First typewriter safari of 2024

by | Jan 5, 2024 | safari | 9 comments

Today I visited a couple of local antique malls and spotted the following typewriters.
I’ve seen photos of the Tomy’s Tutor Typer before, but don’t think I’ve actually tried one before today. Note how what looks like a keyboard actually consists of only three blocks of linked keys; each block controls one typebar. Also note that Tomy anticipated today’s colloquial use of the term “typer.”
IBM Correcting Selectric II, $350. The classic big beige slab of the 1970s. Is it worth $350? Maybe, to some people, if it’s working—a question I did not attempt to answer.

Royal HH, $55. A fair price for the most popular American standard of the mid-1950s. I do wish that its most popular color weren’t brown. In case you don’t know, that odd device on the right side of the keyboard is a palm-operated tabulator. No other Royal model has it.

Wide-carriage Royal KMG, $125. This seller did some research, identified the model, and even dated the typewriter to 1949.

Remington Quiet-Riter, $95. This green paint is not the most common, and the typewriter is very clean. The return lever has gotten disconnected from the line-advance mechanism, but otherwise it’s in good shape.

Olympia SF, $75. This seller is concerned about our behavior, and is also ready with an answer to the most common question about typewriters.

This Royal KMM has been reduced to $60, but its carriage is jammed.

This Remington Automatic electric is only $30. I believe it’s a relabeled Brother.

What are your thoughts on this selection? 

Would you have taken any of these machines home?



  1. typewriter.works

    the seller was concerned about your behavior, eh? what, were you wearing an aloha shirt, a bucket hat and smoking a joint or something? that's hysterical. as for which typewriter, i'd've tried to bargain the sf down to 50 or 60 but 75 is still good. they have a decent chance of interesting typefaces, too. i've one in italics. also hysterical.

  2. Mary E

    If I had room in the stable and $75 burning a hole in my pocket, I'd get the Olympia SF.

  3. Bill M

    Nice safari. I may have let the SF follow me home. BTY, Mrs M got me some of those Snoopy coffee cups when we were still living in FL

  4. Rolf Boone

    The wide-carriage Royal KMG. I have a 1950 model and it's among my favorites. Such a great typer.

  5. Rolf Boone

    Another thought: There's something about the Royal KMG/KMM typing experience that I just can't replicate with my other machines. Not sure if it's the glass keys or the spacing of those keys, but I can bang away with confidence on the two models and never a typo can be found. On that note: I guess I would take home the KMM, too.

  6. John Cooper

    I'll join the chorus of those who would have taken home the SF. I haven't had good luck with ultraportables, but I'd trust Olympia to do it right. Plus this one's in elite, which makes it far more likely that I'd use it for correspondence. (Olympia's pica type is so huge, it makes me feel as if I'm writing A First Primer for Young Readers.)

    I didn't realize the HH was such a popular typewriter in its day, but it makes sense—I seem to see them nearly every time I check the auction sites. I find the palm-operated tabulator grotesque, like a human skull with a horn on it. In fact, in my head, I call this model of typewriter The Horn.

  7. Anonymous

    Remington Automatic for $30. I like $30 and I could use another cheap electric in the stable. I love the KMM…if I could get that for $40 I am buying. Matt at ACE has unjammed two of those for me.

  8. Anonymous

    I once had a Royal HH, I think, and it had such beautiful action that it was difficult to make a typing mistake with it. Jeremy

  9. PapaGottlieb

    Last week it was I just acquired the beige Correcting Selectric II myself ($55US, including with which a drop-leaf typing table it sitting on). In US, these I find everywhere, in every condition, from free to "are you kidding with me" prices. I love a 40lbs baby such as this.


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