Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Smith-Corona Deluxe Secretarial typewriter

On the road to Milwaukee I picked up a big Smith-Corona for $15. The glossy gray finish appealed to me and the name wasn't familiar, so I thought there might be something unusual about it.

It must be unusual indeed, because I can find hardly any references to this model. One other blogger (not a typospherian) mentions that she owns one, some ribbons were sold with the name, and there is this little ad from January 30, 1959.

Note that the Deluxe Secretarial doesn't get top billing here, as if the dealer hardly expects that anyone will want it. The difference in price between the DS and the Pacemaker was a significant $35.50 (comparable to $300 today). I wonder whether the DS was designed as a model that would make other models look like good deals by comparison; in other words, it was not expected to sell, but to drive consumer interests to other Smith-Coronas.

So what was "deluxe" about this model? Other than the glossy paint, I can find only one feature:

At the printing point, a plastic lens enlarges the readings on the scale. A good idea, I think, but is it worth $39.50 in 1959 dollars? You be the judge.

My machine has serial number 6B3081243-11. The serial number records available on The Typewriter Database don't include any "6B" series, so I can only guess at the date of manufacture. The ad reproduced above suggests 1958 or 1959.

This typewriter needed a good cleaning and some work on the escapement. The right platen knob, as you can see, has been smashed in an odd way (anyone have a replacement?).
In my opinion, the Smith-Corona standards of this time have an attractive, streamlined design, which is brought out even more by the shiny paint.

The front "control panel" looks great.

Now, who has one of these or can tell me more?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Biting the hand that feeds me

PS: I've added a fourth ringtone / alert tone to my collection of typewriter tones. (No, it doesn't look like I'm going to completely break free of the digital world any time soon!)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Keep your typewriter working for Uncle Sam

A recent purchase came with a pamphlet I'd never seen before, published by the Federal Work Improvement Program in 1945. It offers good advice on caring for standard office typewriters of the day. Pictured are Remington, Underwood, and L.C. Smith machines.