paper table.

The spools you need are indeed of a proprietary design. All the vertical machines made by Remington used that kind of spool - at least from the model 10 up to the 16. M. Höhne described them very clearly; and I can tell you, changing the ribbon on these machines was a rather elaborate procedure.

I still have somewhere the old spools I took from my Remington 12. If you can't find them on your side of the pond, send me a PM and we'll find a way to send them to you.

Happy typing!


08-8-2014 15:55:10  #7

Re: Remington 12? Help a newbie out...

Hello Mike!

Wow, I couldn't have asked for more, thanks so much for replying. 

I'm reckoning that the finish is actually a strip down rather than a repaint, as it looks more like bare metal. I do actually have the side panels, I took them off for the photographs.

I've been looking around on ebay since this posting, and have had no luck/been very unsure that I'm looking at the right thing! It would be amazing (if it isn't too much to ask) if I could take your spares off your hands. Name your price and how you'd want to go about it!

     Thread Starter

09-8-2014 19:00:10  #8

Re: Remington 12? Help a newbie out...

Hello, Andy!

I'd be more than happy to help a fellow Remingtonian, and I'm glad the old spools can help bring another "Pound of Iron" back to life. I would only ask you to cover the postage; if you like, drop me a line at my email,, or send me a PM with the city and country where you need the spools sent so I can quote the delivery. It would be a small parcel so it shouldn't be too expensive to send them.

I'll even add a fresh ribbon to one of the spools so that you can start typing with your machine right away! Just show us some photos when your machine comes back to life, ok?

Happy typing!


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