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Jittery Apostrophe

My Smith-Corona Electric has a problem:


My, what a jittery apostrophe. I think it has something to do with the power-roller. What do you think? Have you had this problem?

Typing to the Stars

In addition to the Brother XL-800 that was dropped on my doorstep several weeks ago, I also received a plastic wedge.


We all have been given these by people who want to unload some junk. They are good machines for a purpose, but hardly collectible. There are a few that are interesting.


They might have lines that suggest a harsh modern future where everything was a little Bang and Olufsen.


Or they might have an LCD display.



Such was the situation with this typewriter.


It's none other than a Canon Typestar 5. An ultra-thin battery operated wedge that hosts two different typefaces, automatic centering, a correction system, and a novel thermal transfer printhead that works on standard office paper. Pretty swanky technology for the period. Alas, this one was missing both knobs and I was forced to make new ones out of Instamorph. My knobs look a little like albino jujubes, but they do the job. Originally there were flatter and matched the body color more closely.
This machine comes fro…

Select-A-Type

It was a dollar on eBay.


 Here is a radical/pi:


Shipping was free. Actually, shipping was a Forever stamp. So that's good.

We are all familiar with Smith-Corona's more popular changeable types, but here is Royal's version. It's not a changeable type as much as a changeable type bar. 
They look completely unused.


I don't have a typewriter that can use these, but I thought they were strange enough to hazard the bid. Further investigation led me to one small clue at the bottom of this advertisement from around 1956.


It reads:


Could these be the interchangeable type bars mentioned in the ad?

The logo on the case is the same that Royal used all through the McBee years especially on the Safari. I am guessing they are from the 50s or 60s. The "Select-A-Type" typeface makes me think 1950s.
My mind also started thinking about why you don't see more early electric typewriters around? In all these years I have maybe seen 5 Royal electrics from the 50s and only o…

Pulleys

The Super Mega Capacitor of Death

 You can see the extent of the electrical complexity of this typewriter. The massive motor is on the other side. The vertical piece of  plastic to the right is the power switch which is actuated by a lever assembly at the front of the machine. Three parts make this typewriter electric; a switch, a capacitor, and a motor.
Fully charged, I assume that it would hold a nice little jolt. Who needs coffee when you have this?

It's Not the Worst Typewriter Ever

The typewriter is a tool. Much like every tool, the product that is created with its aid is shaped by the tool itself. The Typosphere would agree with this statement. It's one of the tenants that keeps us writing with typewriters; the tool transforms the work. For most of the denizens of the Typosphere, this mean manual typewriters.
Manual typewriters have more going for them than electric typewriters. You can use a manual typewriter anywhere. All you need is a sturdy desk. That's it. A desk and an idea. Nothing more. If a desk isn't to your liking you can use a bookcase. You can sit on a park bench. By the seaside.
These qualities are hard to come by with an electric typewriter. Instead of freedom, you are attached by an umbilical. The power that impels the imprint of your ideas comes from electrons sent to your wall by a smoke-belching or radiation-hot generator. But even in this grim view there are some really exceptional electric typewriters.

The IBM Selectric is an e…