12 maart 2023

Typewriters in the local thrift store

I had a few hours to spend this afternoon, so I went to the local thrift store. I was surprised by the nice machines they had for sale for very reasonable prices. All machines were in working order (of course! Back than, they were made to last forever). I had the chance to fiddle and play with each of them, which made me happy. As space is limited, I didn't buy one, but I had one aesthetic favorite (the Everest) and one functional favorite (the Japy). Which one would you chose? For international comparation; 1 euro is currently 1,07 dollar. All machines are for sale at Wawollie, in Maarssen, The Netherlands.

The first one is a Hermes Standard 6, azerty, sn 562041, made in 1946. Inside was a lot of typewriter eraser gunk. The tabulator system was a bit sluggish, but after a few minutes I figured out how it worked. These machines were made between 1943 and 1953; in total around 80k specimens left the factory in Switzerland. I don't see them too often here. This one costs 25 euro:

Next one, a Japy P.90, sn 7002021, made in 1970. This is a rebranded Hermes 3000. It's the third, plastic version of the hyped curved model from the fifties. It has the same tabulator system with the funky red line as the curved model and I guess the other mechanics are similar as well. A very good deal for 10 euro, if you ask me, although cosmetically, it wasn't in the best shape. This plastic version of the Hermes 3000 was sold all through the 1970's. Around half a million of them left the factory. This is one of the earliest examples of the plastic version and also has a azerty keyboard:

Than the Everest Mod ST. The surprise of the day! I had never seen an Everest before (other than on pictures). They are not that rare, but I am normally not that interested in post war typewriters. I really like the 1950s look of this typewriter and what I also like is how heavy it is. This is 20 kilo of quality. The machine is in working order and for sale for 35 euros. This specimen (sn 254653) left the factory in 1953, but this model was made in Italy between 1948 and 1954. Only 67k Mod ST's were made in that period. You can pick it up for 35 euro. Less than 2 euro per kilo. Unfortunately, this typewriter also had an azerty lay out. I guess they came from the same person?

Last, an Olivetti Lexikon 80 (qwerty). This one was made in 1950 (sn 2106231). Lexikons were made from 1948 to 1956. The earlier versions have the name on the paper table embossed, like this one. It seems like Olivetti sold a big batch of early versions to The Netherlands, because I see these a lot here. I even scout the earlier and very rare Olivetti M80 every now and than. In total 570k Olivetti Lexikon 80's were sold. This one is for sale for 25 euro. In the plastic bag attached to the carriage are some spare ribbons.
What's your favorite?

31 december 2022

Typewriters of 2022: an overview

In the end of 2021, I owned 3 typewriters. I was more into wristwatches than typewriters at the time. This year, however, I didn't buy any wrist watches, as I am still happy with the Seiko Marinemaster SBDX017 I've bought in 2018 and has been my daily watch ever since. Only during a few weeks this year I've changed to my vintage Seiko 6138-8030 (JPS) and the Pulsar LED Calculator, which surprisingly became alive again, after I discovered I put the batteries upside down. 

The only watch I really want (but didn't buy) is a vintage Rolex Day Date 18078, with bark finish. There are two problems; one is the price, and the other problem is that I don't think I would dare to wear it. I don't have the right amount of mafia vibe around me and I would only worry to damage it.

So, what did I do this year regarding typewriters? As I wrote, starting 2022 I owned 3 antique typewriters: I already had my very early Hammond 2 (Dutch delivered), the earliest Remington Portable 1 (NC00062) and a gold plated Princess Praesent. During the year, I sold the gold Princess, and bought 11 different typewriters instead. Let's see, dear imaginary readers, what I bought and sold last year.

Perfected Type Writer No. 2 #2518

Perfected Type Writer No. 2 and Caligraph 2

Let's go through them chronologically. In March, I went to Köln (Germany) to the Breker Auction, where the typewriter collection of Jim Rauen was auctioned. I managed to pick up a Perfected Typewriter No. 2. Quite a score, and last month I dedicated a blogpost about it. This was the typewriter that gave me most fun researching, because so little is known about this successor to the Sholes and Glidden. Michael Adler called it "a connoisseurs instrument" in his book. In the same auction lot I got a Caligraph 2, which I sold locally to another collector. 
Caligraph 2 #18514

Blickensderfer 5, 7 and 8.

Two months later, in May, there was another Breker Auction of the Rauen collection. This time I didn't go to Köln, but instead bid online on a lot with three Blickensderfers. The one that caught my eye was a very early Blickensderfer 5 (#2878). The hammer price was 300 euro, on top of which I had to pay 85 euro commission costs and 100 euro for packaging and shipment. The three typewriters arrived fast and in good order, so I think it was a pretty good deal. I sold the Blickensderfer 8 and 7 to a befriended collector, and only kept the early Blickensderfer 5. I'll probably write a separate blogpost about this machine in the future.
Blickensderfer 5, 7 and 8. (picture of Breker Auctions)

Wagner Underwood 1

In June I saw a Wagner Underwood 1 in a local online advertisement. I have owned several Wagner-Underwoods before. My theory is that these very old typewriters were shipped from the USA to the Netherlands right after the war (in the late 1940's) when there was a lack of typewriters here. I have found several Wagner-Underwoods here with dealer stickers from after the war, meaning that they were sold and used up to 60 or 70 years after being manufactured. 

This particular Wagner Underwood 1 looked odd to me. The frame below the space bar was different from normal Wagner Underwoods. So I quickly made a deal and drove two hours straight to get the machine. I paid 50 euros and hoped to see a very early serial number. Maybe it was some kind of prototype? When I wiped off the dust to read the serial number, my hearth skipped a beat: #122. Oh my. I texted some fellow collectors about this Major Find and - over the moon - drove back home. Once home I gave it a proper inspection and found out I missed a digit under the dust; the serial wasn't #122, but #5122. The weirdest part about this story is that exactly the same happened to me 10 years ago with an Underwood 5.
Wagner Underwood 1 #5122

This Wagner Underwood was in the same family for decades, in the small beautiful town called Beesel (Limburg, The Netherlands). According to the seller, it was probably used in the local pharmacy before it became the families home typewriter until well into the 1970's. The seller recalled using it as a child. The strange frame wasn't because this specimen was insanely early and still in prototype development; it probably was just an early (and very well done) repairment of the frame. 

Okay, that was kind of a disappointment, but only because I had my hopes up too high. It's still a Wagner Underwood 1 of course.

Adler Model 9

Next up is the rarest find in my collecting career. It's quite a story.

In July I received an automated email alert that a local Dutch auction house put a handful of typewriters up for auction. I scrolled through the typewriters and saw nothing special: an Adler, a Folding Corona, some standard machines, nothing special. Although, that Adler... that looked odd. Hadn't seen it before, or did I? The advertisement on the auction site didn't specify the model number, but on the decal visible on one of the photos it said "model 9". In the back of my head, I knew there was one special Adler to keep an eye for. I didn't remember anymore which model it was, nor how it looked like. Was it this model 9? So, I started searching online, but couldn't find anything. Hmmm, this thing must be rare.

I looked into my German collectors magazines and after one hour I found an article about the Adler model 9 in a magazine from 2012. My gut feeling was right. This article was written right after one specimen was found and sold on Ebay for a staggering 9600 euro! I must have read it at the time. Okay, so this was special, but I didn't have it yet. It was to be auctioned online, and it wouldn't be strange if another collector would find out about it. I had to be honest with myself, this wasn't the typewriter I had always dreamt of (like a Crandall, a Sholes & Glidden, a Fitch, an Oliver 1 or a Norths). I would only buy it if it stayed under the radar and sell it for a profit.

In the weeks before the auction date I did some more research. I learned that in the 1970's, there was only one specimen of the Adler Model 9 known, which let collectors to believe it was a prototype; a more advanced version of the common model 7. In the years to follow, a handful more specimens were discovered, but all with a serial number within a range of 100, which probably meant that no more than 100 specimens left the factory. 

The Adler 9 is essentially the same machine as an Adler 7, but with a different frame and some extra functions. Not very exciting to me. I also read in a different article in the German typewriter collectors magazine that a German top collector considered his Adler 9 as his favorite machine, because he had to fight for 10 years before he could finally acquire one. And mind you, he also owned a Malling Hansen!

The night of the auction, we started low, at 50 euros. I bid patiently as I didn't want to warn anyone that this was a Special Typewriter. There was one other bidder though, and he didn't want to let go. With each new bid, the time left was increased by 2 minutes. We spend 40 minutes or so bidding against each other. How much did my competitor know? Did he know this was an extremely rare and desirable machine? Should I increase my bids faster? We reached 300 euros. I bid 350. He bid 360, I increased to 400. I bid fast, he waited every time till the last seconds. He bid 410. I raised to 450. And than there was nothing... He let go, he desisted. It was mine!

A few days later I received the Adler 9. Indeed, it wasn't in good condition and very dirty, but it seemed complete. It was painted over the side panels, but the decals were still untouched. I contacted some collectors who I knew owned a model 9 and asked for some information. One of them could tell me the location of the serial number. The serial number was #35017, which makes it one of the earliest known model 9's. The same collector also asked me to inform him in case I would put it up for sale.

Adler model 9 #35017

After a few weeks, I decided for good that I didn't want to keep it. I bought it for trading in the first place, I did some research about this model, enjoyed it, and that's it. It had to go. I put an ad in the German typewriter collectors magazine and informed the fellow collector that I put it up for sale. I decided to ask the same amount as the last sell of an Adler 9 in 2012. Okay, said the fellow collector. Just let me know your banking details. He instantly agreed on the asking price. 

In the days after this, I received quite a lot of mails and calls from other collectors asking about the Adler 9. One of them didn't understand why I was selling it. He said: you collect typewriters, right? Why do you sell such a special machine? He has a point, but it's a lot of money and I would rather use the money to buy a typewriter I really desire (or a Rolex Day Date). But at the moment, I can't justify (to myself) spending so much money on luxury or hobby. 

Hermes 3000 (2 typewriters)

In October I bought a Hermes 3000. The one with the curves. It was listed online in Utrecht (where I live), so I cycled to the city center and took it with me for 55 euro. These typewriters go for crazy money lately, mainly because some famous director used it to write his movies. This specimen was in bad condition because someone lost the key of the case and opened it by brute force. The typewriter was bent in many places, but still typed like a charm. I liked typing on it as it has an attractive techno font. It is also the only typewriter I let my children play on. Especially setting the margins is great fun.
Hermes 3000 #3081025

One month later, I went to Köln again, for the November Breker auction. My main mission was to complete the Adler 9 transaction, by handing over the machine to the buyer just before the start of the auction. I was happy I could finally close the transaction and stop worrying about having to take care of such an expensive machine at home. I played with the thought of using the money to bid one of the Sholes and Gliddens in the Breker Auction, but again: I couldn't. I guess I didn't want one bad enough.

After the auction I went to the traditional collectors meeting at the Decksteiner Tennis Club. I said hi to some friends there and one of them had a pristine Hermes 3000 for sale. Well, I knew by now I liked that machine, so I decided to buy it. He asked 165 euro, mainly because it had a special feature: it was able to type with extra symbols, using a system called Typit. We agreed on 150 euros, and I took it home. Here you see me using the typit system, it's quite ingenious and simple at the same time.

Oliver 8

One of the most beautiful antique typewriters is the Oliver. In the past I had a very early Oliver 3, an Oliver 15 with a crazy large carriage and a quite rare Oliver Monopol Stolzenberg (3). I will definitely once own an Oliver 1 (yeah, dream on) or early 2, but till that time I figured I could buy a more accessible model. In December, I found an online advertisement for an Oliver 8. In case you don't know, this is the very rare export version of the Oliver 7. The ad was online for over two months and the typewriter still wasn't sold. Maybe because the seller asked 275 euros. I negotiated it down to 175 and drove to a village near Rotterdam to get it. 

It was in decent shape, but I had to repair the mainspring. It was - fortunately - an easy and satisfying fix. I cleaned it and now it works like a charm. According to Oliver specialist Jett Morton, only 800 were made, and only 10 surviving specimens are known nowadays. It's a nice and pretty machine, in good condition and quite rare. What makes it even cooler is that it has a dealer sticker of F.W. Salomons, in Amsterdam. Here is a picture from 1913 of his office at the time. The second gentleman on the left is writing on an Oliver. Another machine is hidden away. On the window you can see the Oliver brand name.  

Interior of Import Agent F.W. Salomons, The Oliver Typewriter Co. Amsterdam
Source: Stadsarchief Amsterdam. Can you spot the 2nd Oliver?

It seems I am all back into typewriters again. I really enjoyed searching for rare machines and trying to find info about them. This has been a good collecting year, with a Perfected Typewriter No. 2, a Wagner Underwood 1, an Adler 9, an early Blickensderfer 5 and an Oliver 8. Which one did you like most? Have a happy new year!

11 december 2022

My Perfected Type Writer № 2, #2518

Recently, I bought a machine called “The Perfected Type Writer № 2” (PTW2), with serial number #2518. It belonged to collector Jim Rauen and was sold to me at the Breker Auction in Germany last March 2022. In the auction catalog it was advertised wrongly as a “Remington Standard № 2”.

Perfected Type Writer No. 2 #2518, picture by Breker Auction

I got it together with a Caligraph No. 2 for in total 450 euro (+23,5% commission cost). Two months later Breker sold another PTW2, with serial number #6854. This time it was advertised correctly as such, and therefor sold for 2000 euro.

Perfected Type Writer No. 2 #6854, picture by Breker Auctions

The latest version of the Sholes & Glidden was called “The Perfected Type Writer”, and the PTW2 is the successor of that machine, and the first typewriter with a shifting mechanism. After this came the Standard Type-Writer № 2, which finally became the Remington Standard № 2. I had a Standard Type-Writer № 2 as well; see: https://schrijfmachine.blogspot.com/2020/05/this-is-not-remington-typewriter.html

Decal above keyboard of PTW2 #2518

The quickest way to identify a PTW2 (apart from the decal above the keyboard) is by looking at the center wheel, just above the metal paper scale in front of the carriage. All PTW2’s I have seen have a shifting mechanism above the center wheel in front of the carriage. From the Standard Type Writer № 2 onward, the shifting mechanism changes, and the part above the center wheel is not connected to a shifting construction anymore.

Center wheel and shifting part on top of it. PTW2 #2518

So far I have found 7 PTW2’s, all within the serial number range of #2518 to #7190. However, there is a picture of an 8th PTW2 in a book from 1964 about the typewriter collection of the Science Museum of London. That machine is also pictured in Beeching’s book (The Century of the Typewriter, 1974). According to the online museum catalog, this machine has number #593, and I believe this is indeed a serial number.

PTW2 #593 from the London Science Museum. Picture from museum catalog, 1964. Notice the lack of a decal above the keyboard. Above the right shift key there is only a pin stripe visible.

From the old picture in the book, it looks like this machine doesn’t have the name “Perfected Type Writer № 2” above the keyboard. This is just like the very early Perfected Type Writers № 4, which don’t have any designation either, only pinstripes above the keyboard; see for example PTW4 #575. Unfortunately, the London Science Museum has ignored my mails (and even a letter) asking for more information.

Cast iron type basket of PTW2 #2518.

The PTW2 from the London Science Museum (#593), my machine (#2518) and a later specimen (#2654) have a cast iron type basket, similar to the type baskets of the Sholes and Gliddens and early Perfected Type Writers № 4. See for example this S&G

Cast iron type basket of a Sholes and Glidden Type Writer


Later PTW2’s, like the PTW2 #6854 that was auctioned by Breker last May, have a different typebasket, made of metal wires. This is similar to the construction used in later machines, like the Remington Standard № 2.

PTW2 #6854, notice the lack of a cast iron type basket

My Perfected Typewriter № 2 #2518 has two more peculiarities: it has both shift keys (upper case  on the left and lower case on the right) at the lower bank of the keyboard, just above the space bar. All other specimens I know of have the lower case key at the right on the upper bank of the keyboard. Just like on later name variants of this machine. No other PTW2 I know of has both shift keys at the lower bank of the keyboard. My machine was far ahead of its time!

Lower case key of PTW2 #2518, at the bottom of the keyboard

The second peculiarity of my machine is the “r.”-key. That’s right, a single key for two characters: the “r” and the period. It is located as uppercase character above number “5”. When searching the web for more information about the Perfected Type Writer №. 2, I stumbled upon an interesting article from Marcin Wichary about this key. Here is a quote from the article, explaining the use of this key:

“In such abbreviations as Mr. or Dr., the small letter r and period can be made with one touch by using the fourth key from the left in first row. […]

Why dedicate half a key to something so obscure, and something that looks exactly the same as typing r and . separately? The answers to both, as it turned out, required just a bit of context.

This [the Perfected Type Writer № 2) was among the first typewriters with shifting, and shifting was hard – split between Upper Case and Lower Case keys on the opposite sides of the keyboard, and requiring a lot of force to lift a heavy mechanism. Putting r. in a shifted position was a stroke of genius – in common usage (e.g. Mr. Wichary) it followed an uppercase letter, and was immediately followed by another one, so this saved a few shifts and unshifts along the way.”

Source: To save a keyboard, pt. 1 | Revue (getrevue.co)

Author Marcin Wichary is writing the book “Shift Happens”, which will include a picture of my machine.

"r."-key of PTW2 #2518

As far as I know, the r.-key was only used for a short period of time on the Perfected Type Writer № 2. I have only seen it on my machine and on machine #2654.

Do you own a Perfected Type Writer № 2? Please leave a comment below.

08 oktober 2022

Typewriters in the wild: Amsterdam Flea market ijhallen

 I went typewriter hunting in Amsterdam today. Didn't find anything I liked, except for a typewriter lighter and a glass celebrating the 1988 European Championship football (both 1 euro). Here are some pictures of typewriters in the wild today:

08 januari 2022

My Most-Worn Wristwatches of 2021

One of my favorite blogs is The Teeritz Agenda. Every year, it ends with a summary of most worn watches, some typewriters, sunglasses, cameras, books and the occasional model car. I enjoy reading and watching it, and although I am not a good photographer, I decided to shamelessly imitate the Teeritz style.

I've only worn 4 wristwatches in 2021. I have more in my watch box, but I only wore 4. Here are 3 pictures of them. The fourth watch is a Casio F91w. It's a famous no-nonsense lcd-watch which I use when I work in the garden or try to fix something at home. After selling my typewriters in 2018 I didn't own any at all for some time. Now I own 3 typewriters. Two of them were acquired this year and I find myself longing for more. Let's start:

Number 3 - Pulsar Calculator Watch

I bought this Pulsar Calculator Watch from a US auction site. It's a led watch with build-in calculator. It predates the well known Seiko en Casio LCD calculator watches. This is the Euro style version, which is less bulky than the US-style Pulsar Calculator. Led watches were build for a short period in the early seventies, simply because posterior LCD technology was superior. I discovered this the hard way, as I paid 500 dollar for it (+ another 500 dollar of auction, shipping and import costs). It is in almost mint condition and worked perfectly when it arrived. I was as happy as a child; as an employee of the National Institute of Statistics, this was quite the watch for me. 

Three days later, the led-module died. Before buying it I already knew this was risky business, as led-modules are notoriously fragile. But still, it was a big disappointment. I hope someday someone will be able to build new led modules for these Pulsar Calculator Watches. 

Before the led module died, I made 2 videos of the Pulsar Calculator, showing the flipping of the wrist mechanism (which is pretty need for 1970's technology) and the calculator function.

Also in the frame;

Typewriter - my Hammond 2, which I bought in 2020. It's a early model 2 with some features of a number 1 (like the steel platen knob). It was originally imported to The Netherlands and belonged to the same family for around 90 years before I was able to buy it. It stands proudly under a plexi cover in the living room. No dust or small children hands will ruin it. It's not for typing, it is just nice to look at and admire the design and mechanism.

Model cars - two Jaguars. The blue one is my favorite model, a Jaguar XJ12 series 2. This Matchbox variation features a caravan, which doesn't suit it imho. It's more like a car for business man, not for camping guests. The yellow Jaguar is made by Husky and is a XJ6 series 1. I prefer the front of the series 2. Once, when I'll have a garage, I will buy a real series 2. The lines of this car are just pure perfection.

Books - the 1949-edition of Ernst Martin, die Schreibmaschine und ihre Entwicklungsgeschichte. It must be the only German book that I've read from a to z voluntarily. Everything you need to know about antique typewriters is in it. In the back you can see my copy of Typewriter, a celebration of the ultimate writing machine, by Paul Robert and Peter Weil. This is typewriter porn of sometimes very obscure machines. You should read Ernst Martin and use the pictures of Paul Robert.

Number 2 - Seiko 6138-8030 JPS

This Seiko 6138-8030 arrived in late 2020. It's an automatic chrono from 1977 with original bracelet. I found it on the English Ebay and had it served by a guy from the Dutch watch forum. I was looking for this model for a long time, as I really like the JPS colors. JPS stands for John Player Special, which is a cigarette brand which sponsored racing cars in the '70s and '80s. Those cars were painted with gold letters (JPS) on black, which looks stunning. Other brands, like Seiko, seemed to have followed this fashion of black and gold color schemes for their product. Rolex did the same with the Paul Newman Daytona: one of the nicest watches on earth (but criminally expensive):

I almost never wear my Seiko JPS. It seemed nice on pictures, but it feels too light. That's typical of vintage watches, I guess, as modern watches are just better build, or at least more solid. I like the feel of a solid well-build watch on my wrist.

Also in the frame;

Typewriter - Princess 300 praesent. It's the gold plated version of the ordinary Princess 300. This was meant as a relationship gift for companies. Not many were made. I bought it last month from German Ebay. For some reason, during the last years I got convinced I needed a gold plated typewriter. Which is weird, because nobody really needs a gold typewriter. It's just capitalistic greed, I think. But well, I coudn't resist the urge and when I got the chance, I bought it without hesitating. It's complete with warranty, manual and proof of gold plating. It was sold in 1964, eight years before John Player Special started to sponsor racing cars, so there is no link between the JPS color scheme and this Princess Praesent in gold/black. Pure coincidence.

Model cars - Although John Player Special only sponsored Lotus and BMW (the Australian 635CSI JPS might be the coolest racing car ever), you can see the JPS livery on many other (model) cars, like this 1980s Porsche 911 Turbo (made by Siku) and even a Mercedes 500 SEC from the same period (made by Matchbox). The yellow windows make this Mercedes look even more aggressive. Here is a pic from the web of a BMW 635CSI:

Books - Anthony Casillo, Typewriters. This book is about the pictures. If you have it, go to pages 85 - 87, featuring an Oliver 1 from different angles. It's a work of art. I would gladly use all my savings and a kidney to buy a specimen, but it won't be enough. Okay, here is a snap shot of it, I hope the author won't mind (buy the book!). 

Anyway, I included the book in the picture because it has a gold plated Princess on the cover. The other book in the frame needs no introduction, as it is The typewriter revolution, by Richard Polt. When it came out, I wrote a typewritten review of it. It must have been the last time I actually used a typewriter for more than a few quick sentences.

Number 1 - Seiko SBDX017, Marinemaster 300

After selling my typewriter collection in 2018, I got more into watches. I've never developed myself as a watch collector though, and I blame this Seiko Marinemaster. It's just perfect: nice lines, very solidly build, good heritage, not Rolexly overpriced and I feel I have something substantial on my wrist without bothering me. It's currently on an Angus Jubilee of Strapcode, but I alternate between various bracelets. My wrists are slim, but because the lug to lug distance is not that large, I can handle the watch without lug overhang. I bought this watch as one of the last of the SBDX017 in August 2018. Since than it's my daily beater. So much, in fact, that any other watch I buy is condemned to my watch box. Why would I wear my Hamilton Jazzmaster, Casio FW91w, vintage Seiko JPS or SKX007 when I have a far superior Marinemaster? For me, this is the one watch to rule them all.

Also in the frame; 

Typewriter - Remington portable 1. I warn you, this is a sad story. Not for the faint hearted. In 2017, I found the earliest known Remington 1 portable typewriter, serial NC00099 (number 99 from October 1920). I even published an article about it in the Fall issue of Etcetera, see my blogpost about it with many pictures here. I was so happy with the machine and article! In 2018, I sold my whole collection of typewriters, including Remington NC00099, but I regretted it instantly. So, I kept on searching for a similar model, hoping to find, once, an even earlier specimen of the Remington Portable 1. 

Fast forward to the beginning of 2021: scrolling though Ebay.com, suddenly I saw a Remington Portable 1 with all the early features. I bought it immediately without even knowing the serial number. After weeks of waiting it arrived at home. I checked the serial and, YES, it was NC00062; number 62 from October 1920! I took a few snap shots and put it safely on the shelf, far away from the hands of my children. 

Next morning, I see a shelf on the ground and a bent and broken typewriter next to it. I hope this machine can be repaired once, but I don't know who can do it. Lesson learned: never put small screws in big holes in the wall. 

Watches - On the right side you see my white Polar M430; it's a GPS running watch. I wore it during the Amsterdam Marathon of 2021 (in between two lockdowns). I have trained a lot last 6 years. Last year more than ever, having joined the local Athletics Club. It was all worth it though, because I nailed this marathon like I never did before. I started the first half in 1:23, and than accelerated, passing loads of other runners. I finished with a 2 minuted negative split in 2 hours and 44 minutes. I felt strong right till the end, it was an amazing experience. After the marathon I treated myself on a new watch; a Garmin 245 Forerunner (on the left). It's more accurate than my old Polar and has more training functions. On the picture below, you see me running the final 300 meters of the marathon, wearing my white Polar M430.

Model cars - I have always liked the big saloon cars of Mercedes. In 2013 I even bought a w123 230e from 1983. I loved driving it, but it was a constant fight against corrosion, so I got rid of it in 2016. In the frame you see a 450 SEL taxi version (Matchbox) and a blue 240D (Corgi). 

Books - Pfitzinger and Douglas, Advanced Marathoning. If you ever feel like racing a marathon (not just finishing it), this is the book you should read. It comes with 12 and 18 weeks training schedules up to race day. 

Okay, this was more text than I expected, sorry for that. Hope you liked it; all the best for 2022!

09 februari 2021

Earliest Remington Portable 1 typewriter

Remington Trade Catalog January 1921. Notice that although the letter in the machine is dated August 1920, the machine has integrated feet, like later machines. 

In the Fall of 2017, I wrote an article about the earliest known Remington Portable typewriter, with serial number NC00099. This serial number stems from October 1920. In fact, it means it was machine number 99 from that month. You can read the full article in Etcetera, which is a free PDF download: https://etconline.org/backissues/ETC118.pdf 

As you can read in the article, I compare the earliest known Remington Portable NC00099 with a later machine, NA00346, made in December 1920. The pictures in the magazine are of low resolution, so I decided to put them here, on my personal typewriter blog. For differences between December 1920 machines and later ones, see Richard Polt's excellent overview

Although the Remington Portable was presented to the public in October 1920 and no earlier machine than NC00099 is known, Remington started production of the new portable typewriter as early as late 1919. It could be that those 1919-machines were stamped with a serial number in October 1920, but there might as well be machines with serial numbers before October 1920! Keep your eyes open. 

If you want to find out in which year and month your Remington Portable typewriter was made, click here.

On a side note: both machines are not in my collection anymore.

Okay, now the pictures! 

NC00099 on the left, NA00346 on the right
NC00099 on the left, NA00346 on the right

The most interesting difference between the 1920 machines is the way they are attached to the case and rest on their feet. NA00346: as with most other 1920 and early 1921 machines, the base of the carrying case has studs that pass through two small holes in the front corners of the typewriter. The cotter pins that attach this machine to the base through holes in the studs are missing. When on the desk, the typewriter is resting on four “feet,” which are an integrated part of the frame of the machine.

NC00099 on the left, NA00346 on the right

NC00099: The four metal feet are not an integrated part of the frame of the machine, but are welded or glued on it. In addition to the two small holes in the front corners of the machine, this typewriter has two similar holes in the back corners. 



The springs that attach the keys to the machine are far less secured on NC00099 than on NA00346 and later machines.



NA00346 has a wooden space bars. NC00099 has a plastic one. This is possibly a later replacement, as later machines had plastic space bars as well.



The platen knobs (and the way they are fixed to the platen) are different on both machines.



The inner works of NA00346 has more nickel-colored parts. NC00099 has more blackened parts.



It’s also worth mentioning the change in design in the Remington logo. NC00099 has a smaller, simpler illustration of the Remington understroke typewriter. The logo of NA00346 is scratched out. Later machines have a bigger and more detailed illustration of the Remington understroke typewriter.



The paper tables have the same dimensions, but are bent in a different way. 


Both machines were first painted and than stamped with a serial number.



The case of NC00099 is totally different from any other Remington portable I have seen. It is bigger, green, and probably never had a handle. It might be a custom made case, with some parts of an original Remington portable case.



The cylinder scale of NC00099 has smaller, but clearer numbers than NA00346. This might have been replaced later on. There is no line gauge on NC00099. It is present on NA00346, so it is probably just missing on the earlier machine.



NA00346 (left), NC00099 (right)

The keys on NC00099 look tired, as if the springs can’t handle the weight of the keys after almost a century. NA00346 doesn’t have this problem.

NC00099 (left), NA00346 (right)

NC00099 (left), NA00346 (right)

Here are the original Ebay pictures of NC00099: