Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1950-model Smith-Corona Silent

On September 19, 1949, Smith-Corona ran a full-page ad in Life Magazine advertising the "new 1950 Smith-Corona Portable." Advertised as having "the touch and action of an office typewriter," the new portable sold so well, that it was not discontinued until 1960. The keyboard, which lacked metal rims, was called the "Colorspeed" keyboard, partly due to the different color of the function (backspace, shift, shift-lock, margin-release, and tabulator) keys. Later models were available in many bright colors, with white keys. (The Silent and Super models became the Silent-Super in 1954. The colorful versions are either Silent-Supers, or Sterlings. The Sterling model continued with this design until 1962--the ribbon cover was slightly modified for 1964-1966, and was dropped for the 1967 model year.) These typewriters are incredibly well-made, and if a key is disconnected, it can be fixed with minimal effort with a mechanical pencil, or a small screwdriver. The arm that connects the keys with the typebars was intentionally designed to be easy to reconnect. The arm has a hinged pin that can be moved to realign, and then put into place. This feature started on the 1950 model, and continued until the end of Smith-Corona manual typewriter production in 1983. It only applies to the full-size models.
From Life , September 19, 1949.

A well-used, yet well-preserved example of the 1950 Smith-Corona Silent

Another view of the 1950 Smith-Corona. Notice the six stripes on the ribbon cover. These can be found on certain Skyriters, and the Silent, Super, and most Silent-Super models.
A 1954 photo of an office-machine display at H.D. Baker Business Machines,
in Tacoma, WA (Image Courtesy of Tacoma Public Library)

H.D. Baker's new home, Tacoma, WA, 1955

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