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16-6-2020 17:42:48  #1


Can you identify a typewriter?

I am trying to identify a typewriter model.

All I know is that it was used by a person of means in 1938-1939 and that this person most likely got it in denmark, italy or england.

I've attached an image of some of the writing done with it.

Is this even humanly possible?

https://imgur.com/6lWh4SX
https://i.imgur.com/6lWh4SX.jpg

 

16-6-2020 20:53:23  #2


Re: Can you identify a typewriter?

Hi RP

You pose an interesting question that I feel will be very difficult to answer. The first thing to do would be to identify the actual typeface, whether this would be to find it's foundry name or the name it was given by the typewriter manufacturer. We can safely say that it was from a pre World War Two typewriter with the information you have given us. The next thing would be to find the various foundry catalogs, then find out which typewriter manufacturers used this typeface in which models.

Some of the more experienced members may have access to such catalogs, but this is about as much as I can tell you. I feel your quest is a little like picking up a World War Two bullet from a field in France and trying to identify what make and model of rifle the bullet was fired from by the rifling marks on the side of the bullet. All the best,

Sky


A person who sees Quality and feels it as he works is a person who cares.
A person who cares about what he sees and does is a person who's bound to have some characteristics of Quality.
Robert M. Pirsig. (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
 

17-6-2020 02:07:59  #3


Re: Can you identify a typewriter?

Hello robotpoet,

The 'The journal of criminal law, criminology and police science' published an interesting and practical document about this.

See: https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/jclc/vol59/iss2/15/

Lau

 

17-6-2020 09:32:10  #4


Re: Can you identify a typewriter?

skywatcher wrote:

... your quest is a little like picking up a World War Two bullet from a field in France and trying to identify what make and model of rifle the bullet was fired from by the rifling marks on the side of the bullet.

That would probably be easier given there weren't as many make/models of rifles as typewriters. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/grin.png


I don't think it's possible to narrow down a specific model from this type sample. Even if a typeface is unique to a manufacturer, it's unlikely that it would be unique to a specific model. I can't recall of a single instance where a manufacturer went through the time and expense of developing a typeface only to use it for one model that it produced. The typeface would have been used in a number of models, and likely for more than one model generation.

Typewriter forensics could certainly - in some cases - help to identify a manufacturer and create a short list of potential models; however, it was more often used to verify if a particular typewriter was used to create a particular document. Such a task would be straightforward in this case; there are enough anomalies in this type sample to match it with a particular machine, if you had that machine.

I'm curious about the odd writing style in the type sample; it doesn't seem to be from the 1930s and it uses American terminology. I know the OP didn't state the author was European, but I'd be surprised if it was written by one.

If I was on a quest to find out the model used to type this correspondence I would try to find out more about its author, a task that would be easier if the person was a celebrity as opposed to a long-lost relative.

 


https://i.imgur.com/OZeuKtA.jpg
 

21-3-2021 18:15:23  #5


Re: Can you identify a typewriter?

Hello all! I am new to Smith-Corona typewriters. I've recently been given my first. I'm looking for an ID on it. Thanks! https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jgRqweXebA49RG-hYxjE5emPMkPeO8dyxcdM58Uya8KJmAtfVDWuSjWoFXee7WRP6ejx44CGD3a6iiVAel8_cfN6VjSNVVsLOF84wt4gDulRmMeyGIl0HH6kvh8ypyKaQyQUJ5LfKY1i1VeONEi7cyV_YmrCMBJIFU8HCNzPrev4QPf89typmbdVoLFH87rkSx1qRgOFKHhVmXX0QqvnNuC7fCmrqLlpbOwSEJ1DpfZn25-rnEAmdNB4j34HXCtOw32gq2bpmBN1DR5hOuPf1ANQaEH3tKNfIRjGPIc1cdQK8sdBuvlDKJp2odERoOF1VvH2sga7T9sU5bs0hwzudWoB9hBmOIghFwgdvFWVTDh4Slvhbu4EEuSloipGg3VMcYGypMpOeC-oB5_ggegWvk74atL9WsFHgDdJkEtpuoLCpSX0xGFTzRjdKv4GXF2K78xdRO2JNNBnSstHC45ckw3ib2TI6gGKq9UH6070ytpAlFINlxhkjzfesgbY-aq2xTafX0LuPPdXFR8TdrlbLys2PPopqCs9vgowBovVFqxnzfbE_0LlvBgGDqL4ND_Nr1gqPQ49Af8Ghr-jaisTLLHPF4ai8oMZ5z1KhBmYU_Sxr4Ke18v8bFwJVqvncOGDpgeGEc0-T1Pst3iA1ovtWiquV2YPE2JkDfyAG_9sPRnkg07IS-7NtOH3UrJT_e5JXZSMAZQdzUg0OlGCPIv5312u=w1677-h943-no?authuser=1

 

21-3-2021 18:54:25  #6


Re: Can you identify a typewriter?

That's a Smith-Corona Silent (Silent as seen on the plate behind the paper tray). The serial number should be under the ribbon cover, engraved on the left side of the chassis. It is the same model and finish as my first mechanical typewriter, and one of the best machines I've ever typed on. The platen is easily removable and the mechanism is great to work on, since it does not have the tabulator built into the keyboard. Tabs are set using actual metal tabs that fit into corresponding grooves in a tabulator rack behind the carriage. 
Clean the case up with some mild soap and water, watch out for solvents, as they will soften the crinkle finish. Be careful if you're taking the brown crinkle paint panels off, as the screws can cause the paint to buckle and chip, leaving a nice bright spot. That whole machine should be really cleaned very well, lubed up in the right spots, and used for writing. Those can handle a beating and can be made to be very smooth and almost effortless typers. My SC Silent spoiled me to the point that I can't type on any Olivetti or Antares now, they just feel mushy. Another great thing about the 5 series SCs (your Silent is a 5S) is that the escapement is very easy to work on and fine tune, if needed. Clean it up and it will probably outlast you, as long as it's taken care of properly.
Phil Forrest

 

21-3-2021 18:58:32  #7


Re: Can you identify a typewriter?

Phil_F_NM wrote:

That's a Smith-Corona Silent (Silent as seen on the plate behind the paper tray). The serial number should be under the ribbon cover, engraved on the left side of the chassis. It is the same model and finish as my first mechanical typewriter, and one of the best machines I've ever typed on. The platen is easily removable and the mechanism is great to work on, since it does not have the tabulator built into the keyboard. Tabs are set using actual metal tabs that fit into corresponding grooves in a tabulator rack behind the carriage. 
Clean the case up with some mild soap and water, watch out for solvents, as they will soften the crinkle finish. Be careful if you're taking the brown crinkle paint panels off, as the screws can cause the paint to buckle and chip, leaving a nice bright spot. That whole machine should be really cleaned very well, lubed up in the right spots, and used for writing. Those can handle a beating and can be made to be very smooth and almost effortless typers. My SC Silent spoiled me to the point that I can't type on any Olivetti or Antares now, they just feel mushy. Another great thing about the 5 series SCs (your Silent is a 5S) is that the escapement is very easy to work on and fine tune, if needed. Clean it up and it will probably outlast you, as long as it's taken care of properly.
Phil Forrest

Thank you so much! You are awesome!!!

 

22-3-2021 09:50:49  #8


Re: Can you identify a typewriter?

The Tytell family could have probably pulled this off.  Parents passed some time ago and more recently their son, Peter, passed away in 2020 at 74 years old.  Shop in NY closed after that.
 

 

22-3-2021 09:54:40  #9


Re: Can you identify a typewriter?

 

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