Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Junk Drunk Day and My Heart's Desire, Fulfilled: The Story of Three Typers

*Transcription below*

Greetings Typospherians,

I am finally typecasting with Molly, my cute little green keyed, red cased Royalite with obvious shift issues. Also has some ribbon alignment issues. But overall, it works. I picked this little darling up on ebay for $0.99. After a little TLC such as replacing lost screws in the base, refreshing the ribbon (which I thought I had ruined), a good cleaning, saddle soaping and repairing the leather case, she is ready to go anywhere. But Molly is not the reason I am typecasting tonight. Today, my first-round correspondence went in the mail, as well as a little impulse something to one [on the list of] correspondents, which I am certain will be blogged about once received.

I also rescued an old Underwood Standard No. 6 from the hands of keychoppers. It is almost in as sad shape as the Royal 5, but at least it can live out its twilight years in peace with me. I will attempt to revive it at some point, but for now, I am focusing on the working typers with bugs and trying to keep the ones that work well working well.

additionally, I picked up the Oliver No. 3 that I won on ebay the other day (I will link the seller below). He was very nice and told me his father had a bunch of them, and that he was now selling them off, so keep an eye on his ebay store for more grand old machines. His photos were good, response time and courteousness was phenomenal he even met me instead of shipping the Oliver.

I was gobsmacked by the sight of the grand old machine. Though I had absolutely committed to it, I just had to test it out before it hopped from his car to mine. I typed shakily, in a state of disbelief that I had an Oliver in my hands...and it actually worked. There wasn't even much dust on it, just ancient oil. Some of the typebars did stick a bit, but not enough to deter me in the slightest. It sat on my lap all the way home while I admired it, as darling said, 'in Oliverland'. When we got home I cleaned and oiled it while he refreshed the ribbon, then I tried it out. The ribbon either needs more time to soak up the WD or it needs re-inked. It looks truly ancient, with that faded blue-black sheen. It still has the ribbon covers, and the ribbon was on wooden spools, which I assume is original to the machine. After the clean/oil/test/verdict, I covered it up with a plastic computer cover and will test the ribbon again tomorrow. All in all, I adore it. I cannot wait to begin typecasting and typogramming with it!

I am including tasty photos. Also pictured are some typers seen in the wild. I have picked up three in the wild this week, and two were gifts. Antique row on Second Street in Pomona seems the place to go for this, as most of the prices are fair, most of the typers work, and extra incentive is that they are having their annual antique street fair on the 29th. I hope some of you are able to go and rescue some wonderful old machines and perhaps even share them with someone you love.

Lets put keychoppers out out business!

-Annalese Stradivarius

This is the Underwood I found in the wild and rescued, exactly as it was found. It was $15.

Two Smith-Corona portables located across the street from the Underwood. The Clipper on the left was $85. There was also a Royal portable underneath the freezer (hence the sign). There were other typers at this antique mall as well, including the Lettera 32 mentioned in my last post.

The machine for the end of the world, my Oliver No. 3! Right where it belongs, on my secretary.

Platen is a little hard. After I got it oiled and was testing it, I was putting holes through two layers of paper.

There is something ominous and enthralling about those typebars and the way they move. Draconic, skeletal, pipe organ-esque. The iron butterfly has finally landed at a very doting home!

After cleaning and oiling. It wasn't very dirty, so there doesn't appear to be too much of a difference in the photos.

Molly, the Royalite which made tonight's typecast possible. I disabled lightbox, but I'm still playing with the other suggestions, so until I get everything nice and big and legible, I'll continue to transcribe on the laptop. I over-saturated this typer's ribbon, so the type is difficult to read in person.

This one is for fun, but is also the image I'll be using for every correspondence post. All my correspondence today went everywhere with me in this bag until I put it in the post at ten till five in the afternoon. I believe it was a mail bag to begin with. It is from WWII.

A special thank-you to ebay seller serius for a fantastic and expedient transaction! The typer exceeded my expectations, as did communication and willingness to accommodate me. Thank you serius--I have the typewriter of my dreams, thanks to you!


  1. Quite a nice Oliver you have there. It is amazing how some have survived the test of time, while others look like...that Underwood! And it has both ribbon spool covers...awesome! Congrats!

    1. Thank you Ken! It really is amazing, isn't it? My husband mentioned that he thought the poor Underwood looked as though it had been standing in water for a time. He was able to loosen a few keys/typebars up with some elbow grease, but it is going to be a daunting project.

      The Oliver, on the other has aged very gracefully, save for that broken spacebar, one missing foot, a few misaligned typebars and a bit of patina on the branding on the sides, which I feel adds some character. It certainly is my oldest working machine...until I get that little Standard Folding working again. I was pretty thrilled with both of them, and they will both be joining me at the Venice type-in...I think! There are five typers I want to take, but really it's only practical to take three (his, hers and a loner, hahaha), so we'll see what happens.

      Thanks again! I'm thrilled! =D

  2. That really is a sweet Oliver, congratulations!

    The poor Underwood may be a parts machine -- or let it sit in 5 gallons of Evapo-Rust (which will set you back $100, but it can be reused) for a day, rinse it off, dry it immediately and completely with a hairdryer, then use PB Blaster to lubricate. I bet it will work.

    1. Thank you Richard! I've been watching your progress on that Sholes and Glidden and I've been at a loss for words! It looks like it's really cleaning up beautifully for you. I was thinking the Underwood may end up being a parts machine to get the big Underwood I have up and running again, but I'm not sure. Time will tell, though it would be nice to get it working again also.

      I'm still in a state of delighted shock over the Oliver. I look over at the secretary and jump a little, unsure that I'm really seeing it, sitting there and looking imposing. It certainly has an interesting type action, to be certain!

  3. :)

    Totally love it...all of it! I'm glad you have found your little corner of the world where you can huddle up and click-clack away. When it comes to blogging you're a far better writer than I!

    Love Ya

    1. Thank you! I'm quite happy with my little writing corner; the only thing I really want to change is the fact the walls are so bare! But that will be amended soon.

      Nah, you don't give yourself enough credit, but thank you! Love you too, sis!

  4. Oh eerr! Nice Oliver! Excellent! I haven't done a post on my yet... Nice though, very nice.

    1. Thank you Scott! When did you pick up and Oliver? Now I'm dying to see it!

  5. Congratulations on your newest typewriters.

    That Oliver looks terrific.

    One day I hope to add one to my collection.

  6. Thank you Bill!

    They're all over ebay right now, some for decent prices. I really love mine.

  7. Courtney and I discussed my old typewriter today, and apparently I had let her use it while she still lived at home. After discussing the description I think the one I had was a Smith-Corona Clipper like the one next to the Super Sterling in the photo about. Okay, you want to hear the really, really messed up part of this tale? I left it in Sonora when I moved! I actually held on to it all these years. I had forgotten about it because it was in Courtney's possession until she left for Texas. I am sooooooooooo sad.

    But, that doesn't mean I don't love my Super Sterling bunches and bunches, because I DO LOVE IT BUNCHES AND BUNCHES. I just don't have that childhood connection and the knowledge that my daughter used it. :(

    Love You

    1. I'm so sorry! :( That makes me sad. Hopefully it's found its way to a collector by now, and not a key-chopper.

      Even you don't have that connection with the Sterling yet, you still have plenty of opportunities to make new memories with it. Maybe you'll teach your grandkids to type with it. :)

      Love ya!