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Monday, January 3, 2011
What's wrong with THIS thing?
Time for the second installment of our popular "what's wrong with this thing" segment where we show you a picture of a typewriter and invite you to comment on what you think is odd about it. True, there are a lot of "odd" machines out there, but the point of this feature is to show machines which at first glance may not seem off, but under closer examination vary in some way (or ways) from "normal" production machines.
So here it is! I have been suffering under this thing's somewhat "cyclopean" glare ever since I promised to put it on here, before Thanksgiving I think! Or is it more like that mythological monster that had 100 eyes instead of just one? I mean, are the keys eye-like or the clearance hole through the top cover? You know, Will and I had an electric hand mixer in our family when we were young that had a definite smiley-face on one end. It was a Dormeyer, and towards the end every time we used it it smelled like it was burning the motor windings. I imagined it grinning evilly as flames shot out the "smile", mixing...... flaming... MIXING!! FLAMING!!! AAA--HAAA-HAAA-HAAA-HAAAAAA!!
Ahem. So, intrepid type-spotters, what's up with this thing? To cover the bases, no we did not make it, yes it works, no it isn't photo shopped, no it was never on fire, and yes it did fit in my stocking, which promptly went south scaring both Santa and our dog, leading to some unpleasantness between the two.
Post your thoughts below as comments! We had a great response on the first one, so hopefully everybody will have fun with this one. Maybe you will spot something nobody else has, including us! Get out those bi/tri-focals and have a ball. (Really? It's just me? NOBODY ELSE has them? REALLY?) Our "answer" will be posted up next Monday, so check back then to see how everyone did!
Posted by David A. Davis at 4:24 AM
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Those screws in the segment look unfamiliar to me.
And it must be a late '40s / early '50s machine, with that style carriage return lever and the old-fashioned case. Maybe the keys are too modern for the typewriter?
I'm clutching at straws here.
PS: good to see you guys back in business.ReplyDelete
It appears to be missing the paper bail with rollers, which is quite odd. My 1950s Silent has one, even though its also got those two metal rollers to hold the paper down.ReplyDelete
Ditto deek - and that return lever seems much longer than the one on my Silent.ReplyDelete
Don't plastic-keytop machines usually have a longer, squared-off-end space bar that fits fairly closely into the casing. This is a pre-50-line casing with later keys except for the space key.ReplyDelete
LOL all I noticed was there's no hyphen in Smith-Corona! Did it get scrubbed off?ReplyDelete
@gthawk, yeah, my SC spacebar is squared off and much deeper...that rounded one does look weird now that you mention it.ReplyDelete
Agreed, looks like someone swapped out a spacebar from a Skyriter here. I've got a Sterling and a Skyriter from 1952, compare the spacebars here:ReplyDelete
It can't be just swapping out the space bar, though, because the shape of the casing in front of the space bar matches that space bar, rather than being squared-off like in the later design.ReplyDelete
Ah, yes, the shape of the cutout. Still, why is the spacebar so short? Was this mounted on something that required a shorter space clearance?ReplyDelete
Also -- and this may just be how it's propped up -- why is the ribbon vibrator in the "up" position with no keys depressed?
that weird squared-off hole and the unhyphenated, off-center (but not far enough off-center) brand make me suspect it's a counterfeit or knock-off.ReplyDelete
Oh, it isn't counterfeit, fake, or a knock-off, I assure you!ReplyDelete
It's made of dynamite and will explode when you type.ReplyDelete
PS: Will, check your e-mail.
Whoaaa. That's the body of a 1940's Smith Corona Silent, but it has the keys and the paint job of a later-era Silent-Super. Well, most of the paint job. It doesn't have the vertical stripes of the Silent-Super, NOR does it have the diagonal stripes seem on 40's portable Silent.ReplyDelete
I think Baki has got it! Maybe the thing was "rebuilt"?ReplyDelete
...or thrown together in haste for the war effort.ReplyDelete
I assume that the thing that is "wrong" is that the Speedline models were supposedly discontinued in 1949 but this has the 1950-'53 Super 5 finish and keys.ReplyDelete
I have a Tower Challenger with the same styling.
I'm betting that the serial number is a 4A and therefore a Sterling. The paper bail was standard on the Silent but not the Sterling.