Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Making you (especially Marty Rice) proud

From top left to bottom right: Olympia SM7, Perkins Brailler, Smith Premier 1, Demountable 2, Blick 7, Simpson's labeled Antares Parva, Corona 4, Underwood 3 bank portable.

From top left to bottom right: Olympia SM3(4?), Corona Standard, LC Smith & Bros 5, Hammond 2, Hermes 3000, Royal DeLuxe, Remington Rand Noiseless portable, Royal Arrow.

Victor 3, Underwood 150, Remington 10, Remington Rand 17.

Blick 5, Remington Portable check writer, Corona 3.

Underwood Leader, all by its lonesome...

Royal Quiet DeLuxe & Grant's 747.

Smith Corona Cougar 2, Corona Comet DeLuxe, Hermes Rocket, Underwood 18, Remington Quiet-Riter.

Yep, an Oliver 2. Serial number 19889. Anyone have an approximate year of production?

Oliver 2, 5, 9.

2 & 5.

2 & 9. Look at the size difference!

Here are a few shots that were withheld for the unveiling.

Underwood Rhythm Touch, Oliver 2, and the Oliver 5 on the floor.

Yep...all of those. Oliver 9 on crate.

Hope this wasn't too many pictures for you. Thanks for reading, and keep those typebars swinging.


  1. Wow, what an impressive typewriter collection! How many years have you been collecting? You've got some awesome classic typewriters there. Love the three Olivers, especially.

    Thanks for this post, Ken, really enjoyed it!

    1. I have been collecting for...less than six months? Ha. There are a bunch more I did not put on display, as they are all in various stages of repair/restoration.

      The Oliver 5 is really a parts machine, to tell the truth. There is so much work to be done to it, along with needing all new keys, new rubber, a tab key...the list goes on and on. Purchasing ANOTHER Oliver just to fix this one up is silly for the low(!) price I paid for it, so I will salvage some parts from it as needed. First on the list is the little bar connected to the left platen knob that actuates the line advancement. Just...need to figure out how to get it the hell off and onto the 2!

    2. Well thank you. I still don't have that one typewriter that made me start collecting. It's not rare, but too heavy to ship so I have to find it locally. A tan Olympia SG3. Just like my favorite author, Philip K Dick

  2. Very nice collection! It is so good to have room to display typewriters. Those Oliver typewriters are fantastic and so is the Corona 3 and many of the others. Mine must stay packed away in their cases and limits me to portables :(

    1. Before the typewriter room, you could barely walk in my dining room because of all the little suitcases. The table was covered, as was the coffee table, and the suitcases were slowly growing into the living room. I moved them into the basement for a week or so to free up space, got the room ready, and moved in. It's...delicious.
      You don't need to limit yourself to portables, my friend. Just...limit walking and eating space. :D

  3. Nice set-up!

    This site is useful for Oliver serial numbers and rough dates:

    You taught me something today: just how big a Perkins Brailler is! I've never seen one in person and assumed it would be a pretty small device, but if it's bigger than an Olympia SM7 it's no midget.

    1. That website helps a good bit. That would put mine smack dab in the middle of production. Good to know!

      It is bigger height and width wise, but it is not as deep. Thing can't weight half of what the Olympia does. I was surprised at how light it was when I picked it up.

  4. Ken, what an amazing collection in only six months. It took me two years to get that number and most of mine aren't nearly so nifty as yours.

    Let me suggest that your Oliver No. 2's ribbon advancing problem is the same as mine, to judge from your fourth pic of it: the ribbon is too wide for the vibrator and just jams in it. When I put in a half-inch ribbon, it looks just like yours does and it doesn't move. Who knows where to get 7/16 inch ribbons? Somebody must because most Oliver users don't complain about this.

    Keep up the good work(?).
    Michael Höhne

    1. Thanks! A couple of those machines were actually found in the wild at reasonable prices, but mostly Craigslist and eBay. I came home with about 10 new ones from our road trip...a number that was so hard to keep down. I've never had to walk away from typewriters before, but when you see forty in one day...well, I couldn't buy them all.
      A 7/16" ribbon? Huh. My Oliver 9 feeds the 1/2" just fine with a (one) ribbon cover, but then again there is a large gap in production and perhaps 1/2" had become more standard by the time the 9 rolled off the production line.
      I am not going to be doing much typing on the 2, so I will just stick with taking off the covers when I do use it. I will definitely have to look into that though. Thanks for reading and for the heads up.

    2. The bunched-up ribbon is pretty clear in your fourth Oliver pic and it looks just like mine, which prevents the ribbon from flowing through. Admittedly, my ribbon is drier and stiffer, though. Yet your ribbon hangs up on the covers? Curious. I'll have to check mine for that (flower petal holes on a No. 5).
      My 'writers come about equally from yard sales and thrift stores, all at good prices, but that's to be expected in rural Maine. They're drying up, though.
      == Michael

    3. When the covers are on, the ribbon will not advance. Once removed, it has no problems. As you said before, this might be a problem caused by the ribbon size. I cannot be sure, of course.
      I have no ribbon covers for my 5, but the 9 also has flower petals, but with little metal dowels atop for easy removal. I cannot remember which Oliver I saw a picture of with the little holes...

    4. OH! You were saying about it getting jammed up in the vibrator! I was, somehow, reading it as the ribbon sitting too high in the spool holders, the covers then holding it down and not allowing advancement. That seems to be it with this, but it could be the necessity of having to spool your own ribbon with those tiny bits Oliver passes off as ribbon spools. It is hard to get it exact, so that may make it stick up further and the covers then impede advancement.
      I will have to try and push it down or something.

  5. I'm impressed you have been able to find good machines in the wild. It has been pretty slim pickings in my part of the world. I've been resisting standard size machines since one would mean displacing the Oliver 9. An Oliver 2 or 3 will be mine at some point. Until then, I will have to envy yours! Of the standard machines, my top picks would be the same Olympia you want and a Remington Noiseless.

    1. I have found several good typers in the wild, surprisingly. That, of course, does not happen often. Nice when it does, though.
      The Olympia SG3 and the Remington Noiseless have got to be among the biggest and heaviest machines out there. That's a big step from 'resisting standard size machines'. Hahaha. When you get the noiseless, let me know if you need anything for it. I have a noiseless parts machine in the basement

  6. Absolutely a huge collections and superb nice typewriters you have there, I really love all of it! Thank you for sharing and love reading your blog. Cheers, Yuzz Yusof

  7. I see how I missed this, now. This was posted literally days before I joined the Typosphere. Since you mentioned your Ollie 2, I thought I'd come have a look. Simply gorgeous! Looks like that alignment issue is just par for the course for the 2's and 3's.

    Wow, what a size difference between the 2 and the 9! I'll definitely have to get a 9. Overall, you have a fantastic (and rather enviable) Collection!