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The noisy noiseless Remington Premier typewriter

by | Dec 3, 2017 | Noiseless, Remington | 10 comments


10 Comments

  1. Bill M

    Beautiful typewriter. I use the @ so often I doubt I'd ever use the caret. Now a proper interrobang on a typewriter would be nice.

    Reply
  2. Schnitzel

    I'm surprised that you say the @ symbol was a minor and old-fashioned symbol in the 1930s. Surely you're saying this with an ironic wink, but it's misleading. Beautiful typewriter and nice explanation, though.

    Reply
  3. Richard P

    In that part of my remarks, I was sincerely speculating that Remington designers must have viewed the @ symbol that way. Do we have any hard evidence, though? I just checked Google's Ngram Viewer, which suggests that in English-language books, the @ symbol peaked around 1920, then dipped a bit in the 1930s, starting its rise only around 1980, with a weird anomaly peak in 1962. But this is not great evidence, since I imagine that @ primarily appeared in receipts and the like rather than books. Where else could we look?

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  4. Richard P

    At least we can easily make an interrobang on a typewriter.

    Reply
  5. Schnitzel

    I know @ only as a business symbol before the internet usage but, good grief, there sure was a lot of business conducted with typewriters in those days, '20s–'70s. war contracting, and so on. "5,000 widgets @ 12¢" or "can supply eggs @ 50¢/dz". Don't know about its use in academia or science.

    Ngram report is interesting. How was @ used in books, apart from business textbooks?

    Check mostly ephemera, I'm afraid: receipts, orders, estimates, quotes.

    If it was so on-the-way-out, why didn't other makers replace it and even Remington mostly kept it. And it's not like the caret is so very useful either.

    Why is such recent history so difficult? I don't mean in this case; I mean for society in general.

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  6. Rob Bowker

    It was only this morning that I was dragging the old Remington Rand Model 1 down from the attic. I had a french letter to write – no, not that sort of french letter – a letter in French, with accents. It types beautifully and with that longed-for clack despite the rather brutal overhaul it had a few years ago.

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  7. dboeren

    I can see the argument for caret, after all "at" is only one more character than @ so it's not like there wasn't a pretty easy workaround. I have a 1938 Remington Portable #5 Streamliner and it also has the caret in place of the @ sign.

    Reply
  8. Schnitzel

    @ also replaced "each" and had a long history of doing it. How much is the caret actually used?

    Of 20 Remingtons I have here, two have the @ replaced by the ^ ('39 Rem-ette and '41 Quiet Model 1), one where both @ and ¢ have been replaced by ° and [division] ('60 Travel Riter), and one where–hee,hee–the ¢ is replaced with ^ giving us both @ and ^ on the same key ('36 Remington-Rand 5).

    All the rest have the @ and no caret at all, including one that has Paragraph and Section symbols in addition to the @. Admittedly a small sample, though.

    Reply
  9. Richard P

    I have an Adler Universal that has both an @ character and an ea character!

    Replacing the ¢ would be a good idea, since that character is so easy to reproduce.

    One could go through the '30s Remington portables on typewriterdatabase.com and see which ones have a caret, although I don't have the time for that at the moment.

    Reply
  10. Ted

    My old Model One also had a caret in place of the @.

    Reply

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