Thursday, October 31, 2013

Remington Travel-Riter, 1959

 This case is covered, inside and out, in vinyl. It is very easy to clean. The latches were made in England.
 This typewriter was designed by Carl Sundberg, and made in the Netherlands. It's boxier than it looks!
Remington called this color scheme "Pearl and Charcoal." It was the only color scheme available on the Travel-Riter in 1959. Other names for this typewriter include "Tower Centurion," "Remington Monarch," "Torpedo 700," "Singer Graduate"
Here are some advertisements for the Travel-Riter:
Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 17, 1959  (Image from America's Genealogy Bank) 

Seattle Times, October 14, 1959 (Image from America's Genealogy Bank) 

The Seattle Times, September 13, 1960  (Image from America's Genealogy Bank) 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

1967-1969 Smith-Corona Galaxie Deluxe with Twelve-inch Carriage

 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
This typewriter was made between 1967 and 1970. According to vintage Smith-Corona advertisements, the Galaxie Deluxe was introduced around 1967. In 1968 it was offered in gold, but was not available in gold in 1970. The Galaxie Deluxe continued until the 1970s. This is a rare variation of the Smith-Corona Galaxie Deluxe; it has a twelve-inch carriage. This typewriter predates the introduction of the Galaxie Twelve by three years. It is also my first Galaxie-based Smith-Corona to have Elite type, and my first Smith-Corona that was already as clean as when it was made. Here is a 1969 ad for the Smith-Corona Galaxie 12, from The Oregonian:

1968 Smith-Corona Catalog Page
My Galaxie Deluxe was sold by Blackburn Office Equipment, located at 1223 Commercial Street, in Bellingham, Washington. They are still around:
From their website:
"n 1945, Chet and Hubert Blackburn began a small family-owned office machine dealership.  Founded on the principal that “We service what we sell.”  Today, Blackburn Office Equipment has become a premier supplier of office product solutions in Northwest Washington.

In 1962 Marvin Grunhurd purchased Blackburn Office Equipment and ran the business until 1992.  It was then bought by James Olson and Randy Grunhurd and they ran the business together until Jim passed on in 2010. Today Blackburn Office Equipment it owned soley by Randy Grunhurd.

Blackburn Office Equipment moved to its current location at 203 W Chestnut Street in 1977.  The red brick building that overlooks Bellingham Bay was formerly the Bellingham American Legion building."

Blackburn Office Machines, late 1960s (Whatcom County Assessor photo)

Monday, October 28, 2013

I was hoping for a pink Sears typewriter...but I found something better!

...but I found something much better (and rarer):
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
This typewriter is basically a rebadged Brother typewriter. According to the serial number (on the plate on the back of the machine), it was made in November, 1964. It had no case, because the original case was a cheap, zippered product. Other than that, it is perfect. (and "mauve-lous")  Unlike most typewriters, it has a push-button ribbon color selector! It has a light, snappy touch, similar to a better version of the Royal Safari, if it were crossed with an Olympia SM-9.
Its original retail price was $89.50. This typewriter was sold alongside the Signature 513 (with a 13" wide carriage), and the compact Signature 100. 
It should be noted that Sears was one of the catalysts for Olivetti entering the US market; this was also true with Ward's being one of the main reasons that Brother typewriters were first imported into the United States.

I should point out that in natural light, this typewriter is pink!
This typewriter is very similar to the Signature 510:
This is one of Brother's rarer designs, not because of lack of quality, but because of its original price, which was the same as known brands of the time, such as Royal, Smith-Corona, and Remington. It should be noted that this is designed to look very similar to Akio Kondo's common compact Brother portable. Personally, I think that this typewriter is the best Brother portable ever made!

Friday, October 25, 2013

1959 British Olivetti

I bought this typewriter in Snohomish, Washington. It was made in 1959 in Olivetti's Glasgow factory. It has a strange British keyboard, with French accents. I am still unsure of the market that it was designed for. If anyone knows, please post a comment. Its color was designed to not clash with any room. It came with its brushes and dust cover.
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)

1967 Adler J-4

I bought this typeriter from the Red Grand Piano Antique Mall in Tacoma, Washington. (The Red Grand Piano Antique Mall is in the same space as Clinton's Music House)It was serviced recently by Johnny's Office Machines, which was located in the same building, three doors down from the antique mall.

 When I first saw this latch on the internet, I assumed that it was missing several pieces. It turns out that the latch is inside the case, and extended through the case by these tabs.  (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 I think that this is one of the most beautifully simple typewriter designs ever. I also think that these keys were molded in this color--Palmolive (my de-yellowing agent) did not remove the yellowing beyond this.  (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
This shop was located in the same building as Clinton's Music House/The Red Grand Piano Antique Mall.  (Nick Bodemer Collection)
A very stylized version of their building. This business card looks like it was first printed in the mid-1050s, when their building was built. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Olympia Traveller deLuxe, 1979

 The snap-on lid (the bottom of the typewriter forms the bottom of the case.)  (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 The carriage-return lever folds down for storage, and lifts up for use.  (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
For more information about the Olympia Traveller deLuxe, go to:

Friday, October 18, 2013

History of my Smith-Corona Classic 10

On April 17, 1973, a sixty-five year old accountant named Herbert Lee walked into the Burt Typewriter Company's
Burt Typewriter Company, 1204 Second Avenue, on May 9, 1960
Image Courtesy of the King County Assessor's Archives,
Puget Sound Regional Archives
store, located in an aging white terra-cotta building on Second Avenue. He looked past rows of typewriters, before picking out a charcoal gray Smith-Corona Classic 10. (According to Jay Respler, of Advanced Business Machines, it was made in 1971. It must have sat on Burt Typewriter's shelves for two years, as it was sold for the price of a brand-new one.)

This advertisement for the Smith-Corona Classic 10 appeared on
Page 16 of The Seattle Times, on October 5, 1972.
Image courtesy of NewsBank
 He paid $123.20 for it, and was given a receipt. He put the receipt inside of the Changeable Type brochure, folding it very neatly. (The receipt was in the Changeable Type brochure when I bought it. It was folded into quarters.) 
A photocopy of Herbert Lee's receipt from April 17, 1973
Author's Collection
Mr. Lee kept the typewriter in excellent condition, even leaving the original styrofoam packing material inside the lid of the case. He kept all of the paperwork that came with the typewriter. Years passed, and he kept the typewriter in very good condition. He most likely had it cleaned and oiled by a typewriter specialist. 

Herbert G. Lee's 1971 Smith-Corona Classic 10. Author's Collection
Mr. Lee made sure to keep all of the paperwork from the purchase of his Smith-Corona Classic 10 with the typewriter. He passed away on October 7, 1995, at the age of 87. Seventeen years passed. The typewriter was then sold to the Seattle Antiques Market, located at 1400 Alaskan Way in December 2012. Shortly after it was sold to the Seattle Antiques Market, I bought it. I saw the familiar black vinyl-covered metal case, and was curious about which model of Smith-Corona was inside. I opened the case, and saw a familiar design, with a very unfamiliar name: "Classic 10." I noticed a strange black plastic accessory that was glued to the ribbon cover. It appeared to be a Kor-ec-type holder, with the name of the dealer who sold it, Burt Typewriter Company. I
Seattle Antiques Market, Circa 2012
noticed the original paperwork, under the typewriter, which I considered an added bonus. I bought it that day. Since then, I have put the paperwork in an acid-free envelope, and have made copies of the receipt.

The typewriter still looks and works like it is brand-new! It prints incredibly well, and works very smoothly. I think that it is my best typewriter ever!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Remington Typewriter Dealers--1960s

Located at 12358 Lake City Way NE, this is one of two dealers that could have sold my Remington 666. The other was Don's Office Machine Service, in West Seattle. (Images courtesy of the Puget Sound Regional Archives)
Nye's Office Machine Service was operated by Clarence Nye (July 24, 1912-July 27, 1998)
Don's Office Machines was operated by Donald Husted. Mr. Husted passed away on June 7, 2012, at the age of 82.
 Pioneer Office Equipment is on the right (in the building that says "Desks" in enormous letters.) This store closed in the mid-1960s, but sold many Remington Portables from 1946-c.1964.
 (Image Courtesy of the Puget Sound Regional Archives)
Don's Office Machines began as Henderson Typewriter, seen in this 1950 photo.  (Image Courtesy of the Puget Sound Regional Archives)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kalakala Cartoon

Many Seattleites remember the Kalakala--either as a glorious shimmering streamlined beauty, or as a rusting hulk. Many do not know that the Kalakala began its life as a San Francisco-Oakland ferry, until it burned in the late 1920s. The charred hulk was brought to Kirkland, Washington, where it was rebuilt into the Kalakala. After the Space Needle, it was the most popular attraction in Seattle. It was decommissioned in 1967, became a cannery, brought back to Seattle, and moved several times before being moored in Tacoma. It is a national landmark. Like the Kalakala, my Royal Companion came from Oakland (there was a girl's name on the case, Joyce ________________ , who according to the 1940 Census, was born in 1938 in Oakland. She was 17 when this typewriter was made. It was most likely purchased for her in Oakland to use in school. Somewhere in the last 58 years, Joyce and the typewriter made their way to Seattle, where I bought it in an exchange at an antique shop. It could also have been purchased in Seattle.
The Kalakala, circa 1946.
As a tribute to this typewriter's travels, I have drawn a sketch of the photo above on its carrying case. The Kalakala made the same journey as this typewriter, but twenty years prior to the manufacturing date of the Royal Senior Companion. 

Royal Senior Companion After Cleaning

This is identical to my first 1950s Royal Portable. I bought it in 2009 at the Shoreline Goodwill for $6.00. I liked it so much, that I bought my charcoal Quiet Deluxe based on my opinion of this one. In 2010 I donated my first Royal Senior Companion to Value Village. My first Senior Companion had a metal dealer tag from "Warren's Office Equipment, 115 'A' SE Auburn, Wash. Phone TE-3-5070." (I still have the tag.) This one is unmarked, making me think that it came from a department store, or a jeweler. Weisfield's Jewelers was the only local jeweler that sold typewriters. 

This typewriter is mechanically in excellent condition--the body has no chips, scrapes, or other condition issues. I think that this is as close to perfect condition as possible! The only issues with this typewriter was that the keys needed to be cleaned. That was quick and easy with a damp paper towel with dish soap on it. The chrome trim on the case sparkles--I had no idea that the trim by the handle is chrome (I always thought it was supposed to be dull metal) 
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)

Royal Senior Companion, 1954

The Royal Senior Companion is a typewriter that was designed for students. While it looks like a Quiet Deluxe, there are many differences. Most notable is the lack of Touch Control. It also lacks a tabulator, paper support, pop-up ribbon cover, and the nameplate on the front is painted on (instead of chrome). The carriage ends are structural, and uncovered. It also lacks the Quiet Deluxe's line-finder. It has manual margins, one carriage release lever (instead of two.) Its touch is also much lighter than that of the Quiet Deluxe.

However, Royal's attention to detail is easily visible by looking at the painted nameplates. The Royal nameplate is outlined with a fine pinstripe, and the "Senior Companion" nameplate is perfectly straight on the panel as if it were the separate part that it is on the Quiet Deluxe.

This was one of the lowest priced Royals from the 1950s. However, it is very well-made, and it uses a similar tweed-covered fiberglass case as its more expensive siblings. However, unlike its more expensive siblings, the lid from the case can be taken off, making it possible to type with it anchored onto the base of the case.

An ad for the Senior Companion from Life Magazine, April 18, 1955 
Advertisement from The Oakland Tribune, September 11, 1955
According to Google Maps, Milen's Jewelers has been replaced with a Bart station: