12 maart 2023
Typewriters in the local thrift store
31 december 2022
Typewriters of 2022: an overview
|Perfected Type Writer No. 2 #2518|
|Blickensderfer 5, 7 and 8. (picture of Breker Auctions)|
Wagner Underwood 1
|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.
|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.
|Hermes 3000 #3081025|
|Interior of Import Agent F.W. Salomons, The Oliver Typewriter Co. Amsterdam|
Source: Stadsarchief Amsterdam. Can you spot the 2nd Oliver?
11 december 2022
My Perfected Type Writer № 2, #2518
|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.
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.
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|
|NA00346 (left), NC00099 (right)|
|NC00099 (left), NA00346 (right)|
|NC00099 (left), NA00346 (right)|
Here are the original Ebay pictures of NC00099: