typewriter-revolution-blog-post-header

Adieux

by | Apr 6, 2023 | Uncategorized | 12 comments

Here are a few typewriters that recently left my collection, or are about to. Gorgeous treasures, all! How can I let them go?? 

Let’s just say that I’m planning for a simpler old age, and when you have hundreds of typewriters, you don’t want to wait until you’re actually old to start saying goodbye to them. That would risk leaving your heirs with a huge headache. 
I would like to curate my collection down to a few machines that I love to use, that have a lot of personal meaning to me, or that are very rare or historic.
Most of my typewriters were built before I was born, and (I expect) will survive my death. Owning a typewriter means appreciating a thing that is more durable than you are. You are just its caretaker for a few years—or decades. Learning to let go of it can be a form of practicing generosity and wisdom—and preparing for the ultimate letting-go.
Here are the typewriters I’m parting with, in no particular order.
This 1940 Everest Mod. 90, made in Italy, features an italic typeface and an odd keyboard: QWERTY, with English on the shift keys, but with Italian peculiarities—it’s necessary to shift to get numerals and a period. This is a very “mechanical” typewriter. Like on early Royal portables, you can sense all the levers working and gears turning with every keystroke. It isn’t hard to type on, but doesn’t feel very sophisticated.
The streamlined, glossy Coronas—the most beautiful ones, for my taste—were made for only a couple of years. This example dates from 1938. By my count, I’ve owned at least 18 typewriters made that year. It’s a high point of engineering and design. I have used this typewriter to write some letters over the years, but for whatever reason, it has not become a regular.

Here’s an Olympia SM3 that I had repainted by an auto body shop (I removed the panels and they did the job for just $100). This was some 15 years ago, when I was just getting to know the ’50s Olympias that are so familiar to many typists, and I was just starting to experiment with customization. I used this typewriter, among others, to take a shot at NaNoWriMo in 2008. I didn’t get very far

Here is a later, postwar Everest—a K2 made in 1954. All Everests have distinctive styling whose proportions you may love or hate (I like them!). Their controls are also idiosyncratic. As for the user experience, Will Davis has written, “My impression of the Everest is that the touch is not unlike that experienced when one takes a large, dead fish by the tail and whacks it on a wooden table.” The linkage between key and typebar on the K2 doesn’t create any acceleration or snap.

This 1935 Erika no. 5 is one of the typewriters I’ve owned longest. I picked it up at a yard sale in Chicago sometime in the late ’80s. At the time, I knew nothing about typewriter history. I knew that I loved my 1937 Remington Noiseless no. 7, and ’30s design in general. But as far as I knew, most typewriters were just “boxy” and “boring.” I also bought a maroon Remington portable no. 2 in Chicago around the same time. These three typewriters were the seed of a collecting passion that was to explode in 1994.

This 1957 Alpina is a stunning machine, with pearly, light green paint and a handsome Imperial-style typeface. I treated it to a new platen, and have used it occasionally for letters and at type-ins. But it never became a typewriter that I adored for regular use.

In 1956, Underwood came out with three versions of the Deluxe Quiet Tab: gray and turquoise, two-tone brown, and black and white. The eye-popping styling is credited to Paul Braginetz. The gray and turquoise and black and white machines typically had the quirky “Continental” typeface (get it as a font on my website). This one is Continental elite. As on all ’50s Underwood portables, the quality of materials and assembly is not top-notch, but it is a very cool machine.
My last goodbye (for now) is this 1938 (yes, again!) Rheinmetall portable, with maroon wood-grain finish and italic type, which will be going to a certain collector who adores distinctive typefaces.

If you’re wondering when I’m going to sell more machines, keep your eyes on eBay in the second half of this year. I’ll probably post something on this blog and on other social media alerting you to the sale.

12 Comments

  1. Pamela Gupta

    A beautifully curated collection, and a generous sharing in both the machines & the words written about them. Thank you for continuing to foster the typer community's growth.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Did you sign them like Tom Hanks does? :D

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Richard, what's your eBay seller name?

    Reply
  4. John Cooper

    Sorry, that was me just above. Blogger didn't automatically enter my profile as I expected.

    Reply
  5. Richard P

    No problem. I don't know what's going on with Blogger. My seller name is daseiender.

    Reply
  6. the_avenger

    Ha, most of them are QWERTY. So no temptation. None at all. So I tell myself.

    Reply
  7. The Philosophy Teacher

    These are all beautiful. It must hurt. And I won't take personally your selling the Erika 5, my everyday typer.

    Reply
  8. Robin Heilschild ????

    Whoa!! 30's, 40's, and 50's typewriters!! :D

    I'd love to swap my Olivetti Studio 46 for an Olympia SM-9… but with Mexican or Spaniard keyboard layout. I love the Olympia SM-9, as it's like a SG-3, but smaller and cute. <3

    Don't you have a machine with Russian or Arabic keyboard layout in your collection?

    Reply
  9. Richard P

    I do have Russian, Arabic, and Spanish machines. I may be selling some off in the fall. But you shouldn't have any trouble finding a Spanish-keyboard typewriter on eBay.

    Reply
  10. Robin Heilschild ????

    What's your eBay's profile name?

    Yes… but they're overpriced, without considering shipping charges…
    Literally, the still mainstream typewriters in my hometown are way cheaper than what I can find on eBay… But… They don't have typewriters with Russian or Arabic keyboards, nor something that not be either Olivetti or Olympia. xD

    Reply
  11. Richard P

    My profile name is daseiender.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VISIT THE

typewriter revolutionary factory logo

Contact

Email

Address

Dept. of Philosophy
Xavier University
3800 Victory Pkwy.
Cincinnati, OH. 45207
USA

TYPEWRITER REVOLUTION on instagram
TYPEWRITER REVOLUTION on facebook