Wednesday, December 25, 2013

New Page Added

I have just added a form for cataloging typewriter dealers to this blog. I am working on adding a "Dealer History" page to this blog, but do not have enough cataloged information yet. Any information that you could add via the form will be incredibly helpful.

Smith-Corona Silent

This is the oldest Super-5 typewriter that I have seen. It was made in 1949, according to the Typewriter Database. I bought it at the Red Door Antique Mall in Mount Vernon, Washington on December 14. 
The Red Door Antique Mall--notice the old washing machine in front. This building was most likely built as a garage.
 The logo is burnished metal; later models have a plastic logo.

 Notice the serial number--this is the lowest that I have seen for this model! This typewriter also has a brand-new ribbon.
The light green function keys indicate that this is an early model, made between 1949 and 1953. The brown space bar was only used for a few months, before it was changed to the body color. This typewriter has Elite type.

Merry Christmas!

This is my latest acquisition--a 1972 Wizard Automatic, that was made by Brother. I love the woodgrained panel in front. This is my best typewriter! It is basically brand-new.

 The case looks like new
 A type sample on the envelope that I put the paperwork into
The manual demonstrates late 1960s "Op art." Do not look at it for long periods of time.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Smith-Corona Skyriter, 1960

This is an early 1960 Smith-Corona Skyriter. It was made in West Bromwich, England.

The Smith-Corona Skyriter production line in West Bromwich, England. (Image from

Saturday, December 14, 2013

1949 Smith-Corona Silent

 This is a relatively early model of Smith-Corona Silent, from 1949

 The former home of Blackburn Office Equipment, in Mount Vernon. Blackburn later moved to Bellingham, Washington. They most likely sold this Smith-Corona.
This is where I bought this Smith-Corona. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

1960 Smith-Corona Skyriter

The result of a trade of a 1947 Smith-Corona and a 1967 Royal Custom II. This typewriter is much easier to use than both the Smith-Corona and the Custom II combined. It comes in a black vinyl case, with a red satin lining. It was made around 1960 by British Typewriters, Limited, a Smith-Corona subsidiary. Compared to earlier Skyriters, it is much more fun to use, and easier to operate. This is truly one of the best compact typewriters ever. (I even prefer it to the Hermes Baby, whose keyboard is way too small for my hands; the Skyriter is the perfect size!) Instructions for this model can be found at

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

1947 Smith-Corona Sterling

I traded in a 1962 Olympia SM5 for this Smith-Corona at a local junk shop--this was one of best decisions I have ever made. This typewriter has an adjustable touch, and basket shift. It is also much easier to operate. Like the Olympia, it has Elite type. Mechanically, it is nearly identical to my 1957 Smith-Corona Silent-Super. Like the Silent-Super, it has Smith-Corona's small Elite typeface.
 A comparison shot of my 1947 Sterling and my 1957 Smith-Corona Silent-Super.
Edward Lasus' dealer label (Nick Bodemer collection)
It was either sold or serviced by Edward Lasus, 70 West First Street, Mount Vernon, New York.. The city and state were torn off--the tops of the letters can be seen. This dealer label is more like tape than a label. After a quick Google search, I discovered that Edward Lasus' shop was in Mount Vernon, New York. Mount Vernon has a population of 67,292, and borders the Bronx. According to Google, it is a four hour drive from Smith-Corona's factory in Groton, New York to Edward Lasus's shop in Mount Vernon, New York. In a nutshell, that means that my Smith-Corona could have spent its life 232 miles from where it was made. Instead, it traveled 2,863 miles from Mount Vernon, New York, and 3,095 miles from where it was manufactured.( "A" is Mount Vernon, New York, and "B" is Seattle.)
The journey of my Smith-Corona from Mount Vernon, NY to Seattle. (Google Maps)

 According to the Social Security Death Index, Edward Lasus was born on October 9, 1909.  He passed away on October 29, 1999. He was one of the first Olivetti dealers in the United States, but mainly sold Royal typewriters. His former shop is now home to Hi Tech Business Systems. It is located in an older brick building, very similar to those in downtown Tacoma. 
Page Eight of the Yonkers (New York) Herald, February 29, 1954. (Image courtesy of 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Avona Jet, circa 1962

The serial number 8Q100 is on the frame by the right-hand ribbon spool. I think that this was the 100th Avona Jet portable made.
The serial number of the ribbon cover is only 2 units off from the machine's serial number.

This typewriter was made for Allied Stores. It is essentially a rebadged Underwood Diplomat, which itself was a license-built Antares. This typewriter is stamped "Made in USA" under the right-hand carriage knob. It has its original ribbon spool on the left. This typewriter was most likely sold by The Bon Marche in Seattle. 
This ad appeared on page 18 of The Seattle Times on December 19, 1962. The Avona Jet was not an expensive typewriter--it was $15 less than a Royalite
By June 27, 1963, The Bon Marche had seven used Avona Jet portables, after only seven months of selling them. They were selling them for $29.95. On July 16, 1963, The Bon Marche was selling Avona Jets at a Pre-Inventory Clearance sale for $24.99.
By July 25, 1963, both Seattle Bon Marche stores (Downtown Seattle and Northgate) were selling four Avona Jet portables for $22.95
On March 24, 1964, the Northgate Bon Marche was selling a used Avona Jet for $29.95. By September 24, 1964, the Downtown Bon Marche was selling a new Avona Jet for $24.95.
On September 26, 1968, The Bon Marche at Southcenter Mall was selling a reconditioned Avona Jet for $19.88

I think that buyers were wary of an unknown brand, especially since a Royal Royalite sold for $15 more than the Avona. While it was offered with a warranty, only Allied Stores (such as The Bon Marche) would be able to repair it, because it was made for them. Also, The Bon Marche may not have charged enough for it, making it look cheaper. 
Below is an ad for The Bon Marche's expansion in 1954:

Friday, December 6, 2013

1957 Smith-Corona Silent-Super

An ad from The Oregonian, December 5, 1957. This is the largest Smith-Corona ad I have seen so far.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hermes 3000 Photo Effects

I found a great photo editing website, , where you can apply a number of vintage effects:
Hermes 3000 in a Jazz album effect

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hermes 3000 Dealers, Seattle

My Hermes 3000 was not sold by the University Book Store--their label is visible on this one (Etsy image)