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Word Trek

by | Oct 6, 2013 | Remington, Torpedo | 23 comments

The ribbon system. Spool from Spitzfaden’s Office Supplies on the left,
removed plastic ribbon cover in center, metal core on the right:

The duct tape that made all the difference:

I’m assuming this means “made in September 1966.” It’s stamped into the 
underside of the ribbon cover. The user’s manual is also dated 1966.

23 Comments

  1. Unknown

    How did you find out when this was made?

    I had a chance to try one of these out (knowing the Torpedo roots just by looking at it) and I was impressed.

    Reply
  2. Richard P

    Good question. The user's manual is dated 1966, and (more telling) the year of manufacture is even stamped into the plastic body.

    Reply
  3. Richard P

    I've added a photo of the stamp.

    Reply
  4. shordzi

    Haha, excellent!

    Reply
  5. Bill M

    That is a really nice typewriter. I will keep my eyes open for one knowing its Torpedo legacy.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Haha great graphic! Would be a good one for Nanowrimo participants using typewriters for sci-fi novelling. The stamp with the year of manufacture is a nice touch.

    Reply
  7. Ton S.

    Great concept! I hope you print out that Word Trek piece and put it on a standy beside the Mark 2 when it's up for sale.

    What's surprising to me is that the Mark II is actually a Torpedo 18. I've seen several Torpedos from your collection and California Typewriters, and the association with this Remington is really hard for me to discern based solely on body design. That certainly ups its value, I would have just dismissed it as another 60s plastic typer. Did you come to discover the Mark 2-Torpedo 18 link from your tinkering or from research?

    Reply
  8. Richard P

    I think I'd seen this fact online before. I also knew that Remington had a controlling share in Torpedo since the early '30s, so it's not surprising to me. Once you have one of these Remingtons in hand, the Torpedo design is clear if you're familiar with Torpedos. By the way, in the UK a descendant of the same design thrived as the Imperial Good Companion 3, 5, and 7.

    Reply
  9. Ted

    Catch & Release. An excellent way to try out a typewriter (:

    Congrats to the lucky Wordplay shopping future owner. It does look quite Star-Trekkish in design. Manufactured the same year I was, but seems to have aged far better. :D

    Reply
  10. Richard P

    Ah yes, your Blue Bird is definitely a Remington Torpedo; its design is, I think, the design used just before the Mark II. The name Blue Bird was used on Torpedos exported to the UK ever since the '30s. (It certainly is a friendlier name, isn't it?)

    I have a GC5 and I think the dials are smaller on it than on the Remington. This is probably just an arrangement that looked sophisticated to designers in the '50s and '60s.

    Reply
  11. Piotr Trumpiel

    Ha! Type me up, Scotty? I expect a Blue Bird landing on my desk some time next week…

    Reply
  12. notagain

    if only they all had done that…

    Reply
  13. notagain

    I'm still working on Write@253 to take some typewriters from me for their clients to use.

    Reply
  14. Richard P

    notagain, some people can be closed-minded about typewriters, I guess. But I'd bet a Blick Electric that many of the kids who come to Write@253 would adore the machines.

    Reply
  15. rn

    Richard: Do you know if Remington's relationship with Torpedo took a hiatus during the Nazi years in Germany?

    Reply
  16. Richard P

    I'm sure their relationship was affected, but I don't know any details. The Torpedos I've seen that advertise the merger in their very names—such as Deutsche Remington and Remtor—appear to be from the early '30s. But the collaboration may have continued pretty smoothly until the actual outbreak of war.

    According to Leonhard Dingwerth's history of German typewriter companies, Remington bought a majority share in Torpedo in 1932 and gradually increased its share until by the end of the company in 1978, it owned all or nearly all of the stock. He doesn't explain whether Remington was actually able to exercise any influence during the height of the Nazi regime.

    Reply
  17. Ping A

    Very clever how you used duct tape to nudge the vertical alignment into place. Wish I could see a wider shot of that area you photographed with the duct tape to see the vicinity of it all.
    I have the same problem on an Underwood Quiet Tab where I can't reach the screws to make the necessary adjustments. Will try and see if duct tape will work somewhere.

    It is so satisfying isn't it, when some of these big problems can be solved by just a little bending of a metal part or taping?

    Reply
  18. Duffy Moon

    So this would be after the Remington-Torpedo machines I have – very interesting. I think I like the profile of this one better, even if it has more plastic as well. Thanks for sharing this one, Richard.

    Reply
  19. Mark

    So, when I saw you this weekend I said I wanted to try out a Torpedo…. Pretty sure I owned this machine briefly and gave it to a friend thinking it was a pretty typical plastic Remington. I did notice it had amazing touch but he wanted a typewriter and I hadn't grown attached to it yet!

    Reply
  20. Duffy Moon

    I'd found one of these a while back at the local Goodwill ($6.99!) and brought it home. Just finished cleaning it up and painting it a nice purple (I have my reasons)…it's going to its new home tomorrow, likely as not. It's sort of a consolation prize for my daughter's friend, while I try in vain to fix her poor abused Ten Forty.

    Reply

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