Sunday, June 30, 2024

Special Collections Library Type-In

I should insert a family story here. Our grandparents had several rental houses, besides their main home at 112 Edith. There was a house on High Street that served as a boarding house during WW2. Some time in the very early 1950s an FBI agent came knocking on Grandpa's door, asking about a tenant name David Greenglass, who had rented a room at the High Street location. It turned out Greenglass was one of the Manhattan project atom bomb spies! So perhaps us kids playing "spy" at the library had more merit to it than it seemed at the time!

The most notable machine at this event was Kevin Kittle's pre-war IBM Electromatic, which he's spent considerable time and not a little bit of money on restoring, including a rebuilt motor, speed control circuit and new platen and power roller. It typed very nicely!

Kevin also brought this IBM Executive, which was a type-bar electric built concurrently with the Selectric, that features proportional spacing (using a system of five spacing units -- the space bar is divided into two halves, one for 2-unit spacing and the other for 3-unit spacing) and uses the power roller drive system with film ribbon spools.

Continuing with Kevin's collection of IBM machines was this Selectric 721, very much like my blue machine. Note the similarity in body styling with the Executive. His types even better than mine! Including an IBM Wheelwriter 2000 (not shown here), Kevin had machines from most of IBM's history.

This is Bill's SCM Electra 220, with the exciting powered carriage return! My Electra 120 is very similar except for the manual carriage return.

Matthew brought this Hermes 10, which immediately reminded me that if I'd known ahead of time, I would've brought my family's Hermes 10 also, the machine our Dad bought for us in the early 1970s. Imagine two Hermes 10s at the same Type-In! Maybe next time!

This pretty blue electric Royal Saturn, a cousin to the manual Royal Mercury (both made by Silver-Seiko in Japan), just had a newly resurfaced platen installed. Sitting in the Electric Corral next to the bigger electrics, it felt a bit overwhelmed, but eventually won over the hearts of the participants by its nearly silent operation.

It had been several years since I brought the venerable Galaxie Twelve to a Type-In, and I'd forgotten how nice these manual 6-series machines can be. This one deserves more love!

At the previous Type-In we held at the Lomo Colorado library in neighboring Rio Rancho, I brought all four of my Hermes 3000s. This time I only brought one, thinking the Cult of Hermes needs to cool its heels for a spell! Still, it was very popular, especially a member of the library staff, who swears she's gonna get one!

I also brought the Underwood 5, a gift from Ted Munk, and it was another popular machine. Several people commented one of their relatives used an Underwood 5, testamony to their ubiquity in the heyday of typewriters.

I brought the Royal KMM, via its laser-cut plywood carrying box, which once again proved its utility in protecting the machine from damage. I would advise at least a plastic bin to transport these large, standard-sized machines, to protect them in transit from dings and dents and to immobilize the carriage to protect the escapement from damage.

I also brought this Underwood-Olivetti Studio 44, in keeping with my theme of larger-sized machines. This is one of my favorite medium-to-large sized portables, I love the aesthetics and typing action, which I think are the best of the manual Olivettis.

Stay tuned for more videos on electrics and also daisywheel machines. In the meanwhile, here's the video about the SCM 6-series electrics. A big thanks to all who helped with the Type-In; our next event will be on August 3rd at the Ernie Pyle library, a small venue (at the former home of the famed WW2 journalist who died in combat), where I will feature pre-WW2 portables.

Also, here's a link to Monroe Business Systems where you can get new print wheels for your daisywheel typewriter!


Blogger Mary E said...

Lots of fun machines at the type-in. Good to see Drago the Underwood 5 getting an airing. That's a good looking machine and a crowd pleaser.

SCM 6-series electrics have a special place in my heart, especially the ones with a manual return. I watched your latest video on them - a really good overview of common issues - and love the yellow keyboard on your Singer. What a knock out.

I recently worked on an Electra 120 with a busted rear v-belt. Thanks to a post in the Facebook Antique Typewriter Maintenance group, I learned that a Gates 3M315 Polyflex V-Belt is a great replacement for a busted rear v-belt (I *think* that the front belt is very slightly smaller). I ordered a Gates 3M315 from an eBay vendor in West Virginia, Biedler’s Electric Motor Repair. I think they had some recent supply issues, but it looks like they are back in stock.

6:12 AM  
Blogger Bill M said...

First typewriter I had was an SCM Classic-12. Later an IBM Selectric-II. I still have an IBM Selectric-II,but not the same one from my days in Virginia. The biggest weakness of the SCM 6 machines is the fragile carriage release levers. The typing action is great.

Good to see all the electrics at a type-in.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

Looks like a wonderful event, and I recognize so many of those machines (:

8:20 AM  

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