Saturday, November 1, 2014

Springfield! A guessing game

Springfield! What a place!

No, not the Springfield in Queensland, Belize, Nova Scotia, Missouri, Idaho, or the Simpsons' hometown—the Springfield that stretches gloriously along Interstate 70 between Dayton and Columbus in Ohio.

That's where I got to meet the Brumfields (well, 4 out of 6) today to swap some goodies (including a magazine that Mark Petersen brought to Herman's gathering for me, with a neat Varityper ad—thanks, Mark) and an IBM Executive that Brian bought from a Cincinnatian who gave it to me to deliver to him.

We perused the huge Springfield Antique Center and the still more massive Heart of Ohio Antique Center in search of you know what. On the way back home, I also made a quick stop at Dayton's Antiques Village.

I thought you might enjoy seeing the typewriters we spotted. Gone are the days when antique shops refused to stock typewriters, claiming they were good only as boat anchors; they are now a common sight.

Here's a tough challenge. Among all these writing devices, can you guess which two I brought home for WordPlay / The Urban Legend Institute? And can you guess which one Brian brought home? (Later he texted me that he also found a Royal 1 for $75, lucky dog.)

I don't have records of all the prices on these, so on a few of them I'm—well—just making up the prices.

Chapter 1: Springfield Antique Center

LC Smith no. 8, $97.50:

Smith-Corona Coronet, $40:

Smith-Corona Sterling Automatic, $35:

Underwood portable, $249:

This Remington no. 6 upstroke with wooden key levers was the oldest sight of the day. $260.

The serial number dates it at 1906.

Underwood, $30:

Simplex 200, $99:

Olive-green LC Smith no. 8, "RARE," $250:

Hermes Rocket with instructions and a nice leather case, $75:

Olivetti-Underwood Studio 44, $45:

Royal Quiet De Luxe, $45:

Bing no. 2, $285:

Underwood no. 5 with several problems, $65: 

Tom Thumb Junior, $49:

Chapter 2: Heart of Ohio Antique Center

Royal no. 10 with typing table, $125:

Unique, $29:

Royal KHM, $70:

Tom Thumb, $39:

LC Smith Secretarial no. 8, $99;
Royal Quiet De Luxe, $129:

Underwood 315, cursive, $65:

Classic Typewriter (made in the 21st century!), $75:

Smith-Corona Sterling Cartridge, $25:

Royal Administrator, $22:

Underwood Leader, $35:

Royal 890, $35:

We ran into fellow typewriter collector Mike Campbell
Here's Mike with Ian Brumfield.

Chapter 3: Antiques Village

Tom Thumb, $15:

LC Smith Super-Speed, "GREAT KEYS!" $62.50:

Smith-Corona Super Sterling, $17.99:

A pretty and interesting Woodstock with a cut-out paper table and no manufacturer's name. Unfortunately, this typewriter had no price tag, so buying it wasn't even an option:

Royal HH, $29.99:

Smith-Corona Coronet, $39.99:

Royal KMM, $65:

Tower (Underwood), $75:

I don't remember seeing one of these 'Towers" before.

Olympia SM8, $45:

And finally, an Adler Satellite 2001 for $95:

Let the guessing begin! The person who posts the most accurate guess in the comments below within the next 24 hours will win a care package of miscellaneous typewriter goodies.

Postcript: Here's a Royal 5 for $75 that Brian spotted; I missed it.


  1. Well, it was nice to see you Richard, and to meet Mike Campbell. It was too fleeting, sadly, but fun.

    I didn't see quite a few of those that I might have bit on. But as it turns out, I bought 2 of the machines you showed. ;-)

    And the Royal 1 was a mis-identified 5, which you posted, and I did not buy.

    I recuse myself from the contest, since I was there. :-)

  2. Brian brought back the Studio 44—I saw that on facebook, am I cheating?

    For wordplay you brought back… Royal QDL 1948 and Olympia SM8?

    1. Brian's Facebook post gave away the game as far as his acquisitions go! He got the Studio 44 and Underwood Leader.

      So the challenge is to guess which 2 typewriters I brought back.

  3. Wow, this is a tough one. Being for Wordplay I'd assume you'd want sturdy machines, common enough as to not be "unique museum pieces", easy to use, and with a je-ne-sais quoi... that would discard the Remington 6, the Simplex, the Tom Thumbs and the electrics. Hmm... I'm torn between the Royal KMM and Olympia SM8, though something tells me the collector in you might have been tempted to see what that Tower is about.

    PS: "rare" green L.C. Smith & Coronas aren't that rare after all... XD Nice machines too.

    1. Keep in mind that for The Urban Legend Institute (WordPlay's retail store), I also look for typewriters that will appeal to adult buyers.

  4. I would have to say the Tower and the SM-8.

  5. I'm going to guess the Royal 10 and the first QDL.

    Those places have some really great prices! I've seen idiots on eBay charge as much as $200 for a Hermes Rocket.

  6. I was going to venture a guess at anything under $100.00 that was not an electric, but there are too many!.
    I'll guess the tower for one.

    I'd get any Underwood No. 5 for under $100 if it were repairable and as good looking as that one. I'd probaly add the Sudio 44 to my collection and the HH even though I have 2. The HH is such a nice machine that I pick them up when I can.

  7. That Springfield is my hometown! My BFF used to work at Heart of Ohio :) Glad you guys got to see some awesome typers.

  8. OK, this was a tough guessing game. The ones I brought home were the Royal 890 (it was a bargain and working like new) and the Royal 10 (it's an early one with double glass windows, the decals and paint are in nice condition, and one of our customers at the Urban Legend Institute has been looking for a classic like this).

    Disciple of Night came closest and wins the prize!

    1. Awesome! I've sent you an email with contact info.

  9. On Safari with the Brumfields in Springfield! Sounds like it was a fun time. Great to see some typewriter love out there!

  10. Apparently Springfield is where I need to be hanging out. After all, it's just a stone's throw from the Moon household (with a good windup, that is). I think I would have liked a crack at that Super Speed. Or the HH - a very solid typer, and I wish I still had mine!