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






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