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My typewriter collection and history page

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    This typewriter was manufactured at the tail end of 1932. Early models like this one have black plastic keys. According to Richard Polt's wonderful Remington Portable resource, "The original price of the RNP was $92.50, but during the first few months of production the price went down to $69.50. In 1935 it cost $67.50." This was quite expensive in the 1930s. This was likely a $69.50 typewriter when new. In comparison,  a deluxe standard Remington portable was $4.50 cheaper at $65. The standard Remington portable was $60. The deluxe Remie Scout was only $34.75. The all-time cheapest Remington (which could only type in CAPITAL LETTERS) was $19.75.

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  • 12/06/14--17:07: 1966 Consul typewriter
  • This is an amazing typewriter! It was made on September 24, 1966 in Zbrojovka Brno's Czechoslovakian typewriter factory. Everything about this typewriter is incredible. Even the carrying case indicates an unusual level of care and effort. (Especially when compared to the cases of many American compact typewriters.) This typewriter is one of the lowest-priced models made, lacking a ribbon color selector and a tabulator. In addition, it only has a 42-key keyboard. Yet, despite it being a low-priced model, it feels remarkably well-made. (Unlike many other low-priced compact typewriters from this period: Corsair, Royalite, Holiday, Tutor...just to name a few) It has all of the mechanical quality of a much larger typewriter. It could probably give an Olympia SM a run for its money. (Or even a Hermes Rocket!)  Using the 1532, one thing becomes instantly apparent: this typewriter was made for people with various size hands, unlike many ultra-portables, many of which I personally believe were designed for Jane Jetson. 
     This is a very sturdy case. It inspires so much faith in terms of quality.
     Looking at this typewriter is like a strange ray of sunshine
     The bottom color is a different color than the ribbon cover.
     The logo to the left of "Model 1532" is the logo for Zbrojovka Brno, the company that made this typewriter.

    The colors on this Consul are amazing too! Individually, each color would probably be bleak, depressing and/or ugly. However, when they are all put together, they make a wonderful and cheerful pallete, that could probably light up the gray Brutalist world of  Communism (think Pripyat, East Berlin, etc.) 

    The company that made this typewriter is Zbrojovka Brno. Zbrojovka Brno was a large arms manufacturer. They made the BRNO gun during World War Two, automobiles (in the 1930s), and typewriters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zbrojovka_Brno .

    It is not unusual for a gunmaker to make typewriters--Lyman Cornelius Smith, founder of the Smith-Premier typewriter company and the L.C. Smith (later part of Smith-Corona) also founded Smith and Wesson.

    Many companies that sold the Consul referred to it as a "European Import." Others imported the parts into Canada, where they became a "Canadian" Commodore typewriter. Other importers brought them to America from Canada in the trunks of their cars. Ironically, while Western musicians' music was being bootlegged into the USSR and East Berlin, American typewriter dealers were doing the same basic thing. Bundy typewriter was one of the biggest importers; many older Bundy-branded typewriters are, in fact, Consuls and Maritsas (from Bulgaria). By the 1980s, Royal imported Bulgarian Maritsas as the Safari IV. There is a Dutch typewriter called the Forto. However, in design, it is clearly a Consul Silent. Not much is known about it.  Many small jewelers sold a typewriter called the Consul Comet. This was mechanically identical to this typewriter, but in an all-metal body. In Canada, it is possible to buy a Tower portable typewriter that was made by Commodore (but is really a Consul!) (see this link: http://oztypewriter.blogspot.com/2011/03/typewriters-from-many-parts.html ) 

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  • 12/13/14--12:12: Quick Quiz/Upcoming model
  • The new model I will post soon is an oddity. It was made by one of the most popular typewriter manufacturers. Despite this, only 15,000 machines were made (including the DeLuxe model)
    It is basket-shifted, has a 42 key keyboard, but lacks the following:

    • Ribbon color selector
    • Touch selector
    • Paper supports
    • a locking mechanism in the case
    • Its own serial number range
    • A gloss finish
    • A tabulator
    It does have a bell, which should eliminate the Remette. It also has margins, and a margin release key, and a backspacer.

    The first three people to guess correctly will get to choose the background texture for the next photo. Sample choices can be seen below:
    E.W. Hall store, 1937-1961. (Courtesy, Puget Sound Regional Archives)
    The Smith Tower/an old postcard
    Reprint of newspaper article from the Seattle Times, 1938 (about E.W. Hall's move)
    Brick-textured cardboard
    Photo of Pioneer Square, Seattle
    Totem Pole
    Drawing of the Lowman and Hanford Building, Seattle
    Seattle Telephone Directory, 1940


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  • 12/25/14--12:25: Merry Christmas!
  • On Tuesday, my dad and I went to the big Seattle Goodwill store. I found a perfect Brazillian Hermes Rocket, in light gray. He surprised me by paying for it. It is the first compact Hermes typewriter to have a ribbon-color-selector and a jam-release/margin release key. It also has a full-size carriage-return lever!

     My camera does not do it justice (my good camera died last month)
    Many people are more familiar with the Olivetti version of this typewriter--the Olivetti Lettera 82. (Many typewriters are not fond of the Lettera 82--Robert Messenger referred to it as a "piece of plastic dross." His example definitely has an alignment issue, but other Lettera 82's type samples are relatively good.) Some Lettera 82 portables even come in brown! (I am particularly fond of brown typewriters, even the Portuguese Royal Safari)


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  • 12/28/14--14:12: Red Royal Revisited





  • This is one of the last Royal Custom (Pre Royal Custom II) typewriters made. It was manufactured in the last week of December, 1966


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  • 12/28/14--14:28: 1968 Sears (Cutlass)






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  • 12/28/14--14:37: 1980 Hermes Rocket
  • This typewriter was made in Brazil by Hermes Precisa International in 1980 (According to the 1980 OMEF Age Guide, it was made after 1/1/1980.)







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    I know nothing about this typewriter, beyond the fact that it was made by Konryu/Citizen Buisiness Machines in Japan. Its serial number is 009444. Can anybody tell me anything about it? If so, please either comment, or send an email to typewriterresearch (at) gmail.com. 



     Plaques in the Third Avenue Lobby

    Lowest escalator ceilings I have ever seen. I think that they are around 6'6 maybe...
    NASCO in Third Avenue Lobby

     A 1968 architectural model of the building in the 4th Avenue lobby
     This lobby furniture looks very natural--ordered in September
    Another view of the NASCO

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  • 02/02/15--19:20: 1976 Erika typewriter








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  • 02/14/15--16:09: 1938 Royal De Luxe Portable
  • I bought this in Gresham, Oregon today--made in 1938. This typewriter was last serviced in 1973.



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  • 02/14/15--16:47: 1963 Hermes 3000
  • I have always wanted one of these Hermes 3000 portables--especially in this style. It came with the brushes and manual.







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  • 03/04/15--20:09: Olivetti Valentine
  • The best surprise possible--thanks Dad!




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  • 04/18/15--21:26: Before and Afters
  • I bought both of these typewriters in Buckley, WA today for a total of $25. I did not repaint either--it's amazing what hand-dishwashing liquid soap and an old toothbrush can do!












     Former bank building; being renovated


     A totem pole in the City Park--carved and installed , 1962
     Notice the bricked-in openings.




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  • 05/06/15--18:31: 1938 Remington Deluxe Junior







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    I bought this typewriter at Goodwill's Memorial Day sale. It comes in a very nice leather-covered case (which is structurally very similar to the standard Hermes Baby case). It was originally sold by E.W. Hall, located at 1111 Second Avenue in downtown Seattle. It's old enough that the phone number on the dealer tag has six digits and has an ELiot phone prefix (instead of MAin or MUtual, both of which came in 1958). This is easily the best $20 I have ever spent!




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    These photos are from a trip to Centralia with my dad. They are in no particular order. We stayed at the Olympic Club Hotel--built 1913-ish (restaurant in 1908)
    Old posters and photographs fill the hotel and restaurant:
     The restaurant has many folding coat hooks:



     A hint of a surprise for tomorrow:
     Centralia Library

     Cornerstone of old library facade--the original front entrance is now inside the library


     Architectural model of Centralia library expansion, c. 1979
     

     My new 1937 Remington Portable--a birthday gift from my dad:


     A detail of a 1937 Remington portable (see below)
     As you can see, the dealer sticker is as big as my thumb!




     A 1967 Toyota:




     A beautiful 1967 Toyota (old enough to have a Toyopet badge)
     Some shots of the hotel restaurants








     A 1957 Chevy in my favorite shade of brown



     My new 1937 Remington Portable Typewriter--originally sold in Seattle. (Best birthday present ever)
    A detail of the table's wrought iron


    This woodburning stove, in the restaurant of the Olympic Club Hotel

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  • 07/01/15--09:24: A Royal Royaluxe Ressurected
  • When I bought this typewriter, it was in rough shape. The white parts (75% of the outer metal shell) had large amounts of paint loss and discoloration. The brown parts, thankfully, were intact. I bought a parts Aristocrat and moved its blue body panels to the Royaluxe. However, because the back panel was still in good shape, there is one white panel left on the machine.






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  • 07/01/15--18:34: New Blog Name...Same URL
  • I realized that only about 25% of my blog posts are about Royal typewriters. As a result, I decided that my blog needed a new name. I kicked around several themes, most notably the period between 1950 and 1970 (the range for most of my portables), the fact that I am frequently a plaid-flannel-clad resident of the Pacific Northwest (where lumber is a major industry, not to mention paper products, and other wonderful tree products), and that this blog is about typewriters. The logo is based on that of Seafirst Bank:


    The logo was designed in 1966 and lasted until January 1, 2000, when all Seafirst locations became Bank of America branches. (Seafirst was short for Seattle-First National Bank, which was the major bank in Washington prior to Washington Mutual).

    Reflecting the new name, I modified the Seafirst logo, making it more rough-hewn, and replacing the 1 with a drawing of a lumberjack's axe. The font I used is identical to Seafirst's logo, and is based on Eurostile. 

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  • 07/15/15--12:11: 1955 Royal Quiet Deluxe
  • I bought this typewriter today--it is exactly like my first Royal Quiet Deluxe, but in much better condition. It includes its original manual, blank warranty card and this receipt:









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  • 10/28/15--08:39: The best Goodwill find ever!
  • I bought this 1927 Royal Portable at Goodwill on Labor Day. Since then, I cleaned and oiled it and installed a new ribbon, a new drawband and new rubber, It works like it did when it was new! It was definitely a bargain at $12.99! 





    This typewriter was originally sold by E.W. Hall--notice that the phone number (ELliott 5447) is only 6 digits! E.W. Hall was the regional disributor for Corona portables (the reason that these labels are almost always on the back of non-Coronas) In 1938, Hall's moved to 1111 2nd Avenue, but kept the phone number. 911 2nd Avenue is now the site of the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building.

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