Friday, November 29, 2013

Two exciting Smith-Coronas ... and Gidget

The obscure image in the golden shield is a lion's head. 

The auction photos. I thought the paint looked unusual ... then I read the description.

The seller later wrote to me: 

... [In 1985] I went back to NY and there every one was the word up to date, computer stuff and all that. mr Blass was there and he handed  me the type writer and said "Keep up with the times, and happy 20 years."  most of the people there laughed. when I got back to my hotel i found a note inside with a coupon stating that till my death all Items made by his corporation were on the house. SO I raid stores every month, the joke is still rolling. I need to see this one go, I have no use for it, I used it in our office for a long time, I am still back in the 50s mentally, still using type writers and such, just like the rhythm of the machines.I hope this makes a good story to tell everyone. will be a fun piece to talk about. PS it was chromed because of my love for old cars.

Now I also have to share yet another typewriter that's kinda kitschy, kinda tacky, but totally delightful anyway. I recently cleaned up this little Royal Parade for WordPlay's Urban Legend Institute. The delicate tabulator mechanism nearly drove me up the wall, but when I had it fixed I found myself liking it very much. I don't know why, but I decided that her name is Gidget ... Gidget the Gadget.

More on Smith-Corona Golden Shields:
Will Davis' Silent Meteor #5TG 21565
Robert Messenger's Courier
Tom Furrier shows us a Diplomat

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Burrowing into Burroughs typewriters

Rear view showing part of escapement mechanism, mainspring, and wheel that turns the ribbon shaft 

Ribbon reverse mechanism (left side of typewriter, currently taking up ribbon from right to left). The gears are currently engaged on this side. When the gears are disengaged the mechanism is higher up and the ribbon is moving from left to right. In theory, when the ribbon runs low, the hook will fall down, get caught by the toothed wheel shown here, and drag the mechanism downwards so the gears engage on this side, and the mechanism starts taking up the ribbon. In fact, aside from various particular things that can go wrong, there may not be enough time for this sequence of events to happen before your ribbon runs out completely and the mechanism jams.

Burroughs spool

Woodstock spool

Wide-carriage Burroughs on the operating table. The side and back panels of the typewriter lift off once you remove lots of screws, providing pretty good access to the mechanisms.

Warped and worn-out soft rubber platen knobs. I didn't throw them out -- you never know what might come in handy.
Nice decal on the wide-carriage machine.

Note the subtle difference between earlier and later Burroughs logos: 

The legend on the back panel also evolved to add "Made in the United States of America."
Maybe Burroughs was anticipating exports.

PS: If you want a service manual for Burroughs, check my collection on The Classic Typewriter Page (service manuals are at the bottom of the page). Alan kindly provided it. The manual takes a lot of things for granted and I did not find that it solved all my problems, but it includes helpful diagrams and some very useful tips.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Revolution in the mailbox: archy, a handcrafted letter, and cards galore

I've been tardy in my correspondence and in sharing the sharable items online, but here is another installment at last of Revolution in the Mailbox.

First, from Alan Brignull came these beautifully printed pieces of paper:

(archy typing)

Alan comments in his elegant hand:

Thanks to Peter Eipers for a very nice letter featuring a custom Underwood stamp and a clever card. I like this concept and think this ought to be a trend!

From Holland comes a postcard from Agent S. W., featuring a Royal Quiet De Luxe that has seen better days:

If I'm not mistaken, S. W.'s report can be found here.

From Richard Jarvis comes an appealing typewriter postcard:

Thanks, Richard! A very nice design. Feel free to post a link to the Etsy store if you comment.

From ZetiX in England came a package of Typosphere postcards in four great designs. Thank you! How can other typospherians get these?

I'll also take this opportunity to thank Mark of TotallyYourType for his nice letter and for finding an Adler Universal for me! He brought it to West Virginia and surprised me with it. I knew that if I complained long enough, someone would connect me with a Universal. I've been cleaning it up and enjoying discovering its features.

I appreciate everyone's correspondence. Forgive my less than prompt response, it's been a very busy couple of months.