Sunday, March 26, 2023

A new case for an Emerson

Flushed with the success of improvising a new case for my Noiseless Portable and creating new instructions for the Emerson, I wanted my Emerson to have a case of its own before I give it to a friend. 

Originally, it probably came with a wooden base and sheet-metal cover, like most early typewriters. Here's a photo of an early Emerson with a base that I found online. But finding a base and cover especially for an Emerson, or making them to original specifications, was beyond me.

eBay to the rescue—as usual! But it took time to find something that had the right dimensions and also looked good. Finally, I found this vintage suitcase. It's bigger than it needs to be—about 18"x18"x10", roughly 1.5 times the dimensions of a typical portable typewriter case. Then again, the Emerson isn't exactly a portable.

This beautiful leather case was made to order, long ago, for someone with the initials S.M.M. It's deeper than most suitcases, which aren't nearly deep enough to accommodate a non-portable typewriter.

But how to secure the typewriter safely? I played around with chunks of styrofoam but wasn't satisfied. Finally it dawned on me that I had some memory foam from an old mattress.

The typewriter sinks down into the foam snugly.

Another chunk of foam tucked into the pocket in the top of the case provides gentle pressure from the top and ensures that the typewriter won't budge. Voilà!
This worked so well that I'm already thinking about doing the same for other typewriters that need new cases.


  1. Bravo! As long as you don't mind having weird suitcases filling your bookshelves, odd cases are an excellent solution (:

  2. Great work! That old suitcase looks great.
    I've used suitcases for portables that were missing the original case.

  3. What a great way to repurpose an old piece of luggage. The strange and wonderful Emerson deserves a fitting cover!