Sunday, July 1, 2012

What a weekend!




There she is. The Trash Brother. Could not believe it was still in perfect working order! Anyone know how to set tabs on these? I have never had a Brother before...


And the Trash Sears Constellation. This one is completely beyond repair, but I am sure that I can find some parts to salvage from it for future restorations. A mainspring perhaps? Or a key top to be used on another, similar, Sears. Who knows? Anyone need some Sears parts?


Underwood 314. Overall, just a great machine. Does not have tab, but if you hold down the margin release while returning the carriage, it stops five spaces short of the left margin, giving perfect indentation. How neat! One of the nicest typewriters I have used, in all honesty. My only gripe is how large the typeface is. It is just as large as that of my Underwood Rhythm Touch, which is huge for such a small portable.


Underwood-Olivetti Studio 44. Quite a big machine to have a carrying case, if you ask me. Nice typer with a small typeface. And look at those lines! So pretty. The seller said it was 'top of the line' when he bought it, so I assume he was the original owner. As he drove away, Connor said "Man, it doesn't even look like he needs that typewriter money." The man's car, some sort of nice looking red convertible, may just have spoken to his low asking price.


What a beast! Look at it pouring over the edge of that chair. This thing has to be the biggest typer I have, yet the typeface is so tiny...probably 12 characters per inch. After using it a bit, the few keys that stuck are moving freely now and it just needs a bit of a cleaning underneath the ribbon cover. Even Zinnie seems impressed.


Royal Swinger. I misspoke earlier, as it is actually two-tone green and white, with a hint of blue underneath the space bar. All plastic construction, and feels a bit cheap when typed on. I am going to clean it up, but even then I cannot see me using it much.


The real reason I bought the Royal. That case has an AM radio in it! I love things like that. The idea of haphazardly placing a radio somewhere it definitely does not belong intrigues me, and this is no exception. Remember those Tropicana orange radios? I had one when I was little, and that thing was so cool.


Here is the Modernolette portable Phonograph player. Really a neat piece. We have listened to 'Pistol Packin Momma' and 'Rosalita' nearly a dozen times so far, and I just love the whole thing. You have to wind it to get it running, and that lasts about one song. The arm with the needle is removed and stored in the case for travel, as well as the handle that winds it, I believe. The record sounds so gritty...like being transported back in time. I'm definitely going to have to search out some more records for this. I can listen to them while I type up blog posts on my typewriter. Span the times, young Padawan.

Thanks for reading, and keep those typebars swinging.

12 comments:

  1. Wow, what a red letter day for you, Ken!

    As an an avowed Olivetti fan, I am especially happy that you snagged a Studio 44 (way up there for me in both looks and performance!) and an Underwood 315 a.k.a. Olivetti Lettera 31, a.k.a. Olivetti Dora, a.k.a. Olivetti Ventura, in the less common blue-green (cream is what is most often seen).

    Congratulations for your Olivettis and for all your other typewriter finds!

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    1. The Underwood 314 has really made me consider Olivetti's more. I have always liked them, a Lettera 32 being the first typer I ever repaired, but could let them slide past me without feeling bad about it. I really do consider this one of the nicest typewriters I have used. Can you suggest an Olivetti that you like more than this one, as far as functionality goes (although, looks help :P).

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    2. Hey Ken, among the Olivetti portables I've come to own or use, the only one that could displace Studio 44 in terms of both looks and performance would be Studio 42. Extremely hard to come by in the U.S. though, mine was a gift from Switzerland. If you're interested, re-visit my post: Introducing... Olivetti Studio 42

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    3. Wow. That has to be the classiest Olivetti I have ever seen. Well then...you have just added another machine in my long list of 'must have' typewriters.
      After reading your last comment, I took the Studio 44 out for another spin, and must say that after some use it really grows on you. It still has a heavier touch than its smaller counterparts, but this is well justified and really shows the quality of the machine, in my opinion. I have yet to clean it, and the only sticky key is the G, which was ever so annoying. It's one thing to have a bunch of sticky keys, but to just have ONE? What happened to that typebar that caused it to gum up but left the surrounding ones just fine, you know?
      At any rate, you were right on the mark about the 44 being amazing. Thanks for the heads up about the 42, and let me in on it if you happen to see another out there for sale. :)

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  2. Congratulations on all the nice finds.

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  3. Quite a haul! Just a few comments:

    The double-spaced writing feature on the Olympia is found on several German machines. They used to use this style of writing for emphasis in German (now they usually use italics).

    I think you can't set the tabs on the Brother, they are pre-set.

    I've never heard of an old desk with a built-in radio, I'd like to see it!

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    1. I thought that about the brother as well, but pressing tab just sends the carriage all the way to the left. Perhaps the mechanism just isn't working.
      I will definitely have to include a picture of the desk in another post. You can see a bit of it, hidden behind a typewriter, beer, and ashtray, in the post 'Turning Japanese'. I am sure it is not visible there, however. Ha.
      Thanks for the heads up with the spacing on the Olympia. I had read about it before, but never why it was employed. Very awesome to know.

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  4. What a productive shopping trip! The SG3 is an impressive beast. The Swinger is ultra-cool, hip and happening. I've found that particular Underwood/Olivetti to be interesting, but shy away from plastic.

    The portable phonograph is something special. The diversity of bygone analog technology is fascinating to me. I've been seeing old 78s by the box full at my favorite thrift store. I suspect we're on the tail end of that basement clearing curve.

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    1. I, too, would shy away from plastic. That is, until recently, that is. You can miss out on some great typers that way. Adversely, there are plenty of piles of junk out there. Try em before you buy em. If not possible, at least read up on them on the typosphere. Someone is bound to have the same one and the posts are always enlightening.

      The phonograph is really neat. My mother was so excited when I called and told her about it. She demanded I bring it when I go visit later in the week. Coincidentally, and also embarrassingly, she said that I used to love the song 'Pistol Packin Momma' when I was a kid and playing with my cowboy whatnots. Ha!

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  5. My wife wouldn't let me pick up that many at once, I'd have to smuggle some. I haven't had but one Brother with tab at all, so I'll defer to others on that. The SG, on the other hand, is a major score. Awesome post!

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    1. Leila has not once tried to deter me from buying typewriters. She knows it doesn't matter what she says...I'm going to have it anyway! Haha. She is good about that. I am, as well, good about all of her pottery. Her and I have different hobbies, and like to ramble on about this typewriter or that piece of pottery to each other. I retain all of the knowledge I gain about her stuff, but she is JUST starting to remember some of the things I tell her about typewriters. I suppose it is a lot to ask for your spouse to not only allow such an obsession, but to learn about it as well. She is nearly there. :D

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