Friday, November 17, 2023

Uncommon variant of a common portable typewriter

Different, yet the lock is very familiar. The case is metal and the carrying handle is a metal casting.

The inside of the lid has all the fittings for securing the typewriter in place. This is unlikely a home-made case, but a professional job; factory-made.

Inside is the very common and unremarkable Remington Portable #2 typewriter. 

It is in a bit of a state and misses a few parts, but these are very well-designed and resilient typewriters - it could fix-up quite well.

Another indication that this is a Remington factory-supplied variant is the case-tabs at the rear. The locking tabs for the case lid protrude through the angled back-panel of the typewriter.

The case tabs pass through slots in the typewriter's back-panel, it's a bit of a wiggle to remove the machine from its base.

This back-panel is a different part from the common, 'normal' back-panel of these 1920s Remingtons. The profile is different and of course there is an extra slot for the case tabs. This looks like a factory-made variant.

The case is made of aluminum, about 1.3mm thick. It's had some repairs, one of the cast corner-pieces has been replaced with an improvised part and overall it's got its share of 'dings'. It doesn't close properly, but still very sturdy and should bend back into shape.

The typewriter itself is very common (and in not-so-great shape), but this aluminum case is a variant not seen before. The uncommon case was the reason to go out and pick this machine up, it was local and very reasonably priced. (Otherwise, I have quite enough Remington Portable typewriters ;-)

Perhaps these aluminum cases were marketed for the tropics, although locally here is certainly not a tropical climate :)

First more cleaning and some research into this!


  1. Wow — never seen one of these cases before.

    1. Ah - that confirms these are pretty rare, then :-)

  2. Hey Robert, I’ve been reading some of your posts where you’ve talked about using parted out Remington portables to work on others. I have a 1927 Remington that’s missing its right platen knob. Do you know if a platen knob from another year (looking at one from 1925 on eBay) would be compatible? I’m far from expert, but it seems like some Remington portables have a knob that shows no screw, while others have the screw visible from the exterior. Thank you so much for your time, and any help you can offer! I’m going to keep reading through your blog, it’s really a wealth of information. :)

    1. Hi! Glad some posts can be useful :)
      All Portable #2 I've ever seen have the same platen knob; a ~half-inch wide wheel that attaches with a screw. The (tiny) screw has a large head that can be blackened or shiny nickel. The Portable #1 has a narrower knob, about quarter-inch wide, with the same fixing method. If a Portable is from 1925, it /should/ be a #2 and have the same knob as a '27 machine.
      Note that Remington made 100,000s of these and variations happened (and later repairs also 'modded' them).
      Hope you can get it complete from a scrap parts 'clunker', these are great little typewriters and very robust.

    2. Thank you so much for your quick response and help! I went ahead and bought the 1925, and am feeling hopeful. In looking up the serial number, I was surprised at just how long this typewriter was produced, with only subtle changes over a decade or so. I’ve seen many other people knock them as cheap online, but I really like the compact size, feel, and design. :) Thanks again!