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!

1 comment:

  1. I have come to believe that we are not owners of typewriters, but rather stewards. We use them and care for them and pass them on to the next generation.
    Make beautiful stories.
    Jim R.