1963 Royal Aristocrat
The 1963 Royal Aristocrat looks almost identical to the 1963 Royal Safari, the "laptop of the 1960's". This typewriter is fun and functional, boasting tiny 10 point Pica style font. This small font makes it a great typewriter for filling out forms. There is no "1" key, so the typist uses the lower case "L" key instead.
1958 Underwood Golden Touch
Ahhh. The 1958 Golden Touch. This is a true joy to use because one barely has to strike the keys to push the hammers back. The Keys are also flat to the touch, which enhances the speed and comfort of this machine. There is no "1" key, so the typist uses the lower case "L" key instead.
1963 Sears Cutlass
This little bronze gem was an inexpensive find on eBay. It has a "scoop" design like most typewriters of this time period, but the font is a size twelve (unlike the Aristocrat's 10). The keys are a bit hard to strike, but if one applies a tiny bit of pressure, it works like a horse. This baby has a "1" key!
1970's Adler J-5
Navy blue and sleek as a fighter plane, this Adler J-5 is smooth typing all the way. This little fellow is one of my favorites because the font is so clear and defined. However, if I strike the keys too hard, I get "double print". This baby has a "1" key!
1967 Sears Chevron
Although it is a beautiful mod orange, this Sears Chevron is a "clunker" instead of a "clacker". As far as being user-friendly, it rates fair. This beatnik beastie is known as "the Cheez Wiz typewriter" around the office. This baby has a "1" key!
2005 Rover 5000 Super De Luxe
Though not vintage, it might as well be. It isn't the best typewriter in the world because it tends to "space ahead" sometimes. The only way to prevent this "spacing ahead" is to type slowly, which is hard for me to do. The nice thing about the Rover 5000 is that it is being made now, in this computer age. It is advertised in some of the "old people catalogs" like Dr. Leonard's and Carol Wright Gifts for less than $100.00. (This same typewriter is advertised in other catalogs for $150.00.). This baby has a "1" key!
1965 Underwood.Olivetti Studio 44
Not the most flattering photo. Blame the photographer not the typewriter. According to Internet sources, this is the kind of typewriter that Tennessee Williams used. It has sturdy, heavy keys but one only needs to barely strike them for contact. Like the Adler J-5, one isn't supposed to "hammer" the keys or "double printing" will occur. There is no "1" key, so the typist uses the lower case "L" key instead.
1970's Olympia Olympiette S12
I really like this machine. It is a sturdy, smooth type without "double printing" or "spacing ahead" problems. I write most of my correspondence on this one because it is the most comfortable machine I own. (Again, not a flattering photo because my home office lighting isn't as bright as it should be.) This baby has a "1" key!
1987 Brother AX22
This is the only electric typewriter I own. I inherited it from a co-worker about a year ago. It is reliable and comes in handy on occasion. I used a similar one working my way through undergraduate school. I couldn't afford a computer and our computer lab on campus was continuously plagued by viruses. So, with a lot of Wite-Out and a whole lot of cursing, I managed to type out several twenty and thirty page papers for my demanding English professors.
If you are transfixed by these wonderful machines, you can visit the websites below to see much more than what I am offering here:
The Portable Typewriter Reference Site by Will Davis
This is one of my favorite sites. It is a one-stop location for learning all about
typewriters, typewriter history, and typewriter mechanics. Mr. Davis has devoted
a lot of time gathering all of this material together. From his site, you can find other
links as well.
There are some beautiful yet very expensive machine on this site. I go here occasionally
to torture myself.
In addition to just portables, Advanced
Business Machines has information on standard model typewriters. Many of their
pictures are much larger, showing more detail. In fact, one unique feature shows
the location of many serial numbers. (Click on "Typewriters Illustrated
Encyclopedia" and you'll be amazed!)
Yes, they still make typewriter ribbons, and you can find them here. They are
very inexpensive and good quality. Shipping is super fast.
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