Monday, 23 December 2013

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.


  1. I indeed didn't know that Commodore also produced typewriters. Neither did I know it was founded by a survivor. Thanks for sharing this story!

    1. It is unfortunate, because these are awesome typewriters. I think definitely in the top ten of best typewriters if you come near one. But I looked them up and they are quite rare. But maybe. THEY FEEL SO GOOD TO USE!!!

  2. They both look great -- almost brand new!

    1. It's funny. The grey one didn't come with a case, but is better preserved then the blue. Just by little though. But the only paint chips I could find on the grey one were below the chassis and a teeny tiny nick on the cover, not worth noticing. Unbelievable.

  3. Really interesting post this, thank you.