Sholes Visible: rust soup

by | Jul 16, 2012 | Sholes Visible | 12 comments

First an update on the patents for the Sholes Visible. I wrote: “You can check out the patents here, here, and here. The first two are clearly for this typewriter and were filed by George B. Sholes on behalf of his deceased father, the famous Christopher Latham Sholes. The third, oddly, is for a guard to protect people from pinching their fingers in doors.” A resourceful reader has discovered that there’s an error on the plaque. The correct third patent number is 474,533, filed by Christopher’s son Frederick Sholes, in Frederick’s own name.

Now: do you see the new spring on the typewriter?

Tricked you! The spring is not new, it’s 100 years old and it was as rusty as any other part on this typewriter. How do you remove rust from a spring? Using a product I’ve demonstrated here before, Evapo-Rust.

Eventually this typewriter may need a total Evapo-Rust bath, but for now I’m just taking a few parts at a time and de-rusting them.

The soup begins:

After a bath of several hours and a little cleaning up:


  1. Ton S.

    We've been going gaga over the incredible design and mechanism of the Sholes Visible but really, the historical value of it is priceless.

    Evapo-Rust is miraculous!

  2. deek

    After the bath, do you need to treat the parts with anything to help prevent future rusting?

  3. Dwayne F.

    Evapo Rust appears to be a miracle product. It's good to see this machine coming back from the near dead.

  4. Richard P

    It is in fact a special and rare typewriter. This is why I've decided that, at least for now, I am not going to replace any paint, nickel, or decals. I'll just remove as much rust and dust as possible, and get it working if I can. I'll also try to replace the missing spacebar and shift key.

  5. Richard P

    I just dry the parts off, and if necessary clean them with steel wool or polish. If there is a little Evapo-Rust residue, that may have some preventative effect.

  6. L Casey

    I have been meaning to purchase some of this product. Is there a store where you get it, or do you order it online?
    Starting to shape up, this Sholes Visible is. (MMMmmmMMM in Yoda voice). These posts have been quite intriguing, and I cannot wait until we can see a typecast by this beautiful and unique machine.

  7. Richard P

    Here's their website, which includes places to buy. I have bought quarts and half-gallons in AutoZone stores, and 5 gallons on eBay. You need 5 gallons, and probably a bit more (you can dilute it with water), in order to submerge an entire typewriter. That costs in the neighborhood of $100, but the stuff can be reused several times. Occasionally I've seen it for sale in dehydrated form on eBay, which is the most sensible way to ship the stuff, but usually it's in liquid form, which of course is heavy and shipping gets a bit pricey.

  8. Bill M

    Very nice. I read about Evapo Rust on your website and have been wanting to get some on my next trip to the autoparts store. Evapo Rust looks to work much better than anything I tried in the past (except elbow grease and steel wool or ScothBrite pads). Remember Naval Jelly?

  9. Richard P

    Yeah, I tried Naval Jelly once and was thoroughly unimpressed.

    For light rust, steel wool or Dremel wire brushes are effective.

  10. Scott K

    Oh you HAVE used Evapo rust!

    Okay…. getting some now. Great to see it worked nicely.


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