Saturday, October 9, 2010

Here a typewriter, there a typewriter, everywhere a typewriter

If one typewriter is a good thing, then two typewriters are a really good thing and three typewriters may be the best thing yet!  I couldn't resist buying another sweet little machine for $10 today at the Bonneville Humane Society t-store.  It's a Remington Rand Quiet-Riter.  The buff color crinkle coat is really cool and the keys are emerald green.  The case is positively chic and the key throw is much better than the industrial Royal typewriter.  I can actually use two or three fingers per hand to type stuff with the Quiet-Riter!  How good is that?  Very Good! The Quiet-Riter was a mess inside and it took almost two hours to clean it up.  Thank goodness for a magnetic parts dish to prevent me from losing the tiny screws.  And Thank Goodness for Brake Cleaner!  That stuff ROX!

If you ever want to reconnect with the Magic Age of American Ingenuity, dig deep into the innards of a typewriter.  Stare closely at the various cast parts and the intricate machinery attached thereto.  If ever there was a Genuine Rube Goldberg Device for the Masses, it had to be the typewriter.  Those machines never case to amaze me in their utter complexity.  It also amazes me that we have somehow transcended typewriters altogether and are now living light years beyond those primitive but remarkable machines.   I dearly love old manual typewriters.  They have an almost mystical hold on my psyche.  To delve into the guts of the Quiet-Riter today was such a special and fun experience.  I doted on all the various critical moving parts.  The innate intricacy of these machines is truly astounding.  The precision tool and die work evident in any garden variety manual typewriter is amazing.  This particular Remington Rand exhibits some of the highest quality American workmanship I've seen in a manual typewriter in a long time.  It's a work of American Industrial Art!

OK, so how does it all shake out?  The Beautiful Quiet-Riter is shown in the top photo.  The next photo shows our stable of manual typewriters.  The Quiet-Riter is at top left.  It goes to Arizona.  It's going to be our "go to" machine for writing "letters from home."  The key throw on this machine is superb and well balanced and a joy to use.  I feel I can write really long letters on it without getting carpal tunnel syndrome.  It's a genuine precision machine.

The Royal is an industrial machine.  As noted in a previous post, I feel pretty certain it began its life out at The Site.  Whoever had to put up with this machine surely was crippled for life.  Its long key throw is guaranteed to wreck your wrists and turn your fingers into raven claws.

The little Sears portable lies at the foot of the two wise old master typewriters.  As you know, there's a long history with this particular Sears machine and we now simply can't ever part with it ever again.  It's a fine little light duty machine.  So, we delegating it as our "Camp Writer."  We will take it on all of our camping trips in the future.  When we get the urge to pound out a letter on a picnic table, we'll call the Sears off the sidelines and it will be ready, willing and able to respond.

The photo below shows the disassembled Quiet-Riter undergoing a thorough and meticulous cleaning.  It's key impressions were danged good BEFORE the cleaning.  You should see them now!  Wow, this little machine ROX!

1 comment:

Marti Spudboater said...

When I saw the photo of the unassembled typewriter I grinned like a pig on ice. When I was a wee toddler back in Illinois apparently I had quite a fascination with taking apart typewriters. My mom told me I managed to take apart three different ones. Unfortunately, my fascination with tearing them down didn't translate in to cleaning them or putting them back together. But, I can appreciate your good finds. I believe the urban dictionary term for you is "thrift whore", though I much prefer "deal dude".