Monday, September 18, 2023

More telegrapher's portable typewriters

Bob Freshwater has sent me these interesting photos of a Royal P (ca. 1930) adapted to handle telegraph forms and a ca. 1952 instruction session on the use of the Smith-Corona Typewriter Telegraph 8B. He says that these machines were used by the UK General Post Office.

For more information and examples of telegrapher's portable typewriters, see my 2017 post on the topic.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

One weird trick for fixing your sluggish electric

The Royal Saturn is a nifty-looking lightweight electric, actually made by Silver-Seiko.

The problem on this one: some typebars weren't reaching the platen. They just weren't being activated with enough force. 

I concluded that the belt had lost some elasticity over the years, leading to a weak rotation of the fluted shaft that drives the typebars.

Replacement belt? I didn't have any handy.

It dawned on me that instead of replacing this still intact belt, I could increase the diameter of the rotating shaft on the left that is directly driven by the electric motor. This would stretch out the belt a little, making it tauter, and turn the shaft faster.

At first I put a short length of automotive tubing over the shaft. This increased its diameter too much: the typebars smacked against the paper so hard that they were cutting it.

It turned out that an inconspicuous little piece of shrink tubing was just enough to solve the problem.

So there you go: in this situation, try this trick. You may bring your electric back to life by taking a few seconds to add some material that costs a fraction of a cent.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Let the sales begin

I intend to make some serious progress on slimming down my typewriter collection this fall. 

My first listing on eBay is a Pluma 22. — A what? — That's the Spanish counterpart to the Lettera 22, minus tabulator. And this one is pink.

You can find the listing on eBay here.

You'll find all my typewriters for sale, when I list them, here. You can also save a search for Polt typewriter, and eBay will email you whenever I put one up.