Monday, August 31, 2015

The latest safari and guessing game

When I stopped by the local antique mall this morning, I saw this little poster in the window:

This was promising. Indeed, there were quite a few typewriters to be seen, some that had been in the mall for a while and some that were new to me. Prices were pretty good, and I ended up taking two machines with me.

This Smith-Corona Coronet Electric was a mere $19.99, with a pack of correction tabs.

This Olympia SM4 had its own correction tabs, and a few issues: the backspace key and tab set key were in a low position, and the platen was hard. Price: $37.50.

Olympia Report Electric, $29:

A ’50s Smith-Corona Skyriter for $39:

Tom Thumb, $50:

Here is the "vending area"—they meant the area with snack vending machines. Realizing that there are people who come in especially looking for typewriters, the mall managers have evidently tried to round up a number of machines and put them on shelves here.

Remington Portable No. 1, $37.95:

Royal 10, $40:


Royalite, $45:

I came home with the set of sheets that were displayed on the Royalite. They're for a correspondence course run by the International Typographical Union. The ITU was the oldest union in America, founded in Cincinnati in 1852. Elmer Brown was its director from 1958 to 1978.

If you like the stationery above, you can download a PDF of it here.

Back to the typewriters on display: here's a Smith-Corona Classic 12 for $40.

Here's a Remington 12:

This Letter-Riter was, as its label said ...

... very clean, very clean. $120.

Very unusually, the Letter-Riter included some of the original packaging hardware that kept it in proper condition when it was shipped from the factory.

This Olympia SG1 with the bent carriage return lever has been in the mall for a while. 

Finally, a Royal for $59.99.

So here's the guessing game. Which two typewriters did I buy?

The first person to post the correct answer in the comments section will receive a letter in the mail from me, typed on an International Typographical Union form. I'll post the right answer in 24 hours in the comments.


  1. I love safari posts. Did you pick up the Olympia SM4 Price: $37.50. and Remington Portable No. 1, $37.95?

  2. I'll go with the Skywriter and the Royal 10.

    -- Janet

  3. Hmm - I know what I would buy: Remington 1 and Royal KHM (if I was restricted to two only ;) ). But you... None of the back-breakers (10, 12, KHM, SG1), Tom Thumb - toy & too expensive, Letter-Riter - too expensive, Royalite - too expensive and it seems the ribbon cover is missing, Skyriter - nah, SM4 is a challenge - so it is a possibility...
    So my vote goes to two SCMs or Coronet + Olympia Report :)

  4. I have no idea at all! But the stationery is fab, thank you. Just printed some out on cream paper :) If money were no object, I'd have gone for the Very Clean Very Clean, just because I am interested in how typwriters were originally shipped. And I'd also go for the Remington portable, because I love them and you can never have too many.

    1. Good choice of paper! The original is, indeed, cream colored. It's nice to think that the document has wafted its way from Cincinnati to England. I also like thinking that the typosphere is today's International Typographical Union ...

  5. Well, I'm assuming you grabbed the Royalite since you have the papers that were on display with it. Along with that I'll bet you took the Remington Portable or SM4, although I would've saved the SG1 long ago ;)

  6. Thanks for the tour and the download. Those were some nice affordable typewriters. The SM4 is beautiful.

  7. If you got the Remington, you'll have saved me a trip. I was going to go out tomorrow and consider it further. I almost took it on Sunday. I also considered the Smith-Corona, mostly for the correction tabs and the machine as just a bonus. I did not see the Olympia manual, but I did see the electric. The carriage wasn't returning correctly on that one. I'm going to guess the Remington and the KHM.

  8. I'll say the Rem 1 and the Letter Riter. The KHM was a favorite but I'm thinking you already have a few.

  9. MyOldTypewriter's got it, I think. SM4 and Rem Portable. (:

  10. I'm going to say the SM4, one of the Royal standards, and the Remington Portable.

  11. Tom Thumb and Remington portable No. 1

  12. And the answer is: Olympia SM4 (I'm betting that I can fix it) and Remington portable no. 1.

    myoldtypewriter guessed them right off the bat. Everyone should check out her interesting blog!

    1. I know you can fix that Olympia. That burgundy color is pretty hard to resist, broken or no. I like how you tried to throw people off with the "hard platen" line.

      You should send Ted a postcard at least because he got the answers right as well.