Earlier today, I got this little machine I bought from ebay almost 2 months ago. Thank you Covid-19!
I'm not a fan of small typewriters. For some mysterious reason, I prefer big desktop machines. However, this one caught my attention. It has a super rare typeface called Emerald and figures Corres according to the original sales document that comes along.
I found that Europeans, British in particular, prefer tiny little typefaces for their typewriters. I have another Imperial No. 5 that has very small typeface and the scale on the carriage goes up to 120, which is very interesting. The vast majority of Chinese typewriters, Flying Fish, Hero just to name a few, have PICA typeface, which is very boring. So typewriters with rare typefaces do catch my attention, this one in particular, as I have never heard about Emerald typeface.
My favorite typer at this moment, maybe for a long time in future, is this 1958 Underwood Golden Touch. There's a special connection between me and this well-engineered machine.
It is arguably the BEST typewriter that has ever been made.
But I think something is missing. What is it? Maybe some decal on the paper support? The only other Golden Touch I saw on typewriterdatabase.com doesn't have it either. Nor do Underwood typewriters of same model on ebay I saw from time to time.
Still, nothing prevents me from doing something to demonstrate my love of it and my admiration for US engineering/design.
I found a Canadian made Underwood online. And its decal design looks original. So I asked a friend, who is a graphic designer at L'OReal, for help.
And the sticker came in earlier today.
Dear fellow typospherians, I'm in need of help.
Pictured here is a Continental Standard typewriter. This machine well-used, rusty but it is in perfect working order except that the feedroller has already melted and flattened so paper feeding is difficult, and paper cannot roll up properly whenever I pull the carriage return lever.
This time-honored machine has a British keyboard with a Pica typeface, unlike most Continental typewriters that come with German keyboard. Also, it is very special to Shanghai as evidently it was built for the Chinese market back in 1940s. An important proof is that it has a TS symbol which is the Chinese currency "tael" in early 20th century. This machine most likely was used in offices in the former British concession at that time and it has never left Shanghai, the famed port of the Far East.
|The TS symbol for taels, the erstwhile Chinese currency|
I have an ambitious project-- to restore this old machine. But the first step is to replace platen which has hardened as rock and its feedroller has already melted down.
I'd be very grateful if anyone of you could offer any advice on how to remove the platen. I have googled. Some says "just unscrew the knobs". I tried, but both of them are unscrewable. I cannot find any screws to untighten so it seems that you guys are the only one I can turn to for help. Many thanks in advance.
|the right-hand knob|
|the left-hand knob|
|the right-hand knob from beneath|
Two years ago,I bought this Flying Fish Model PSQ from taobao, China's equivalent of ebay for RMB 220 ( approx. 32 US dollars) According to the original receipt that comes with it, this ultraportable typewriter was produced in 1977. The dimension is 29.5*29.5*7.8cm.
This model was later rebranded as Hero model 110 or KOFA 100 (hence the mysterious 100). Design-wise, the machine is essentially an Adler tippa (1950s model) for its body and Olympia Splendid its carriage. So it's fair to say that these small-framed machines have German blood and, when being typed on, feels like one too. The green bilingual label on its back rail shows that this particular machine was built for export therefore its quality is guaranteed. I won't say they are the best, alignment is not always desirable, but they are what China can offer to the typewriter world back at that time. It's fair to say, they are not bad.
|Shanghai in 1980s|
Unlike almost every typewriter made since mid-1980s in China, earlier portables are more likely have Elite typeface 12 inch. Alignment on this machine isn't bad. Also worth-mentioning is that earlier models uses vinyl bags just like most of its western counterparts back at that time, such as Olympia splendid . However, portables made since early-mid 1980s come in plastic bags. Early models are greyish blue, red and white, but mostly red.