Sholes Visible: Resurrection

by | Oct 6, 2012 | Sholes Visible | 29 comments

Before and after (click to enlarge):


  1. shordzi

    Welcome! Welcome! Wonderful!!!

  2. Ryan Adney

    Fantastic work. I just love the typebar action. Who would call it silly? Before the speedup I thought it seemed pretty snappy.

  3. shordzi

    The restauration is just amazing, and not overdone. The video rocks – and you really speed up things! When I first saw this mechanism, I couldn't believe it.

  4. Ton S.

    Phenomenal!!! The Sholes Visible looks and sounds exquisite! Kudos to you for the dedication and painstaking effort you put in for this restoration project. And many thanks for sharing with us each step of the process.

    The phoenix has risen!

  5. Clark

    Great Job! I know you are very proud and glad to have it operational again.
    Were you able to re-use the platen or did it need recovering?

  6. Ted

    Man, what a great restoration job you've done, and what a funky machine. We rejoice with you that it's come back to life. (:

  7. A.R.M.S.

    This is wonderful! I'm so ecstatic for you both! That is one grand old machine, and it was a true labor of love to raise it from its slumber. Congratulations!

  8. Dwayne F.

    Stunning, eclectic and beautiful! I am beyond impressed with the before and after images along with the typing action. It is an elegant machine in its own right. Great work!

  9. Richard P

    It has some cracks and could use recovering. Unfortunately I haven't been able to remove the platen from the carriage; it's held in with pins (not screws) which do not seem designed to be removed. At least I cleaned it and it looks acceptable.

  10. Fer Andrade

    Felicitaciones!! La máquina de escribir se ve genial, excelente trabajo de restauración y me gustó mucho el post.

  11. Mark

    Sit back for a moment and just feel proud of yourself. Great job!

  12. mpclemens

    Bravo, Professor Polt and Mister Sholes! You two are a good team.

  13. Sheena

    Beautiful! Nice job.

    I love the more unusual looking machines. Maybe it's not the most efficient, but it is interesting and seems to work well enough. Love it!

  14. Bill M

    Great work Richard! The Sholes is now one beautiful typewriter and back in its glory.

  15. L Casey

    My dear god…YES!
    The typing action! The motion of the carriage return lever! Everything! You would never even know it was the same machine from the before and after pictures. Really, really amazing job, Richard.

    In the video, I noticed you fussing with the carriage a bit at the beginning of some lines. An occasional skip, perhaps? Really, it seems to work fantastically for being as old and…interesting as it is. The typeface is great.

    Marvelous. Simply marvelous.

  16. Scott K

    That's come out Brilliantly! And you seem very proud of your efforts. I'm guessing there's still some work to be done, but I have to say…. That's great!

  17. Richard P

    The feed rollers aren't gripping the paper as tightly as they need to, or maybe the paper fingers are holding the paper down too tightly. Anyway, it doesn't always feed properly from line to line.

    There's also no backspace key, so you have to push the carriage back by hand a space if you want to backspace.

    Another limitation of this typewriter is that it has a shift key only on the left. (There is also a shift lock key in the upper right.) A sign, I think, that they weren't planning for ten-figured touch typing.

  18. michaeliany

    Richard, does this mean if i find my own Sholes Visible, i can send it to you to fix up since you are now likely the most experienced with this rare machine?

    haha j/k – wonderful work and i hope it was enjoyable!

  19. Richard P

    Actually, that would be fun! Find one and send it quick before I forget everything. :)

  20. Martin A. Rice, Jr.

    Shift keys only on the left seem to be an odd feature of a few early typers, like the Oliver. Van Zandt published a touch typing text for the Oliver 3 where you anchor the little finger of the left hand on the figure shift. when you need a capital letter that falls under the left hand, two fingers on the left hand press the letter key and the shift key simultaneously.

  21. Miguel Chávez

    Fantastic, simply fantastic! That machine is beautiful, and it is indeed a very succesful restoration job. Congratulations!

    For that machine it must be like it was just awaken from the time capsule it was locked in a long time ago, like in some old SciFi movies where the star suddenly finds himself in a time very distant from his own. It must be very special typing on such an old machine!

  22. schrijfmachine

    Wauw, this is the post I've been waiting for, very nice! Thanks for zooming in on the typing mechanism. Congratulations on this restoration job; very nice! I think with these posts you've doubled the price of any Sholes Visible that might turn up on Ebay in the near future – at least I want one! ;)

  23. notagain

    That is the viedo I've been waiting for. Well done. Really fin to see. I love that carriage lever. Does the lifting motion turn the platen?

  24. Ping

    Incredible! Congratulations!

  25. Robert Messenger

    Brilliant work, Richard. Well done! The Sholes family will be applauding you. What's next? The Moya? You will have a little bit of work to do on a Blick Ninety soon, too, though not this much.

  26. silverarrow

    Do you still have this Sholes model? I'm so impressed by your restoration. I imagine you might have done further work on it since this blog post was new. What do you do about replacing old rollers and rubber feet? I'm cleaning up a much less spectacular Remington, but so far it has been lots of alcohol, tooth brush, microfiber cloths, polish, telfon oil, dry telfon spray, I'm waiting for a new ribbon I have to wind on the spools manually :- )


  27. Richard P

    Thanks. Yes, it's still in my collection but I haven't worked on it any more.

    You can find a wide variety of restoration tips on my website and in Chapter 4 of my book.


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