Sunday, December 21, 2014

Better than nothing!

Although they were all drastically overpriced, I did see some interesting machines at the El Paso Antique Mall today. They were all in the same booth (explains the consistently over-the-top prices), and there were only four, but these are better results than I have ever had from El Paso. Take a look:

Corona 3
This poor Cor (hey look, I can rhyme!) was still in much better shape than my own 3, the only real issue being a disconnected draw band. Still, that doesn't justify $95.

Sitting right under the Corona, closed inside the case, was this Royal Aristocrat:
I have had plenty of these "Safari Style" machines. Good typers and good lookers, but this thing is a piece of junk. No wonder they hid it in the case. Price? $55, of course.

Another machine that was hidden away in a case was this Royal Deluxe:
Although it had quite a few marks on the paint, it would clean up well. Everything worked ok, and it was pretty clean aside from a mountain of eraser shavings under the carriage. $85 is still too much.

Now, this one is just a joke. The poor Smith-Corona Clipper shown here has half of its keys put on upside down.
It's a simple fix, but honestly... $55 is just way too much.

The last and only machine that had me tempted at all was this lovely Remington Portable:
Remingtons of this age are really fantastic machines, and this one has the much prettier early body style. It even predates the name "Quiet-Riter" that was soon put into use. (Here's my Quiet-Riter) It is in fantastic shape, and has a ton of extras not pictured. Still, I am not ready to drop $75 on it.

So, that was all I got for an hour of searching. Better than nothing, I guess!


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  2. I had a typewriter like this once. It looks like a baby Remington "Electri-conomy," only it's a manual. It looks like an early fifties model, but I'd have to check the typewriter serial database to be sure.

  3. I had a typewriter like this once. It looks like a baby Remington "Electri-conomy," only it's a manual. It looks like an early fifties model, but I'd have to check the typewriter serial database to be sure.

  4. What's the story behind the Royal Safari? I have one that looks almost just like it--only mine had plastic paper holders and spring-loaded "magic" margins. It's not a perfect machine, but it is very nice--the paint job, at least, is a little less scratched-up. I bought it for about $15.00 in Cortez, Colorado when I visited my Grandmother in what turned out to be my last visit with her before she passed on. I even had Thanksgiving dinner with her. But, anyway, tell me about the "piece of junk." Is there anything I need to anticipate and catch before it goes kaput?

    1. I wasn't referring to every Safari when I said the typewriter was junk. What I meant is that the particular model I was looking at was is poor shape, and that it was overpriced. I actually do like Safaris to a certain degree, as I've had a few pass though my hands. They're fun to use and look at, but are not very sturdy.

    2. You're right as rain. Royal Safaris are not the sturdiest typewriters in the world. They've got a lot of plastic parts in them. Even the metal parts feel like, if they're not in actuality, a bit compromised as well. But I know this: Portable typewriters won't be as strong as upright typewriters because they were designed to be lightweight. Their primary duty was correspondence, recipes and light school assignments. However, a few good candidates for strong portable typewriters can be had in the Corona/Smith-Corona/Tower family--particularly the ones made in the forties and fifties. My 1949 Royal Arrow is a very strong machine for a Royal. It's more ironclad than a Safari, and to me it has a better touch, even though it lacks the features the Safaris have. Some say the Olympia portables are stout too. I have yet to add one to my collection, but if the SG-series uprights (of which I have dozens) are any indication, they ought to be mighty tough with that good ol' German overengineering. Some even say Olivettis are good. I don't particularly like them--they're dull, they're slow, and their touch is just too mushy (Yuck!!)

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