Monday, 30 December 2013

My newest find (As of date shown)

This is a quick spoiler for a find that I did. These two machines were located with about 15 other typewriters and cashregisters and way more stuff in a barn. I got these two machines for $95 TOGETHER as a barn find. And boy, were they.
A 1897 Remington 8 (of which I have the feeling is quite rare unlike the 6 and 7) and a Empire from 1892. Two brilliant looking machines. The Empire has experienced life, has some scratches and definitely more rust then the Remington, but was salvageable. Somebody scratched the top somewhat, after they slipped with a screwdriver, after taking the ribbon reverse system off. Slightly unfortunate but if you ask me, just as old as the dust you see in the picture. And actually, it makes it look robust. It shows that It has gone through life and came out with just some bruises and scratches.

I bought the Empire for $40 and the Remington for $55. The Empire works, the Remington works but the carriage is loose. It is missing a wheel. It was advertised with a removable carriage though.
The decals are in GREAT shape in both cases. Everything in that barn was in GREAT shape decal wise.

They are currently 150 KM away, so a full article will be written later.

***UPDATE (December 31st 2013 11:04 PM)***

The Remington 8 is very difficult to actually date. The information of production of this particular model is very scarce including the machine itself apparently, as Martin Howard and Jett Morton will confirm. Most information indicates that the machine was made some time between 1897-1899, therefor, I'll put it down as 1897, as the model was introduced that year, and we'll probably never know for sure anymore. It is a 25000 S#. Some people confirm that it was made in the actual 1897 year, and others tell different. From the information that I could find, the machine was indeed made in 1897, maybe '98.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

A theory (1)

I have two typewriters that have suffered some oxidation, including my grandfathers Olympia Elite. And what I have noticed is that the oxidation in both cases has taken place on the sides, mostly close to the keyboard, but mostly overall.

This is my theory:
Do you think it could be possible that all those hands that have gone over these machines have caused the oxidation. I mean, your hands are always damp. Damp and paint...get my point.

Let me know.

Monday, 23 December 2013


my friends. 
Me and my typewriters wish you a happy and healthy 2014!!! 

Salute to the Commodore

The Commodore 2200 typewriter was a machine manufactured by Commodore Co. which is a company known for the computer Commodore 64, which was a desktop computer brought commercially available back in 1983.
The Commodore company was a corporation founded in 1953/54 in Ontario, Canada, starting off as a typewriter manufactorer. The company was founded by a Auschwitz survivor. After a few years working as a taxidriver, he managed to sign a contract with the Czechoslovakian company of Consul, a typewriter manufacturer founded in the 50's. Jack Tramiel, the founder of Commodore agreed with the Czechoslovakian company of Consul that he was allowed to use their design for his typewriter. There for the Consul 221 sold under his company name as the Commodore 2200. Later on, Remington also started selling the same typewriter under the name of Cavalier Speedwriter. There was not really any differences except the name.
During this time period, also a cheaper version evolved. The Consul 224 typewriter. This machine lacked a tabulator and in some cases a paper support as well. The system was also build more simpler, which gave it a cheaper feel. This machine was also sold by Tramiel under the same Commodore name. And Remington sold it as the Collegian Speedwriter. The looks were slightly more bold and different, but overall, the appeal of the machine was basically the same

(A image of my grey Commodore 2200)
The Commodore 2200 typewriter was also sold as 
- Cavalier Speedwriter
- Consul 221

(A image of my grey Collegian Speedwriter)
The cheaper version of the Commodore 2200 sold also as
- Collegian Speedwriter
- Consul 224

Eventually, the Commodore company pursued more computerized business, and eventually became famous for bringing their Commodore 64 in manufacture. Most typewriter enthusiasts have not even heard of the Commodore 2200 (or whatever you would like to call it) which it really doesn't do any justice at all.
     Honestly...i prefer this typewriter over the spring-loaded key Olympia typewriters from around the same era. They have more colour...(well, except for the Olympia SM7 which came in blue and pink) and they feel way way better, although the design is cheaper. Which might be akward. The Commodore 2200 really represents the era it was made in. The soft colouring and glossy paint job, and the body itself is all metal. The keys are plastic, obviously, but the body, including the ribbon cover is all cast iron, which give it a really sturdy feel. The tabulator feel really is necessary whenever you purchase a typewriter like this for long drafts and stories, which why i recently (as of December 23rd '13) have been looking for another Commodore 2200 and actually found one. Story underneath:

My second Commodore 2200 was purchased in a city 116 kilometers further. A week ago i was looking for another Commodore as i already put over 400 pages on my other one's clock, and i wanted one for back up whenever it needed maintaince. There was a Commodore for sale in August, and the ad was online for a long time up to October, advertising the fact that children were going back to school. However, because it was so far away, i hesitated and didn't buy it, as it was so far away. Now a week ago, i really thought about it...suprisingly found the expired advertisement and noticed that the typewriter was being sold by a collectible store for $60. That was quite a difference considering i bought my first one for $35 with case and tools while this one doesn't have anything. But i contacted them anyways, asking them if they still happend to have the typewriter. They SUPRISINGLY said yes. The typewriter was still for sale after 4 months. So i told my mother that i wanted to go to the city, and purchase the typewriter. Gas isn't cheap these days and we are not the richest people in the world, however, i managed to convince her to drive me if i paid for coffee and gas. And there we went. I traded the typewriter for a RC car that i traded for a laptop computer a while back, that i got for free, so i got the whole $60 typewriter for FREE, and even got a 20 bucks bill. SWEET!!! I brought it home and got to work immidiatly, fixing it up.
Before cleaning...rather clean, huh.

The typewriter was in very good condition, a few stains on the paint, but barely any chipping and no scratches at all. This typewriter was better preserved then my other Commodore and that one still has all it's tools and case to protect it. The typewriter apperantly had been serviced recently as the ribbon was barely used and there were still oil remains in it's mechanism. There is a typewriter shop in the city where i bought it.
I just dusted it off, took the $59,95 tag off and started typing on it. 
A worn streched spring caused the carriage to make a bad noise so i had to replace that. Smooth as silk now. And the backspace is slightly sluggish but that is just from sitting in a glass cabinet in the store for 4 months. It works better every time i use it.
It is a awesome looking piece, and feels exactly like i wanted it too.
The Commodore after cleaning

 The "c" is a little faded.
 The carriage lock is on the side.

 Simple but nice. It is more goodlooking then the emptyness on the cheaper model.

Both of my Commodore's

I recommend this typewriter to anyone who is serious about their writing. It feels so good to write on, and has a very nice font. The long carriage return arm might feel a little fragile at first, but performs very well. And the machine just looks beautiful. The case of one of these is massive though. But i really think this is my #1 kind of typewriter that i would turn to to write on, to do some serious writing. Looks is still a classic Underwood 5 although these aren't bad either.
After i got this machine, i thought a little servicing on my blue Commodore and my Collegian Speedwriter wouldn't hurt. The Collegian has suffered a bang at some point in it's life and when i purchased it for $10, i found the backplate of the carriage loose in it's case, and it was bend almost 90 degrees. I managed to straighten it out...and only when you look closely you'll notice a few dents. But it acted as a crumple zone and has done very well as the typewriter isn't even damaged. The Commodore 2200 is still candy for the eye. Maybe a little paint loss, but it just looks awesome. 

Here is the link to the Commodore Brochure from the 70s/80s also representing the Commodore.

***Did you see what i see?***
Answer is at the bottom of the page. :)

Here are some pictures during cleaning.

 Clean keys
 My tool kit
 No...don't worry. No sandpaper was used. That was just there to make room.

Answer: ***Did you see what i see?***
The image of the Commodore is printed mirror-wise. The carriage return leaver is on the wrong side and the logo as well.
Have you ever heard of Erodommoc?

Thanks for reading.

Toothpaste Tricks

I discovered something amazing when i was browsing over the web looking for a cleaning product to polish paint. (Old paint like on for instance...say, typewriters) You know what i found out? That TOOTHPASTE works perfectly. Not the expensive toothpaste with bits and pieces in it but the green Colgate stuff. It is unbelievable what kind of results you get from using toothpaste on the paint on a typewriter. I don't recommend doing this on a typewriter that has a crinkly paint finish or the machine is older then the 50's since the paint might've become fragile.

THIS WORKS BEST ON 60'S AND 70'S MACHINERY. - I am not responsible for any damage done to typewriters. This trick works for me and i would like to share it. However, if something goes wrong while a other person performs is not my fault. This is warning.

The toothpaste cleans paint brilliantly because it has certain chemicals in it that take dirt right off. (Can you imagine you putting that in your mouth?)

What to do:

- 1 - Put some toothpaste on your finger tip or cloth.
- 2 - Gently rub it onto the surface, circling it into it.
- 3 - Let it sit for about 2 minutes.
- 4 - Take a dry smooth soft cloth and wipe most of it off.
- 5 - Grab a non-acidic multi-purpose cleaner and wipe the remainder off.
- 6 - Let it sit for about 2-3 minutes.
- 7 - Wipe it clean and dry and there you have it.

_Pictures are underneath_

Friday, 6 December 2013

Underwood's "TYPE-MASTER"

My Underwood Typemaster, was my first ever bought, and one of my favourite typewriters to use. A absolute joy to be able to put my ideas on paper through the quite, extraordinary machinery of this beast. I have written over 300 pages on this typewriter, and it is stil ready to go another 3000. The machines is very strong, and has a very interesting power-space system, belt driven by a chain and teethed wheels. The machine works like a charm, and considering i bought this machine for $3.00 back in '09, this baby is one of the best purchases i have ever made based on performance, even to this day.

 The power-space escapement system, or part of it, as the rest of it is mounted to the tabulator banister.
 The drive chain for the escapement system. A rather brilliant system, when you see it in operation.
 And a top video of the chain drive. (Above and Below)

A dissassembled typewriter. The body parts are removed and the structure is clearly visible.

Fuel for fire, ink for typewriters...

1/2 Spool ribbons seem to be doing well. Staples, my Office depo sells them frequently as i constantly notice they are provided with new stock. Isn't it interesting. Anyways, that is better for me...because the more people use them, the more they'll keep ordering (hopefully). Currently, they only have black but maybe black/red will come too at some point. Thank you, Staples, Brother and Porelon. I bought these two for 10 bucks a piece today. They last for months!!!
Two packs of 1/2" ribbons. A awesome brand as Porelon provides very well inked ribbons.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Sunday morning...

A absolute stunning morning.
A delicious cup of coffee, a little snack, a carefully selected typewriter to be writing a good, healthy, long letter to my family, and a stunning view over the ocean, just the way i like it. A excellent way to spend your Sunday.
It went a bit chilly around lunch and started to drizzle after, but beside that, this was a excellent morning.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

New guardian.

Another one sold. My 1949 Royal KMM is off to go live with it's new owner. My final KMM has been sold.  A little emptyness is present. Considering i have spend many hours and pages on this machine feels weird.
But i needed room drastically. And as i have not used it for a while, i thought that it was better if it was to be passed on to a person who would enjoy and use it more.
The Royal can here be seen waiting for it's new owner on the afternoon of the sale.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Classic colours.

The design in typewriters is sometimes astonishing. Thinking about the classic Underwood Square like design and then turning your attention to the circular design of a minty Hermes 3000 is very fascinating. It is therefor, in my opinion, a pity that there isn't one digital object these days that have a bit of creative design in them. I mean...looking at the flat screen TV's these days, they are not very heart warming, are they? I mean, when they are turned off, it looks like you have a black hole on your wall. One laptop looks just like the other and then lets not start on mobile devices. The only creative side you get from a IPhone or IPad is when you buy a good looking sleeve for them, so they'll be protected when they bounce off the sidewalk. And then when I tell people my opinion, they tell me I am old school.
I am a artist. And I like good looking things. Today's cars and computers, are not good-looking. They are dull and they haven't been build to look good at all...which is really something I miss. Back in the 70's, cars couldn't be shinier and more impressive, with loads of chrome., every car I see on a car dealerships parking lot, is nothing else but small Prius looking cars that are too small for a person of my proportion. Right...I mean...what does the eye get?
Typewriters...or most typewriters, are good looking, colourful, and people bought them based on if they would fit in the d├ęcor of their home.
Do you buy your computer based on that?
I think it is more based on performance.

If that would be the case, back in the day. The Smith-Corona Skyriter or Zypher would've never made it unfortunately. Because they look good, but the Zypher is far from being practical and the machine I would choose for writing long draft, if even a longer letter.

But they do look good.

Typewriters have so many different colours and shapes, it is wonderful to go through the cases in my closets and select a typewriter for a letter, based on my mood. Am I mad, confused or tired...out comes the grey. But am I happy, energetic filled with enthusiasm for a positive attitude...the only thing you will see me picking away at will be a colourful Smith-Corona or Royal. Isn't it funny how I put this down on my blog...I become more and more drawn to start a letter for my grandmother at 10:45 PM exact? :-) 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

My Desktop Underwoods. (As of Nov 21st 2013)

A article about my favourite brand typewriter.

Underwood is my most favourable typewriter brand that i can think of. The fact that typewriter classic Underwoods have been build so brilliantly, is for me enough to announce Underwood my favourite. Beside that, i have become to own quite a few of them as well. My first ever purchased typewriter was a Underwood. So maybe that's the reason. I don't know. However, i do know that writing on these magnificent machines is a true joy and pleasent experience, especially because of the glass keys.

Here you see a group of some of my Underwood Typewriters. Not all of them as some of them are in either cases, or put away.

From Left to Right to centre...

- 1926 Underwood 5
- 1911 Underwood 5
- 1924 Underwood 3
- 1961 Underwood Typemaster
- 1947 Underwood 6(?)
- 1909 Underwood 5

Underwoods are wonderfull machine. The fact that it is just all metal makes it feel really sturdy and unbreakable. All the Underwood's i received were in a state to be recovered. The '11 No.5 was jammed solid when i got it, the carriage hanging off the side margin. However, tampering with it, brought it back into action. Bent striker bars were also a issue, although not too bad, and that's fixed too now, with just the 8 sagging slightly being a indication of a problem that has ever existed.

The No.3 was also a bit jammed when i got it but the way these machines are build, they just wake up from a very long sleep and are ready to continue to work their way into fame, which is where they are now, as my No.3 has been photographed for both the Newspaper article from i think Sept. 1st 2012, and then it was photographed for a photo-exhibition in the cities art gallery, which was about collecting on which i signed up on.

That tells you something definitly. However, finding a Underwood is not that difficult. By the mid 30's when the No.5 was discontinued, millions were produced, and therefor, still around. However, finding them in the condition that i have is definitly a challenge, especially if you have no experience cleaning a typewriter. I have though...and that has brought out incredible beauty.

A dutch 1946 Underwood Universal Portable. It was battered and not working when i received it, however, with lots of patience and some knowledge based on cleaning typewriters, it is in magnificent shape right now, working wonderfully.

Glass keys is also a great help in typing. However, Underwood wasn't the only typewriter manufacturer at that time that attempted that. Royal and Remington were also a brand that enjoyed following that tactic. However, Remington used fillings for the keys instead of glass keys.

The feeling is already different, and i am really fond of the feeling of glass keys. I advise anybody interested in buying a typewriter, to keep at least on eye out for a machine that has that.

I have a lot of Underwoods with glass keys, or without, and in both cases, they are wonderfull machines to use.

Above are some pictures of some different Underwoods i own. Here is what the pictures show.

Picture #1: 

*1924 Underwood No.3
*1925 Underwood No.3
*1922 Underwood No.3

Picture #2:

*1947 Underwood No.6(?)

Picture #3:

*36/37(?) Underwood Champion

Picture #4:

*1926 Underwood No.5
*1911 Underwood No.5
*1909 Underwood No.5

Picture #5:

*Underwood Typewriter Paperweight

Picture #6:

*1961 Underwood Type-Master

Picture #7:

*Keys of a '11 No.5

Picture #8:

*Carriage Ruler of a '24 No.3