Friday, November 29, 2013

1968 Hermes 3000

The Hermes 3000 is all metal, despite its "plastic" styling. (Nick Bodemer collection)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cursive Olympia SF, 1971

This typewriter was manufactured in 1971, by Olympia-Werke of Wilhelmshaven, Germany. It is equipped with Olympia Typeface #69--Script. Until I bought this typewriter, I had no idea that this model could be ordered with a Script typeface. 

It has a metal dealer sticker from Sampson Typewriter, in Santa Rosa. It should be pointed out that they didn't even try to center it. 

This typewriter is mechanically identical to my Olympia Traveller Deluxe, from 1979. My Olympia Traveller should have a plaque saying that it was made in Yugoslavia, but it appears to have been removed by the dealer. (The dealer must have been embarrassed to have been selling a Yugoslavian-made typewriter). The holes are still there, but there are no scars from an amateur removal (the plaque was riveted on) 

Friday, November 22, 2013

From Top To Bottom in The New Bon Marche

This ad took up two full pages of The Seattle Times, July 7, 1929

1962 Olympia SM5 and MacDougall's

Olympia SM-5 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
Olympia SM-5 (Nick Bodemer Collection)

Olympia SM-5 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
MacDougalls, . "Advertisement, The World's No. 1 Quality Machine." Seattle Daily Times 30 Sep 1962, Pg. 40. Print.

MacDougalls, . "Advertisement, Olympia, the Finest Name in Portable Typewriters." Seattle Daily Times 08 Dec 1963, Pg. 26. Print.

MacDougall-Southwick was founded in 1874 as The San Francisco Store, located on First Avenue, between South Jackson Street, and Yesler Way. In 1908, it moved to the corner of Second Avenue and Pike Street. It advertised itself as being the first electrically-lit store in Seattle. 
1916 photo of MacDougall's, with the San Francisco Store in the inset. (Image from the University of Washington Special Collections)
One of the main causes for the demise of MacDougall's was its competition--Frederick and Nelson expanded their store in 1952, and The Bon Marche expanded theirs in 1955. MacDougalls remodeled their store in 1950.
MacDougall's was incredibly proud of their remodel, as evident by this full-page ad, "Advertisement." Seattle Daily Times 05 Nov 1950, 15. Print.

First Avenue and Pike Street, April 2, 1963. MacDougall's is the gray building between the enormous Penney's sign and Kress. (to the right of the bus.) Image from,

MacDougall's announced that they would close in January, 1966. The building changed hands several times, before being replaced by a parking lot in 1971
Staples, Alice. "MacDougall-Southwick Building to Disappear." Seattle Daily Times 24 Jan 1971, Pg. H-1. Print.

Lane, Polly. "Steps Toward Keeping Downtown Up." Seattle Daily Times 27 Aug 1972, pg D-1. Print.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

1960 Olivetti Lettera 22 Advertising

"Advertisement, Typewriter News at F&W...." Springfield Union [Springfield, MA] 19 May 1960, 5. Print.

"Advertisement." Seattle Daily Times 06 Jun 1961, Pg. 9. Print.
"Portables Available at Ewing." Dallas Morning News 11 Sept 1960, Sec. 4 Pg. 7. Print.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thank You Very Much, Mr. Messenger!

These excellent scans are from Robert Messenger's outstanding typewriter blog, , which inspired me to research my typewriters, and to share my research. Thank you very much, Mr. Messenger!

Front Cover (Image Courtesy of Robert Messenger,
First Page  (Image Courtesy of Robert Messenger,

Second Page  (Image Courtesy of Robert Messenger,

Third Page  (Image Courtesy of Robert Messenger,

Fourth Page  (Image Courtesy of Robert Messenger,

Tower Constellation--New Photos and Ads

The key to photographing a typewriter with as many white parts as the Tower Constellation is to use the "snow" mode  on a digital camera, if equipped with one. Also, photograph it on a dark background.
 The vinyl-covered metal carrying case. Notice the bright chrome trim. When I bought it, I thought that the trim was dull aluminum. (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
Instructions for a similar model can be found here:
 New Orleans Times-Picayune, February 12, 1962 (Image from America's Genealogy Bank) 
 New Orleans Times-Picayune, February 20, 1961  (Image from America's Genealogy Bank) 
New Orleans Times-Picayune, November 1, 1962  (Image from America's Genealogy Bank) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Moskva vs. Smith-Corona Silent-Super

1950s Smith-Corona Silent Super (Author's Collection)
This is a Moskva, a Soviet portable typewriter that appears to "borrow" heavily from the Smith-Corona Silent-Super. Image from

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Remington Fleetwing's True Colors

 The true color of the Remington Fleetwing

Here is a 1955 photo of Remington-Rand's Tacoma office at 412 St. Helens Avenue, from The Tacoma Public Library:

1962 Remington Fleetwing

 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
 (Nick Bodemer Collection)
This typewriter is much prettier in person.
This typewriter was designed in 1961 by Carl Sundberg and Montgomery Ferar. The front page of the patent is below:
1961 Remington Fleetwing Patent Drawing (Courtesy of Google Patents)
Remember to keep the carriage-return lever upright during use--it locks the carriage when folded down. When I bought this typewriter, the carriage stuck in the middle occasionally, until I realized that the carriage was locking itself. 
This ad appeared in The Seattle Times on May 20, 1963.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

July 1962 Royal Safari

The first national advertisement for the Royal Safari appeared in Life Magazine on August 24, 1962. Newspaper ads soon followed. However, this typewriter was made in July, 1962. I bought it last Sunday in Buckley, Washington for $15. When I bought it, it was missing large amounts of paint on the top of the machine. I then repainted it in a light blue that was as close to the original paint as possible. (Slightly later Royals used this shade of "Pottery Blue.") This typewriter has the distinction of being the best Royal Safari that I have ever used. (Generally, the touch is strangely heavy, yet light; this one works like a breeze!)
 Front view. Notice that the touch selector and ribbon color selectors are both stickers.
 The serial number. Jay Respler could not believe how early this typewriter was made.
 Front angles. This typewriter reminds me of the Jetsons.  (Nick Bodemer Collection)
August 24, 1962 ad from Life Magazine (Courtesy of Darryl Bridson, Royal Consumer Information Products)

Life Magazine, September 14, 1962 (Courtesy of Darryl Bridson, Royal Consumer Information Products)

Life Magazine, May 10, 1963 (Courtesy of Darryl Bridson, Royal Consumer Information Products)

Royal Portable Dealers in Seattle and Tacoma as of September 13, 1959
  • Ben Bridge Jewelers, 409 Pike Street
  • The Bon Marche, Third and Pine
  • Burien Office Machines, 203 SW 152nd
  • Frederick & Nelson, Fifth and Pine
  • University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE
  • Weisfield's Jewelers, 420 Pine Street
  • Allied Business Machines, 931 Commerce Street
  • People's Store, 1103 Pacific Avenue
According to Richard Milton, 1.5 million Royal Safari portable typewriters were made in the 1960s. His site can be viewed at: