Sunday, November 1, 2020

Typical Remington Portable (1) typewriter

With serial number NK30243, this was the 243rd machine manufactured in the month of April in 1923. By then, the design of the Remington Portable typewriter had stabilised somewhat, and this machine is probably a good example of the most common, typical Remington Portable of the era.

This one was bought locally last week - it looked too good to miss-out on (and vintage machines are getting rare online). The seller got it only recently out of a house-clearing and although it was now stored in an unheated garage, it must've been kept in a warm and dry place for the past half-century. Probably in the back of a cupboard where a previous generation put it away after the last use.

The spools may still be the original, from looking at some machines of similar date on The Database. The ribbon is dried-out, as it would be if this is the original 1923 ribbon. 

The case has lost the leather handle (as is common), but otherwise very clean and even comes with the original brush clamped in its original spot. The dust on the back of the case suggests it's been stood upright and untouched for decades. Likewise the machine itself, just a little fine dust and dulling of the nickel. (All pictures were taken before any cleaning.)

The wear of the decals and paint-loss is what you'd expect from frequent use, not damage from mishandling. (I.e. not taken out in 1971 for the grandchildren to toy with it.) There is some evidence of older touch-ups with black paint on the usual wear-spots. The machine was used and taken care of.

Although the ribbon today leaves barely any ink, this 97 year old typewriter works fine. Everything moves as it should and is free from rust. Even the rubber is in amazingly good condition. The feed rollers are as-new and even the platen is not completely rock-hard. 

This will be taken as a slow-project. Nothing major to be done on this typewriter, as it is in great original condition. Some light ('sympathetic') cleaning and polishing - and probably making a new leather handle for the case.

And of course winding a new (or revived) ribbon on the spools for the new owner - these are still great writing machines :-)

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