The Monarch 101 typewriter

by | Aug 13, 2016 | Remington | 17 comments

One of my little summer projects, in between travels, has been restoring my Monarch 101. This was an eBay find, circa 2003, which I was excited to recognize and which no one else saw, so I got it for just $20 or so. Here’s the original eBay photo that thrilled me.
And here’s what the machine looks like today.
This rare model is a bulbous, office-sized machine that uses the Remington noiseless portable mechanism. Remington records say it was “also referred to as Model 5 1/2.” So you can get an idea of the dimensions of the typewriter, here it is next to a Remington Noiseless 8, another attempt to create a larger writing machine using the noiseless portable mechanism. 
The Monarch 101 may also be found finished in wrinkle paint, and (particularly for export) marked “Smith Premier.” Serial numbers range from A10000 to A11077. It was manufactured Dec. 1937-Apr. 1942.
When I got this typewriter, it was in rough condition. It had been exposed to decades of neglect in Florida, and was shipped with inadequate packing. The frame was cracked, the drawband was tangled, it was musty and rusty and dusty. Nothing worked.
Here are a few views of the restoration in progress.

I managed to untangle and reattach the drawband, and to get the typing more or less functional. It still won’t grip the paper right and doesn’t space correctly, but you can type a line.

I fixed the cracks in the frame using J-B Weld, touched up the paint with black marker and auto paint, and went over everything with Pledge furniture polish and a soft cloth, again and again and again. Pledge leaves an especially shiny, though not super-durable finish if you let it dry for a couple of minutes before you wipe.
Someday I hope I’ll get this typewriter working well enough that it can type letters. Meanwhile, it has finally become a good-looking, eye-catching object.


  1. Mark Adams

    Wow, I'm glad this machine fell into your hands. I've seen it posted on your Remington portables page, and never knew it arrived in such rough condition. Now, everyone can enjoy its bulbous form and black sheen. Impressive machine.

  2. Ted

    Impressive! :D

  3. Bill M

    Excellent restoration Richard.

  4. Rob Bowker

    Good effort so far! The profile and colours look like someone drew it as an illustration and then someone else had to go and make it.

  5. Scott K

    Richard, this is by far my all time favourite machine of yours. Such a magnificent typewriter.

  6. notagain

    Very cool. I do like to watch the noiseless mechanism in action too.

  7. gee

    Great job… a joy to look at.

  8. Ping A

    I don't normally love desk top machines, but this guy is stupendous!

  9. Unknown

    This wonderful machine got me out of my protective shell to tell you how happy I am for you. When I first saw the machine on your website it was love at first sight! I love that Art Deco design which makes it look so gorgeous! Es Bella! Congratulation Richard.

  10. Gerard

    You are a genius!

  11. rn


    Q. How does its size compare to a Noiseless 10?

  12. Richard P

    I think the Monarch is a bit slimmer in width, and definitely lighter.

  13. rn

    Anything's lighter than a Noiseless 10.

    Was that the business niche? People seeking an oversized typewriter without the weight? Doesn't seem like too big a market segment. Do you know if this originally came with a case?

  14. Richard P

    I have next to no information about this model, just the serial number data. My guess is that it was marketed to small companies looking for a cheap office typewriter, and that it didn't come with a case. Note that there is no Remington name on it; it is "made for [not by!] Monarch Typewriter Co." For whatever reason, Remington didn't want it to be associated too closely with them.

  15. omnivore

    it is beautiful. What material is the outer layer/cover made of? plastic or bakelite?

  16. Richard P

    It's metal. I believe the top part is aluminum. The bottom may be some sort of alloy which is a bit brittle.


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