Good Companionship

by | Feb 28, 2012 | Imperial | 12 comments

Rob’s manual for the Good Companion 5

Robert Messenger on Torpedos: Is the first typewriter pictured here the ancestor of the GC5? One thing is certain: the GC5 does not match a Torpedo 18 of the late ’50s — I compared them side by side, and they use very different leverage systems.


  1. Bill M

    Very nice typewriter! I need to give Rob's software a shot. Thank you for the post.

  2. Adwoa

    Basket shifted! I had no idea – now this certainly sounds intriguing. I shall have to put it on my wishlist. I can't think of very many curvy '50s typewriters with segment shift besides the Hermes 3000, Underwood Finger-Flite, and Remington Quiet-Riter. This is a fine addition to that list!

  3. rn

    I have a '56 Good Companion 3 (3W 611). Basket shift. Easy touch. 46 keys. Same whimsical return lever. Seems a bit flimsier than the 5 — but it has an ornate decal on the bonnet that says "by appointment typewriter manufacturers to the late King George V" (a bit odd, as the old King died two decades before this portable was made) and it comes in a hilarious plastic clamshell.

  4. Richard P

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Richard P


    Over the last 24 hours I have learned that I was wrong to claim that the GC5 is "totally separate from all other Good Companions." Australian collector Richard Amery, MP, enlightened me about the model 3, and pointed out that the model 7 was a further development of the basket-shift design. If my suspicion is right and the root model is the Torpedo 17, then eventually I hope to present the evolution of this fine line of portables: Torpedo 17 > GC3 > GC5 > GC7.

  6. Ton S.

    This is just stunning, never seen one of these before (I always say this whenever visit your blog!). Even the mint green color is a winner. If you don't mind my asking, where did you find this beauty? And another one, can you describe the typing action/feel? Thanks!

  7. Richard P

    I got it on UK eBay. They aren't rare.

    The typing feels great! Very smooth and snappy. The carriage return has a nice glide and just the right amount of heft. The shifting is very easy. It's altogether a very nice typewriter. I am looking forward to writing something longer with it.

  8. Ton S.

    Good to hear!
    I look forward to your follow-up post.

  9. rn

    FYI, idl-t, Imperials do turn up on this side of the pond. I got my GC 3 for $6.95 on US eBay.

  10. Ton S.

    Thanks rn, I surmise that's 99% luck. I've been following ebay like a tracking dog and never encountered one.

  11. Martin A. Rice, Jr.

    And it arrived intact from across the pond! That, alone, is a coup!

  12. teeritz

    I have one of these. I named it Miss Moneypenny until Reverend T told me that he has a Royal QDL named Miss Moneypenny. Typosphere ain't big enough for two typewriters with the same name, so I'm thinking of calling my one Sidney. After Sidney Poitier. He has a GC5 sitting on his desk at home in "To Sir, With Love".
    Nice, minty green case and the carriage return lever is sublime. But my one feels a little clunky to write with, even though it types nicely enough. Not sure if I'll keep it. Maybe it just needs a service.
    Nice pickup, Mr Polt!


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