How about this one?
You guessed it, it's the same machine, after suitable application of Scrubbing Bubbles, Pledge, steel wool, Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish, and touch-up paint.
The Remington Rand KMC is still an understated machine, but you can see that it's handsomely understated when its paint is revealed as black (not gray), its return lever shines, and you can even see the light-blue pinstripes around the lower edge of the ribbon cover and on the sides.
(Of course, being a sucker for glossy Deco designs, I would really like to find a breathtaking Remington 17 like the one below. I've only seen one in this style, ever, which was in the collection of the late Don Sutherland; I don't know where it's gone to, and all I have are these little photos.
But back to what I do have ...)
I got my first Remington (my Noiseless Portable no. 7) about 35 years ago, and started collecting Remington portables some 19 years ago, but my experience with the big modern Remingtons was almost nil until I cleaned a Remington 17 for a WordPlay customer a little while ago and was pleased with its quality. I decided that I'd like to have a KMC, the automatic-margin brother of the 17. (The 17 has awkward margin settings in back. The left stop controls the right margin and vice versa, as on Underwoods, which is due to putting the stops on the body of the machine instead of on the carriage. It's confusing.) So when I saw a KMC that looked pretty good for a reasonable price on Etsy, I snapped it up.
The typewriter has several nice features, such as this paper bail which stays forward, away from the platen, when you pull on the chromed piece in the center of these photos. Then, when you want it to return, you push down on the piece and it snaps back.
On the left there's a typebar unjammer lever and ribbon reverse lever, above the KMC key which controls the left margin:
On the right, above the KMC key for the right margin, are a 3-position touch regulator and the ribbon height control, including a setting for using the middle of the ribbon. (But what does "J" mean?)
This KMC (#JT1048602) was made in December, 1946. The T may indicate the 10-place decimal tabulator.
The model is contemporaneous with the Royal KMM, has a similar aesthetic, and a similar set of features—notably, the automatic margin setting (KMC = Keyboard Margin Control, similar to Royal's Magic Margin). As Ryan Adney has documented, this similarity led to a lawsuit from Royal that forced Remington to drop the feature.
In my experience in person and on eBay, the KMM turns up more often than the KMC. Let's check the numbers on The Typewriter Database. The Royal numbers are:
|2178000||1938||"KHT" fall of 1938, "KHM" Magic Margin began at 2273522. (REMINGTON Examined #2250058 in Oct '38)||17,18|
|3026000||1943||Production Halted: World War II||17|
|3026000||1944||Production Halted: World War II||17|
|3865000||1949||Model "KMG" Announced 2/10/49, first grey model, began at 3850000||17,18|
The KMM isn't listed as such, but it looks like between the first KHM Magic Margin and the KMG, 1,576,478 typewriters were made. Of course, later models retained the Magic Margin feature.
Here are the Remington numbers:
|up to 100000||1939||Prefix J||13|
|780000||1946||Prefix J Machine was renamed "KMC" in 1947||13,15|
|up to 1058000||1947||Prefix J||13,15|
For further accuracy and clarification, here are the numbers straight from the horse's mouth, the official Remington serial number book:
Lots of data here, but the key facts are that the KMC machines run from J885100 to J1647299, and that some non-KMC typewriters are included in those numbers; so total production of KMCs was under 762,199. This confirms my unscientific impression that the KMC is less common than the KMM.
But how do the rivals compare in use?
Well, it's a lovely day for some typewriting on the porch ...
And here are the results of my comparison. Areas of clear superiority, in my opinion, are marked with a red check.
You'll see that the Remington comes out ahead in most categories, in my view — but the category that most typists care most about is touch, and there I think the Royal has an advantage. There's nothing wrong with the Remington's touch, but the Royal has some extra speed and springiness—your hands almost bounce on the keys. For extended typing, especially if I wanted to go fast, I would probably choose the Royal KMM. But you may have different preferences. I don't think you'll go wrong if you choose either of these fine writing machines.