05 mei 2020

This is NOT a Remington typewriter

This is a Standard Typewriter No 2 (made in 1886). As you can see on the pictures, the name Remington is nowhere to be seen on this machine. There is no red decal on the paper table or on top of the frame, and there is no mention of the name Remington above the keyboard, or on the frame under the space bar. 

It seems Wyckoff, Seamans and Benedict tried to market this machine as THE typewriter. However, they soon must have realized other writing machines on the market were also known as typewriters, and that this battle couldn't be won. 

History of the Remington 2 typewriter

Below are some pictures from the internet, of other Perfected, Standard and Remington No2 typewriters, ordered by serial number. Notice the differences:

First, it was called a Perfected Type Writer No2, made by Remington. Notice the space between Type and Writer.

Than it was a Standard Type-writer No2, made by Remington. With hyphen between Type and Writer.

Than it became the same Standard Typewriter, but for the first time, the names of Wyckoff, Seamans and Benedict were mentioned. This is my machine, without the name Remington. It is also the first time "typewriter" was written as one word. Therefor, I could argue I own the first real typewriter. :)

On later machines, Remington came back as manufacturer, and only on the latest machines it was used as a brand name.

The Perfected type writer no2,
Manuf'd by E. Remington&Sons, Ilion, N.Y:

The Standard Type-Writer No2,
Manuf'd by E. Remington&Sons, Ilion, N.Y:

SN18579 (my machine),
The Standard Typewriter No2,
Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict:

Manufactured by Remington Standard Typewriter Mfg Co. Ilion, N.Y. U.S.A
Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict, New York:

Remington Standard Typewriter
Manufactured by Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict, Ilion, New York, U.S.A:

03 mei 2020

Hammond typewriter 2

Last year, I sold all my antique typewriters. I gradually lost interest and I wanted to free some space. Recently, however, I started to look for typewriters again, focusing mostly on the typewriters I never had. I bought a Remington Standard 2 and, last Friday, a pristine Hammond 2.

Almost ten years ago, I wrote a little article about Hammond typewriters in The Netherlands, see: https://etconline.org/backissues/ETC095.pdf. Hammond was a fairly popular machine here. I wrote about the importers of Hammond typewriters. According to the shield on the right side of the machine, this specimen was imported by G.H. Voorhoeve. This was several years before Ruys splitted the import of typewriters from the main company in 1904. Later, Ruys became the importer of Underwood and Olivetti.

The serial number of this machine is 27766, which makes it a very early model 2, from around 1895. Several details, like the paper basket, the line spacer, the paper table and the carriage wheel, are the same ones as used on models 1a and 1b. The metal tab on the front is the most obvious sign it actually is a model number 2.

Under the metal tab is a mysterious part that I haven't seen before. It holds the shuttle down, so the written text could be read without having to hold the finger on the metal tab. But I am open for other suggestions.

I bought the machine in Bergambacht, a small Dutch village on the border of the river Lek. The seller is the grandson of Pieter Vos, born in 1876, who was tailor in a village nearby: Lekkerkerk. Apparently, Pieter Vos sailed regularly to the city of Rotterdam (20 kilometers over the river Lek), so it is possible he bought the typewriter there. G.H. Voorhoeve sold Hammonds in Rotterdam, so that's possible.

However, according to his grandson, tailor Pieter Vos used the Hammond in the 1920s and 1930s as a secretary of the local shopkeepers association in Lekkerkerk. As this machine was made around 1895, I don't think Pieter Vos was the first owner; he would have been very young by than (19 years). Pieter Vos died in 1967. His son inherited the Hammond and kept it till he died himself in 2013 (98 years of age). The seller was the next in line to receive the typewriter, but his children didn't want it, so I could buy it.

I made a video to show how it works:

It is the best conserved Hammond 2 I have seen so far. Everything is there and shiny: the original ribbon spools, the little metal part on the paper table that activates the bell, even the original impression strip is still doing its job. The keys are not damaged and the case is still beautiful.

It is the third Hammond I own (after an ideal Multiplex and a Folding Multiplex), and I am amazed by the quality of this machine. Everything seems made to last forever. A lot of small parts seem custom designed for this machine, it's all very ingenious and well thought. The pictures don't do it justice, but I hope you enjoy them anyway.

08 december 2017

Lost: Gorham Silver Smith Corona Portable Typewriter

On September 12, 2017, I bought on Ebay.com a (what to me seems to be) Gorham Sterling Silver Smith Corona Portable typewriter. After paying for it, however, the typewriter got lost. It's three months later now, and it still hasn't arrived. These Gorham Silver Smith Corona's are extremely rare: less than 10 are still known to exist.

The one I bought wasn't in very good shape: as you can see on the pictures below, the silver plating has a lot of wear all over, but especially on the ribbon cover (left) and on the edges below the space bar. This specific wear makes this particular specimen unique and, more important: recognisable. If you recognise this typewriter and know where it is, please let me know: schrijfmachine@yahoo.nl .
Thanks a lot!

13 november 2015

Some thoughts about The Typewriter Revolution, by Richard Polt

After I read The Typewriter Revolution, by Richard Polt, I couldn't wait using a typewriter and entering the Typosphere. Here are some thoughts about the book. Sorry for the slow start in the typecast; I've never written more on a typewriter than just a few sentences.

Written on Continental Silenta #754,401 (late 1939).

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

28 augustus 2014

Wagner-Underwood #2 versus #5

Wagner Underwood 5, SN 3932-5
Last week, I finally bought a very early Wagner-Underwood #5, with serial number 3932-5. Not many earlier Underwood #5's are known to have survived. I was able to buy it after some harsh negotiations, just 10 minutes driving from where I live. It needed some minor repair and a lot of cleaning, but now it's working again.

Wagner Underwood 5, SN 3932-5

Wagner Underwood 5, SN 3932-5

According to the serial number, this machine was made in 1901. However, it features a dealer sticker of Kaptino. This Amsterdam based typewriter dealing company was founded in 1950, but the address on the sticker was used by Kaptino only from 1962 onwards. I think it's amazing that this typewriter was apparently re-sold again over 60 years after it came out of the factory!

Wagner Underwood 5, SN 3932-5

As the typewriter was re-sold by Kaptino in the 1960s (or later), it's possible that the machine was rebuilt or thoroughly serviced. It seems it was repainted at some spots, but not everywhere. For example, the Wagner-decal at the back is still visible. To me, it seems that the hardware is still original. That makes sense, as Kaptino re-sold standard typewriters for as little as 59 guilders (a new Underwood costed 415 guilders at the time), see this 1962 advertisement. If this machine was really altered with new hardware, it wouldn't be profitable to sell at such a low price.

Last year, I was lucky enough to buy a dirty Wagner-Underwood 2. I was so excited about the find, that I only posted some snapshots of the machine before cleaning it. Now I've cleaned it and I also replaced the not original (plastic!) letters of the shift- and tabulator-key. It looks far better now:

Wagner Underwood 2, SN 9732, before cleaning

Wagner Underwood 2, SN 9732, after cleaning

In total, only around 12000 Wagner-Underwood's 1 and 2 were made (the #2 was the export version with more keys). After that, they were continued by the improved models 4 and 5, the latter being the export version. According to the typewriterdatabase.com, my Wagner-Underwood #2 SN 9732 was made in december 1900. That's just a few months before my Wagner-Underwood #5 SN 3932-5 came out of the factory. So, let's compare the two machines. Click on the image to enlarge.

Wagner-Underwood #2 SN 9732 (left) and Wagner-Underwood #5 SN 3932-5 (right)

Wagner-Underwood #2 SN 9732 (left) and Wagner-Underwood #5 SN 3932-5 (right)

Wagner-Underwood #2 SN 9732 (left) and Wagner-Underwood #5 SN 3932-5 (right)
Wagner-Underwood #2 SN 9732 (left) and Wagner-Underwood #5 SN 3932-5 (right)

Wagner-Underwood #2 SN 9732 (left) and Wagner-Underwood #5 SN 3932-5 (right)
Can you spot the differences?

16 maart 2014

Typewriter collectors meeting / type-in

Yesterday was just perfect: it was sunny and I could drive my old Mercedes to the Dutch typewriter collectors meeting. Organizer Spider created a very interesting program, opening with a presentation about her own machines. Than all of us presented our favorite portable typewriter. It was the first time I saw a Lilliput typewriter, which Cor kindly took with him. Between and before the presentations we had time enough to inspect all the Halberg portables we took with us.

The Liliput typewriter (all pictures made by Harm Stumpel)

After the lunch, Spider refereed a real speed typing contest. Albert Tangora would probably turn in his grave, but it was great fun. It looked a bit like this, but slower:

I had to leave early, so I missed out on Jaap's presentation.

Thanks Jaap, Flip, Jos, Harm, Cor and organizer Spider for a terrific day!

Here are some more pictures, taken by Harm:

Comparing Halbergs

Inspecting a radio/typewriter


Getting instructions before the speed typing contest

Speed typing!