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. 

NC00099

NA00346

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

NC00099

NA00346

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.

NC00099

NA00346

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

NC00099

NA00346

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

NA00346

NC00099

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.

NC00099

NA00346

The paper tables have the same dimensions, but are bent in a different way. 
NC00099

NA00346

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

NC00099

NA00346

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.

NC00099

NC00099

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

NC00099


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:

NC00099

NC00099

NC00099

NC00099

NC00099

NC00099

NC00099

NC00099

NC00099






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.


SN6374,
The Perfected type writer no2,
Manuf'd by E. Remington&Sons, Ilion, N.Y:


SN15188,
The Standard Type-Writer No2,
Manuf'd by E. Remington&Sons, Ilion, N.Y:

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

SN56517,
Manufactured by Remington Standard Typewriter Mfg Co. Ilion, N.Y. U.S.A
Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict, New York:

SN92364,
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.