1922 Noiseless Typewriter
So busy lately, didn't have the time to nab a good photo
This is the Noiseless Standard typewriter, manufactured by the Noiseless typewriter company in Middleton Connecticut. Spoiler alert: it makes noise.
George Going (going going gone) and Wellington Kidder were, as I'm informed, the masterminds behind this brilliant (in my opinion finicky) machine. It's complicated and glorious, and very very heavy. This is the standard version, yet the company did spend a couple years in the early 20s producing a portable version. The most striking feature of these machines is the aluminum platen. A weapon in its own right, the bludgeoning device of your dreams. According to the Richard Milton, Kidder was responsible for designing both the Franklin typewriter, as well as the thrusting action of the Empire and Adler. His background in these two machines aided in the creation of a machine that was virtually silent. These patents were later sold to Remington, and marketed as the Remington Noiseless Standard.
Lucas, where do you get such lovely machines? I don't. I wish. These two standards were from a client, who actually gave me three (one for parts). I didn't end up needing too many parts, but it was helpful to have. Between the two of the machines, I was able to get one really nice example, and one halfway decent example. I will focus the majority of this short (due to laziness) article on the nicest example. So here is one month's worth of work summed up in two seconds:
Work. Hell. More work.
Just kidding. But it is a damn good summary.
Holly Heck said I when I feasted my eyes on this
There are three main body panels on this machine. Each one comes off with a grand whopping total of two screws. That's two more than I would like to bother keeping track of. The rear panel and the front panel are easy to remove, but the impact controller (what I'll be calling it) must be removed first. This small dial mounted to the front is the genius of the noiseless typewriter. It monitors the distance from the key to the platen, wider paper requires a different setting than thinner paper. It is best to do this fiddling on a scrap sheet of the paper you'll be typing on. Controlling the distance not only aids in noise reduction (actually more like noise elimination) it also aids in print and text quality. The top panel comes off with two screws and reveals the gorgeous counter-weighted thrust action key leavers. At the far end a bridge covers the slugs to hold them in place, this is also removed with two screws. The rear panel...figure it out.
Post clean, but shows those nice key leavers
look at those slugs
top panel waxing
This is the Impact Control Module
The first thing I ended up doing was making sure the keys dangled off the end, giving me unrestricted access to cleaning the top of the machine. The bearing rails on the carriage were the sandwich style, similar to Early Smith standards, Remingtons, and Pittsburghs among many others. The carriage was left on. What I did have to do was remove both knobs and the collet that holds the platen in place. The platen rod is non-removable, so there's two metal collets in place to hold it in. The right one slips off, but on the left, the return assembly needs to be removed with one screw in the back. Be careful, there is a thick knurled washer with a spring in it. Once this assembly is off, the ratchet falls away and the ratchet gear can be removed by gently tapping out the pin. Then the ratchet release leaver gets taken off as well as the left collet. The platen should now lift freely.
There's the screw, and you can see the spring
this is the order it goes on and off with
After that, the paper fingers come off. There is a forked piece on either end of the line scale that fits on with a set screw (worm screw is false, grub screw is acceptable). These two prongs fit underneath the paper tray onto pins. The whole assembly gets removed. The paper tray slips forwards and up, with two tiny springs on either side coming undone. Make sure you note their position for installation. The rear assembly: the paper guide and the margin bar also come off. Six screws in total for both. Removing these parts gives unrestricted access to cleaning the carriage.
I removed all i was going to, and cleaned each piece separately. A lot of the parts I allowed to soak overnight in distilled white vinegar. The only issue is the vinegar will eat through springs. Actually I lied, there's another issue. It corrodes quick, so monitor it. Sometimes the vinegar eats off the plating and leaves the metal all stinky and black. This is a major problem. I took apart the line space assembly and set the springs aside, there are three in total. The first spring is the most apparent, it is on the bottom. The second is a hairspring located in between the return leaver and the ratchet pawl. Undo the return leaver and right underneath is the spring. Don't lose it. The final spring is in the line space selector, which you pull up on to set. Remove the nut on the bottom and unscrew the screw. It is threaded into the base.
removed springs prior to soak
Shiny clean parts
ribbon covers, margins, and platen detent.
One of four ribbon covers was corroded down to the copper.
Once the parts were all cleaned, I put the pieces back together. The main mechanics of the machine were mostly just dirty. I only had issues on the super finiky bells, and the backspacer on the second not nice one. The entire backspace assembly had to be taken apart, cleaned, straightened out, and reinstalled.
The backspace did end up needing a washer on the leaver to prevent it from going too far up and jamming, as well as a replacement spring on the inside.
I chose the best parts for one machine, and changed the ribbons on both. Some models had a bichrome option, but these two machines didn't. I gave them both an all black ribbon. Both machines ended up working, only one worked really well. I was surprised at just how mechanically different the three of them were, and that provided a unique set of challenges. At the end of it, I enjoyed writing on the first one, it's very light and quick, and really is quite quiet. The only sounds you hear are the key leaver action, and the escapement. The actual sound of the key hitting the page isn't there, it's kind of a squish, as if the slug dissipated somewhere into the space-time continuum...just hopped aboard the TARDIS and was off. For that reason, I didn't like these machines. I am much more fond of the 5 model P Royals I've worked on...two of which I'll have for sale. Bright red, and weathered beat-to-crap green. Keep a weather eye out.
By the way, this is your alignment adjuster thingy.