September 2009


I’ve added a few new machines over the last week. One was a machine I had been trying to get for a while, and one was an unexpected find.

Smith-Corona Silent Super (1950's)

Smith-Corona Silent Super (1950's)

I’ve wanted to try one of these for a while, and this one is in very good condition both cosmetically and mechanically. Really a sweet typer, and very well made with a newly re-covered platen (that pops out with the flick of a lever). The next one I found at Sal’s Boutique for the princely sum of $5 – it’s a model 5TE, one of the first electric portables. I’ve never bought an electric before, but I figured I could use it for parts in a pinch. It actually works very well. I may keep it…

Smith Corona Model 5TE electric (late '50's ?)

Smith Corona Model 5TE electric (late '50's ?)

I know it’s sacreligous (sp?) to go electric since I usually only get manual machines, but it looks just like the Super, so I made an impulse buy. It looked like it needed a good home anyway…

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meetup-revMr. Clark brought the Dayton portable, and a photo compilation of some of the machines in his collection. Unreal – he literally has hundreds of pieces, all from before 1930.

1920's era Dayton portable

1920's era Dayton portable

dayton-logo Mr. Brown brought a few other pieces of retrotech along with a portable, aluminum Blickensdorfer (not pictured)…..

stapler

Probably the coolest pencil sharpener I've ever seen

Probably the coolest pencil sharpener I've ever seen

Mr. Strange brought a few German-made portables from the 1930’s, like this DM (actually an early Olympia), and a Rheinmetall portable with removable carriage (not pictured), both in beautiful condition…

DM portablem (1930's)

DM portable (1930's)

To get a sense of scale on this next one, just know the wood base is around 8 inches long…

whim More machins were there, but in my haste to try them out, I forgot to get a picture. D’oh! Thanks again to everyone who made the trek – I really appreciate it. Next time, I’ll drive south to meet all of you.

LibrarianI’ll post some new photos on my flickr stream (link on the lower right) later today. I’m really surprised how well the Liquid Wrench works on these machines. It’s Like Magic! ™

I was reading some books to my daughter the other night, in particular one called “Ms. Nelson is Missing”, about an elementary school class, their missing teacher, and the awful substitute teacher who makes them appreciate Ms. Nelson even more. I started thinking back to when I was in elementary school, and how everything about it seemed huge: the stairs I climbed every day, the big wooden desks with flip-up lids and the holes where the bottle of ink used to fit in, the humongous blackboards, windows that seemed ten feet high, massive erasers, and those big metal pencil sharpeners that were mounted to the wall.

My daughter is really getting into drawing and writing her letters and numbers over the summer, to the delight of her mother and I. Unfortunately, the cheap handheld pencil sharpener we had broke, so I’m down to sharpening her pencils with a tile knife. I was thinking again about those heavy duty, metal pencil sharpeners, and frankly about how much I enjoyed using them. I remembered the smell of the shavings, and I said, that’s it, I have to find one for her to experience. Plus, she’d get a kick out of sharpening her own pencils.

Now I just have to try and find what I’m looking for. Maybe eBay?