Monday, July 22, 2013

Recent Typewriter Sightings - Catch and Release Edition

Summer travel, garage sale season and time to browse have coincided to present some interesting typewriter sightings. As my tastes become more refined, fewer machines make the cool typeface or rarity cut that would cause me to bring them home. Hence, another round of catch and release typewriters.

This was my favorite from the weekend. The machine is electric, needs a ribbon cartridge and relatively common, but the placement with black velvet is 100% win!

More from the same antique mall...

Note the changeable key on this SCM electric.
At least this Royal would not interested key-choppers. Those are replacement keys. The carriage is huge!

This QDL was nice and overpriced.
Going back in time a bit, here are a few more interesting machines. We'll start with the uber-cool Raspberry Pi powered IBM Selectric at the Kansas City Maker Faire.

And back to normal machines...

Most of the standard machines I run across are of the Underwood and Remington variety. I was overjoyed to find a Noiseless and an early IBM electric. What a tank! This was in one of those odd, outdoor flea market zones. Given the heat and humidity in our region, these are doubtless hunks of rust by now.

Witness the King of the Ginormous Carriages. Dang.

Nice Remington. It had pretty good action.

This Underwood species is not the best typer around. Nevertheless, I have an interesting variant to show off in a future blog entry.

Bow before the huge and powerful Royal Empress! The action felt good on this machine and the price was right. I had no place to put a beast like this.

 "Recent" is a relative term. With kids in middle and high school and two working parents, time has flown by. Some of the machines below are from April and May, but that seems just like yesterday.

This brother deserves two photos. Finding a German keyboard in middle-America is an odd experience.

Yet another Galaxie. It seems to me that the age of machines appearing in thrift stores and antique malls is creeping upward. That would make sense as households are liquidated and cleaned up.

Two Royals. The white QDL was an interesting sighting. It functioned perfectly. Alas, it had a standard typeface dating back to the earliest Royal portables.

"I am Futura of Borg. Prepare to be bored to death by my color scheme."

This poor Underwood was probably harvested for its keys.

Finding any Hermes in the wild is rare in my part of the world. This one worked well and I was sorely tempted to bring it home.

I've been impressed with the light action on the Underwood standards I've found in the wild. They aren't sexy, but they appear to be good machines.

I'll leave you with a really nice Remington portable located in one of the better monthly antique stores in the Kansas City West Bottoms.

I'm pretty far behind in my blogging. The good news is that I typed almost everyday during our family vacation. The night before Tesla's birthday, I hit the 50,000 page view mark. That is a blog topic of its own, but it will have to wait. I also have two newer arrivals to show. One is a rarity and the other is an oddity. But first, I have yet more shooting to do at upcoming County Fairs and demolition derbies. Ah, summer!

Thanks for viewing!


  1. Entertaining. The white QDL is really pretty and I'm intrigued by the Brother with "Segment Umschaltung" (segment shift).

  2. Nice typewriter hunting. I rarely see any machines in any shops and only slightly more frequently at yard sales.

    Congratulations on 50k page views.

  3. Such a collection of gorgeous machines. A real feast for the eyes! However, did you avoid the temptation to buy any of these?

  4. I'm certain I would have been sorely tempted by many of those machines. Your restraint is impressive. (:

  5. Richard: I was in serious like with the white QDL. The Brother was there and gone. It is encouraging that others are buying typewriters for something other than parts.

    Bill: The machines from yesterday were in a four story antique mall. The others were spread out in various warehouse First Friday weekend only locations. This is a typewriter concentration that could only come from dozens of pickers. Otherwise, I also live in a wasteland.

    Scott and Ted: I was sorely tempted by the white QDL, the Hermes 2000 and the Noiseless. My resolve held with the exception of a Sears branded SCM I found at the same time as the Royal Empress. It is yet to be bloggged, but has a neat typeface and came with a small set of changeable keys. It was impossible to resist for $25.

  6. Thanks for this set of sightings - nice to browse the shelves 'by proxy' on the other side of the globe. Remarkable to see segment shift announced as NEW on the Brother in the eighties :)

  7. That white QDL for $42! And I have a soft spot for the Underwood Universal too. How do they type?
    Congrats on your impending 50k page views!

  8. Amazing! That white QDL certainly caught my eye too, there can't be too many of those around. Looking forward to seeing the SCM with a neat typeface that you ended up getting!

  9. Amazing! That white QDL certainly caught my eye too, there can't be too many of those around. Looking forward to seeing the SCM with a neat typeface that you ended up getting!


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