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. Now...today, 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

Father and Son (...or something like that)

It is funny when i bought a 1950's Remington Rand Quiet-Riter a couple of weeks ago. It is exactly the same machine as the ones i sold half a year ago. I still have the advertisement on my website. It is ironic because the reason i didn't keep those machines is because i didn't had a attachment with them. Now...i have exactly the same machine, and i do. However, it is in way better shape then the other one was. The case is better on this one and although one of the carriage release leavers has broken off (this was like this when i got it) this machine is in way better shape. A quick mountain goat, with a very crisp touch and very attractive too look at.
Now, a couple of days ago i got a call from a friend in a village nearby. He works at the thrift store there and buys some machines for me there now and then. The Quiet-Riter also came from him a while ago. He told me he had two more typewriters. A Olympia B12, which i'll show later and a Remington Rand Super-Riter. The big model. Well, that was ironic too because it turned out to be a wide carriage model and for over 3 years, close to the birth of my collecting habit, i bought a Royal KMM (sold) that came with a Remington cover from the fifties for the wide carriage machines. And as it turns out, this was the exact model i was getting, without cover. I looked up on the internet and found that i got the machine that comes with the cover for $10!!! It is a real office classic. Worn down and heavily used but cared for and in a very interesting shape, seeing the typical wearmarks machines receive when they are heavily used. The scent of perfume is still present and this clearly isn't a home machine but a office machine.

Immidiatly i have to think of MoneyPenny in James Bond with the typewriter on her desk. Somebody like that has been using this.

When i received the typewriter, it was clear the machine was heavily used. Both the carriage release switches were so pushed down that it didn't full disengage the carriage rail, and made a rattling noise. The escapement as well was very loose because it had been used so heavily and wasn't functioning very well. However, with some patience, i manage to get it working again, and now the carriage is more silent then my other machines. The paint isn't great, but this isn't a machine based on appeal, but more on performance. It is suprisingly silent for a big machine like this and rather easy to use, unlike a Royal KGM or a Royal 440. This is a very nice machine to use. It is equipped with a few interesting features, including the famous Olympia SG1/SG3 four ribbon vibrator settings. It isn't as advanced though, missing and showing the basics overal. 
The fact that i like about it that this machine has the shiny finish. Underneath is a picture from Alan Seaver's collection
I am more fond of the shiny because i think the crinkle finish is more common and less attractive. It looks so robust. I don't know. This is my opinion.

 The Remington Rand Super-Riter machine. A very robust looking typewriter, isn't it?

And the 50's Remington Rand Quiet-Riter. The portable version of the one pictured above.

The price tag is still on the handle. The receipt for what i paid for it said $6.41 CAD, Not a bad price at all...

I think i got a awesome price for both these machines and as the big one is my most recent purchase as of November 21st 2013, i thought a post was in order.

Let me know what you think.


                                                    Well, there you go.

I wish to make my excuses for accidentally deleted ALL of the comments i had so far. I am new to blogging so...i tried to organize my inbox, and thought that removing the comments would only remove them from my inbox, not from my blog itself.

Well, you learn something everyday.

Comments WON'T be deleted from now on.

Thanks all.

Monday, 11 November 2013

My most recent purchase.

My father has since i started collecting typewriters, also gotten a eye for typewriters which have good looks. Therefor, a week and a half ago, he told me that he had gotten into contact with a lady from a antique store in town that had a typewriter for sale. Of course i was interested immediately  not bother with the price but find out what kind of typewriter it is. He remembered what it looked like and when i went online and showed him several typewriters in that category, we found it.
A dual tone, beautiful cherry red Royal Portable from the late 20s in wonderful shape.
 A wonderful typewriter to use. When i bought it (for $140) it was pretty disgusting. There was moist eraser dust in it, sticking to every part of the machine. It was also filled with dust. It took a while to get off. Also the machine was smoked around for years. Nicotine yellowing and staining was all over this machine. I had to be really careful when it came to cleaning this machine, since i wanted to preserve the paint, but remove the stains. 

And...success. The yellowing is removed, mostly. (Not the parts that are impossible to reach but it is very little). And all the staining. I removed the entire body and cleaned and oiled the machine thoroughly. I then tended to the body parts. The dirt and staining was so old that if it would've been left on the machine a few more years, it would not be possible to remove. 

I used old rags, and for the metal, the soft side of a sponge. And that worked as well, surprisingly.

The mechanism itself was still in good working order when i inspected it on the counter in the store, but improved even more when i oiled it. 

I bought the machine on my work day. It was my lunch break and i could walk to the store in a jiffy. The only downside to that was that it was really bad outside. The storm was hitting the city and therefor it was very windy, and between the store where  i work and the store where the typewriter was is a really high bridge, and in weather it was that day...it isn't fun. So walking empty handed to the store was no problem, with a scarf, winter coat and hat...but with your hands full over a bridge with low banisters and me catching the wind at 6'5", the experience was something left to be desired if you can imagine what i mean. Every time i took a step, it was as if i was about to fly. But i made it back safely. So the journey to getting this was also a whole story.

The shift key had gotten some dirt underneath the glass, and i thought it was permanent, but i managed to get the cap off, and expose the print underneath the shift key glass. The dirt came right off. So the keyboard is in almost perfect condition, as you can see.

A true collectors gem, according to several typewriter collector's websites, and considering that i sold a ordinary Olympia SM3 for the same price two weeks back, that i got as a donation piece 2 years ago, i only paid the taxes on the Royal, really, which was just $14,59. And buying a typewriter like this for $14,95, is of course a wonderfull deal.

It is really nicely decoration and i LOVE THE COLOUR!!!
Dirty strikers, because i used it a lot.

A nicely preserved service label. It looks like it is almost as old as the typewriter, what do you think?

All the labels in lovely condition.

I love that they made the case and base in the same style the typewriter came out. Red, a style that was quite rare back in the 20s. I have only seen these in black, really. The case i mean.

A printed label, on the case. Looks AWESOME!!!

I use the typewriter frequently. It is a awesome typewriter, very well preserved for it's age and used and take care of very satisfactory.
Like i said, according...i think, Mytypewriter and websites like that, these coloured versions are really quite more rare then the ordinary black model P's.
A awesome find at a awesome price.

A type sample. I forgot to space on the fourth sentence.

First Blog (11/11/13)

YES, and now it is my turn!

For the past few weeks I have spend many hours reading the blogs of other people collecting and using typewriters with pleasure and joy. My YouTube channel has been a great success over the past few years, with the collectors of typewriters and just people that enjoy using those tasteful relics. I have therefor decided that it also is a good idea for me to be doing a blog that people might enjoy. Well...here we go. This is the start of what is going to be a wonderful blogging experience, in my opinion.

I was going to be doing the text on a actual typewriter, but for some reason, Blogger won't allow custom sizes, like the scanner. And the sizes it provides are too small for the text, written on paper and then scanned, to be readable. So I'll type my blogs out like this until I find a good way of doing it appropriately and actually use the typewriter to post my blogs.

But to get to the core of the intension of this post...here is a little background info on me and my typewriter collection.

"Dr. Typewriter" with part of his typewriter museum in view behind him.

- Back in 2009, when on a thrift store visit, while observing 35 mm camera's, my eye caught on a what appeared to be, quite a large object, covered by a ripped cover. I left the camera's for what they were and went to see what it was. What it turned out to be was a 1960s Underwood Standard typewriter. A Underwood Type-master in wonderful used condition. And the irony of it was that it only cost $3.00 at the time, 
Here is a picture of my first ever purchased typewriter. (A bit blurry but pretty clear. You get the idea)

so I took the opportunity before somebody else got there eye on it. And well...right now, it sits under one of my desks, waiting to be used. It currently is out of ink, but the ribbon it was the original ribbon that came with the machine, and was already heavily used at the time, but last year I managed to type 200 pages on what was left of it. The ribbon was falling apart, shredding pieces of carbon ribbon wherever you looked, but there was still ribbon on it so I wanted to continue using it that way. Now...it is pretty dead.

After I bought the typewriter. I took it home with, trying to discover it's features and compare it with my grandfathers typewriter which I have had since his death in 2001. There difference were also pretty significant, as (a teenager) I have never seen another manual typewriter before. (Note that I didn't say just typewriter...but more of that later.

After that, I bought typewriters at a regular pace...from Craigslist, thrift stores, and antique depo's.

And I also have started a writing process whereby I write over 200 pages on a typewriter. I like to write detectives and so I have done. Mystery's have something thrilling, my big inspiration being the 1968-2003 television series "Lieutenant Columbo" my big idol.

Television, newspapers and magazines all have showed interest in my typewriters and writing, and I have been interviewed frequently for what I am doing, and I think it is important to get it out of there. That not all teenagers my age, sit behind a PS4 or Nintendo DS just playing there life away, no...here is one that has a interest in typewriters. And everytime I am doing something public or people come over while I am working behind one, they show a delight of interest.

A bit of a dark picture, but it shows part of my typewriter collection. Underneath the covers are also several machines.
(From left to right)

1st shelf: Royal HH
2nd shelf: Underwood 3 & Remington 12
3rd shelf: L.C. Smith 8(?)& Olympia SG3 (Later model: Bl. Keys)
4th shelf: (2) Olympia Sg1's
5th shelf: Olympia SG3 (Earlier model: Wh. Keys)& Royal KMM
 The desk: Underwood 5 & Oliver 9 & Underwood 5
On stand beside the shelf: Imperial 50
Between desk and shelf: Brother Echelon (#?)

Two more. A Royal HH and a Underwood that goes beside the other HH on the top shelf. Is that Underwood looking good or what?
...and even more. The red case is a dual-tone Royal.

But here is a funny story,

When i lived in Holland, my home-country, i actually had typing class on a typewriter. 20 students working their way through hardset tasks, unbelievable annoying assignments. There were 19 Brother typewriters, purchased recently. (This was the fall of 2005) and another student brought a SCM Electra 120, or something like that. Anways, i remember HATING it, never doing any of the assignments appointed, and always pretending that i was out of ink and therefor couldn't do my homework, which went for once a week there for a while. Anyways, after a half a year, awards were given, and i was the only one that DIDN'T pass the course, in the history of it. Which was about 10 years, so that tells you something.

And now look at me. There is nothing i rather don't do then type, write my novels, collect and restore typewriters.

A image taken by the local newspaper for a article written on September 1st 2012

Anyways, here is a little about me. I am very anxious to blow this blogging up, and therefor i hope you have enjoyed this little introduction. 

Thank you for reading.

Dirk (DrTypewriter) Plante