Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Banging on the Muse

This post comes from the Smith-Corona Skyriter. The early ones from 1949-52 or so had the racing stripes, so this one of those, and the green keys. It's really wonderful.

Meet the Family...Again.

Does all work and no play make Jack a dull boy? I don't know...let's ask Dr. Zaius, my 1949 Underwood and the wisest and greatest of all typewriters. It's my only one without a proper case or cover. Sometimes I just put an upside-down cardboard box over it. It's massive....30+ pounds.

Shameful typewriter hoarding, fig.1 (Wall of Typewriters). Clockwise, from bottom left: like-new Underwood Olivetti 21 (c. 1965), Singer Scholastic T-4 (aka Royal Dart, early '60s), Olivetti Lettera 22, a second Lettera 22 that was broken b ut mystically repaired itself (both early '60s), Hermes Rocket (mid-1950s), Smith-Corona Skyriter (first generation, between '49 and '52)), Royal Sprite (1969?), bright orange Sears Chevron (early '70s), letter-skipping, self-aware Hermes 3000 (mid-late '60s), Sears Citation 12 (aka Smith-Corona Sterling, mid-1960s).

Shameful typewriter hoarding, fig.2 (Floor of Typewriters). From bottom to top: 1948 Remington Rand Portable Deluxe, the typewriter with half of my name, 1955 Underwood Universal Quiet Tab, 1958 Royal Heritage (exclusive to Montgomery Ward) , Sperry-Rand Remington Personal Riter (with script typeface, c. 1968), Olivetti Lettera 35 (early '70s), and an empty case that once held a Royal typewriter during the 1950s. Not shown: 1968 Olivetti Lettera 32 with script typeface. It's in the storage locker, still. And don't think I didn't consider going back after it, either.

Shameful typewriter hoarding, fig.3 (Misfit Toys). Left to right: 1950s Olivetti Studio 44. Types nicely, but the return lever doesn't work...a heartbreaker that I keep around in the hope I can fix i someday or use it for parts. Beside it, the blackest of black sheep and the shame of my collection, my mid-'60s Remington Starfire. Broken bad. Can't type in a straight line because paper freely moves itself. Various other quirks too numerous to mention make it impossible to use. It seems to have given up. If anyone knows about Remington ribbon spools from this period, they are maddening. Based on my bad experience with this machine, I swore off Remingtons and plastic typewriters in general. Behind that is my iMac DV from the year 2000. Cost $1500 new, but I paid $15 in 2009. Supports Mac OSX 10.3.9, making it completely useless unless you want to create text files, which I sometimes do. Not shown here is my AlphaSmart 3000, which is technically a portable word processor, and the somewhat lethargic Walmart-purchased eMachine computer I'm writing these words on.

Back Again. No, Really.

My new baby, the late-'60s Sperry-Rand Remington Personal-Riter. I was just in the area to get the rest of my typewriters out of my storage building and happened by the Second Blessings Thrift Store. Apparently they've been trying to call me about it, but I no longer have a cell phone. This one ain't bad, especially for ten bucks. I've had my issues with Remington typewriters, but this one is solid. I don't think I've really discussed the Starfire here but I'll probably get into that tomorrow. Don't get me started.