Typewriter Hunting

Going on a typewriter hunt

A couple of days ago, I stopped by an antique store near my house.  They always have a wide variety of things, and occasionally one or two typewriters.  I’m always a little weary of how many typewriters I’d allow myself to own, but every so often I’ll see one I just don’t want to pass up.  The place I went to had four typewriters being sold as-is, and they were in various stages of destruction.  The first machine I came across was a grey Smith-Corona Silent 5 in Pica.  I’ve been looking for one in Elite, specifically the mid-30s version with the floating shift, but have been unsuccessful.  Perhaps I might turn to eBay for that one.  This machine had minor corrosion and most of the functions were operational, but it was filled with a crumbly white powder.  I moved on and came across a 1950s Underwood SX.  This machine was barely operational, though the outside seemed to look alright.  The carriage assembly worked okay, and the tab set and bar worked, but the tab clear and all the keys were a mess.  It would have been a nice machine to work on, but I wasn’t in the mood.  The third machine was a green Smith Corona Clipper, and it was missing the back panel.  Everything else seemed to be working just fine, but the price was a bit high for missing parts.  Right next to it was a Royal KMM with an extra wide carriage.  The entire carriage was rusted through, and the rails were bent, making the carriage difficult to move.  All of the keys were frozen up with rust, and the insides were covered with spiderwebs.  It was overall a pretty nice machine, but it would have taken quite a bit of work.  It was not worth the price they were asking for it, so I left it behind.
At the end of the day, I ended up leaving with the Silent 5.  I have fixed it up, and if I ever find a 1930s version with an Elite font, paper bails and paper fingers, and a floating shift, I’ll put the Silent 5 up for sale.

On a side note, interesting story...
When I was little, I met the mayor of Chicago.  I was at the ABC7 studio where my brother was playing in a live band, and the mayor happened to be doing an interview there.  He came over and shook my hand....I don’t know, I guess people seem to think you’re a nicer guy when they see you shaking hands with children.  I mean, it worked with Jesus... anyway, he asked me if I wanted to be a mayor one day.  I looked him dead in the eye and said “no.”
Same thing happened when I met Adrian Smith, the man who designed the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.  “So, you must wanna become an architect when you’re older.”
Just me, crushing people’s dreams of inspiring the youth...

Nothing to do with typewriters.

‘51 Silent 5

1950s Underwood SX


Add on the Underwood for a Royal HH

Green Clipper

Royal KMM with wide carriage

A cool clock I found

An excerpt from a 1870s botanical book


  1. Nice score on the Silent 5, that's probably the one I'd consider too. (:

    1. Thanks! I prefer older machines but it seemed too good to pass up :)

  2. "It worked with Jesus" — that made me crack up.

    1. Hahaha I had to reread to recall why on earth I wrote that.


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