Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Feeling a Little Blue with Scheidegger

As hard as I am on Adler machines from the 1970s, I seem to have an awful lot of them. They pop up everywhere, especially in the form of this stained beast.

 

OK, I know that it's really a Triumph Gabrielle/Adler in Scheidegger's clothes. Certainly, Mr. Scheidegger had interesting taste. The blue is certainly blue. The yellowed and aged keys really set off the stains. What about the Brand Schiedegger?

 Robert Messenger asked the question "Who is Willy Scheidegger?" and was unable to get anything beyond some basic information. All I know is that Willy Scheidegger ran a number of typing schools that had the dubious honor of requiring pupils to purchase their private-label machines to complete the course.


Maybe I'll give Willy the benefit of the doubt. The machines that were comissioned were quality typewriters. A Triumph Gabrielle (of any vintage) or Princess 300 aren't exactly a Rover 5000, but requiring students to buy your machines...well I think it's dodgy.

We can make you a star...typer!

Almost as dodgy, say, as the cleanliness of this typewriter. Those stains look pretty shocking. You know what's more shocking? I don't think it's staining from smoke or sun. I think it's bromine.

Yuck.

Yup, that cancer-causing flame-retardant bromine. I draw your attention to an open-source project called Retr0brite. I heard about Retr0brite a year or so ago and I was waiting for a chance to give it a go.

Retr0brite uses some commonly available chemistry to remove the staining from older ABS plastics. Looking over the entire body I can't find a mark indicating what type of plastic was used for the body, but it has the feel of ABS. You know, that slightly hollow, light feel. My suspicions were raised because of the general irregular pattern of staining. Some parts are ugly yellow and others are nicely blue and my gut says that it's flame retardant making things look crummy.

Contract? Serial?

So, my plan is to mix up a little Retr0brite and see if the sad stains can be lifted away.


Of course, it's not like I don't have a few other projects on the bench. Why not add one more?


16 comments:

  1. I don't think that WIlly's typing school would make you so very fast you had to protect your typewriter from bursting into flame!

    But...how would bromine even get on a typewriter?

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    1. Manufacturers put bromide in ABS to prevent it from catching fire. By itself ABS is quite inflammable.

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    2. Aaaahhhh. I guess being petroleum based. I hadn't thought of it that way.

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  2. I think you're in the perfect place (and have the perfect subject) to try a batchj of retr0bright. UV light is a major component of the process, after all, and the Arizona branch of the Typosphere is blessed with gobs of the stuff. Maybe some side-by-side application photos showing the treated vs. untreated sides?

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    Replies
    1. That's a good idea. I think I will.

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  3. I'm inclined to agree with your assessment.

    Once again, the Amiga crew come through with a solution!

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  4. Yucky! You have refreshed my dislike for plastic typewriters.

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  5. And you've given me hope that some of my plastic typewriters could be cleaned. I have an Olivetti Linea 88 in mind; most of its mask has decolored (or should I say, "stained") an ugly yellowish shade, instead of the original...erm... gray?

    I too really look forward to see how your experiment turns out. Please do keep us posted.

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    1. Then i think Retr0brite might work for you.

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  6. Not a very appealing typewriter. I have never seen any plastic degrade that awful.
    I hope it types all right. I do not like the way the Adler plastic keys yellow, but all of my Adler plastic body machines are nice typers. At least the keys only yellow and do not degrade and fall off like the Hermes platen knobs.

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    1. I know. It's gross, but it dosen't smell at all. Thank heaven for small blessings.

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  7. added "Scheidegger" marque for Adler to the typewriter database. Any idea what other machines he re-branded other than Adler/Triumph and Princess machines?

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    1. That's all I know of. Mybe out friends in Europe might know a bit more.

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  8. Yuck. Grungy and potentially toxic is not a great combination.

    The color reminds me of an Easter long ago. My grandmother helped the Easter Bunny hide eggs over a seven acre area inside a shelter belt. While the hunting was epic, some eggs were inevitably left behind. This typewriter looks like an Easter egg I found a year late.

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  9. Really excited to see how the Retr0brite works out.

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