Thursday, March 19, 2020

Fox no. 23 typewriter (1908)

I dug out my 1908 Fox no. 23. Why? Because I needed a dose of pure pleasure. Don't we all?

There are many beautiful typewriters, but there's none in my collection lovelier than this one. It's a great Art Nouveau design to begin with, and this one is in outstanding condition.

I bought this typewriter on eBay maybe 20 years ago. It came with a base and cover, and as I recall, there was plenty of fluff and dust in the typewriter, but it basically blew away, and underneath, there was an almost perfectly preserved machine, with great paint, decals, and nickel. I had the platen redone by Ames.

What's it like to type on? It features an easy basket shift and snappy action. There is a switch in the back that allows you to adjust when the escapement will trip; I find that if I put it on one setting (I think it's supposed to be the speedy setting), I tend to get shadowing. The button on the left front corner of the frame is for the tabulator (this is a weak point in the frame, and is often broken). The main disadvantage of this typewriter is that it has no backspacer. But with a little care and practice, I think I could get used to it.

Now to type some letters ...

PS: Want to know more about Foxes? Read Tyler Anderson's The Fox Typewriter Company, available for free download by courtesy of the author.


  1. Dirk & I managed to snag a #24 a few years back. One of the few early front-strikes that feel like a typewriter of the 30s when they are really early 1900s. My only complaint with them is the same as the old Empires; the legends wear off the keys rather readily.

  2. Wow, one of those with a fresh platen has got to be a pleasure to type on :D

  3. I have one Theodore, just not as nice as yours I am sure. But you are correct, a nice snappy action.

  4. What a beautiful typewriter! I never knew any typewriter was basket shift in 1908.
    Fresh platens are always nice, too.

    1. Most were carriage-shifted, but a major exception was the L.C. Smith (1904).

    2. Monarch I think debuted one the same time as LC Smith, making a bit of a tie for first. As I type Monarch that seems wrong... but I can't think of who else it could have been.

  5. A joy to behold - pure 'eye-candy'. Thank you :-)

  6. This is what mine is supposed to look like....