Monday, June 5, 2023

A typewriter heads to the opera

Once in a while, I get asked to provide a typewriter for a local dramatic production. This time, it's the Cincinnati Opera that wants a typewriter as a percussion instrument for their production of the new opera The Knock, about military wives waiting to hear the fates of their husbands. This 1936 Royal KHM fits the bill, in my opinion, with its good looks and its nice, sharp tap.


Saturday, June 3, 2023

A Remington Noiseless 6 “springs” into action

This machine, brought in for service by a customer of Urban Legend Typewriters, is the first Remington Noiseless 6 that I've had the opportunity to work on.

This typewriter was made in 1929, four years after Remington bought the Noiseless Typewriter Co. and turned its three-bank models into four-bankers. (Remaining stock of the three-bank Noiseless standard was sold as the Remington Noiseless 5—a scarce model today. The no. 6 was succeeded by the no. 10, which was made, in different body styles, up to 1960. Meanwhile, the Noiseless Portable was reborn as the Remington Noiseless portable models, made from the early ’30s into the 1950s. Models 7-9 are portables.) 
Aside from the missing left ribbon cover, this typewriter is complete.

An attractive detail is the nickeled end plate of the tabulator rack/paper bail structure.

But what's that weird spring??

I admit that I added it. It helps the ribbon vibrator return promptly to its resting position. The vibrator was lingering too long in the elevated position. I couldn't find any friction point or dirt, so there was nothing to do but resort to this. (The screw holding the spring to the side of the machine connects to a little eccentric nut on the inside of the typewriter which controls how far the carriage can move towards the typist—the carriage can be moved back and forth on Noiselesses. Try not to unscrew the screw all the way from the nut, as I did! It was hard to get them back together.)

And there is another jerryrigged spring I've installed on this machine. It pushes the margin stop toward the front of the typewriter. Without this spring, the stop had a tendency to stay in back, letting the carriage move all the way to the left and right. Again, I couldn't find any way to fix this through cleaning or adjustments, so I resorted to a spring.

I would rather do things the official way when I can, but sometimes you just have to say, "Whatever works!" After all, most 94-year-olds need a little assistance. And there is a satisfaction in installing a spring that's just long enough and tight enough to do a job.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Het Makers Manifest

Auke Vanderhoek in the Netherlands has composed a "Maker's Manifesto," closely inspired by the Typewriter Manifesto. You can find the Dutch text here, and here are some delightful photos of Auke's daughter.