Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Typewriter safari time

It's safari time again!

Will you be the first person to correctly guess which typewriter(s) I came home with? Was it none, one, all? ... If you're the first to post the correct guess below, I will gladly send you a special postcard adorned with a vintage stamp.

No descriptions this time—you'll just have to look at the photos (click to enlarge, if you like) and make your own decision.

Monday, January 22, 2018

A good mail day

Typewritten letters are a great part of belonging to the typosphere. And just now, four of them arrived in my mailbox! Thank you, correspondents.

(Yes, that is a new old phone. More on that in a future blog post.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Royal Jetstar and Custom Electric typewriters

The Jetstar's nifty ribbon setting indicator light:


Here's the '68 TV ad for the Jetstar:

The Ultronic and the Jetstar share the same mechanism and both have strong aluminum bodies, but their styling is very different:

Read about the Ultronic here.

Serial number PE8237771:

Here's an illuminated ad for the Jetstar that a dealer might hang in the window of a shop:

This catalogue page from 1970 pairs the Royal Jetstar with the smaller All-Electric.

The Custom Electric was essentially a Jetstar with some faux-wood paneling and a few extra features (much like the Custom Ultronic), as illustrated in another 1970 catalogue page.

Note that this is a catalogue for Bennett Brothers (still in business), which did not sell these typewriters to consumers but only to retailers, or to companies that wanted to provide "awards, premiums, or prizes." Maybe you would be awarded a Custom after 50 years of service as a typist at Acme Widgets! Maybe most of the Customs went to niche markets such as this.

This photo I found online shows an Ultronic in its box with a user's manual for the Custom — illustrating the point that these typewriters are mechanically the same.

The original Jetstar was a small jet airplane developed by Lockheed in the late '50s.