A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying

A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying
A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying the latest digital.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A True Newspaper Man’s Typewriter

Pursuing Craig’s List here locally I came across a simple listing with a somewhat out of focus image.  The listing said simply Royal Typewriter.  Works.  $10.  The image was clear enough to see that that the typewriter in question was not a complete disaster so I called the number.  I spoke with the owner who said he was going out of town for one day and would call me upon his return.

After two days I had not received a call from the seller and I figured that he had sold the machine to someone else.  As it was still listed I again called the owner.  He said that he had not gotten around to returning my call but had been contacted by another individual who stated he would give $20 for the typewriter.  He further said that individual was also waiting on a return call.  Being only a few blocks away I asked if I could come over to see that machine, and if it was in good shape I would be willing to pay the same $20.

Upon arrival at the sellers house I was greeted by a man that appeared to be in his 80’s.  He showed me the Royal Quiet Deluxe and I gave him $20.  He seemed very perplexed that anyone would be interested in such old devices and was just glad to have someone take it off his hands.

We got to talking and the seller had purchased the typewriter new and used it until computers took over.  He had been a reporter at our local newspaper, the Kansas City Star.  He said the machine has served him well all those years until his retirement almost twenty-five years ago.

The inside looked like he had just closed it up on his last day and never opened it again until now.  Inside the case, besides the dirty but well taken care of machine, was several pieces of carbon paper (Some used and maybe one day I will try to see what was copied using them.).  Also inside the case was a Royal brush and a well-used eraser with a brush attached on the other end.  And a ribbon from Sears.  He also still had the manual, what looks like a Royal brochure, and booklet called “The Modern Secretary”.

The serial number revealed the Royal had been manufactured in 1953.  If the owner bought it new that year it would have seen the inside of a newsroom for over 35 years.  A small piece of history.

More to come...................
Kansas City Star: This newspaper has served the city since 1880.  Founded by William 
Rockhill Nelson. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kansas_City_Star)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

IBM Selectric is a Tough Typewriter

I had a scare last night.  Been a long day.  I was doing some non-typewriter tasks in my office.  While carrying a box of files I backed into the typewriter stand on which set my Selectric I.  Well, over went the stand and typewriter face first with a crash onto the metal leg on my desk chair.  I just knew the typewriter would be a loss.  When it hit I saw a piece go flying.

Upon inspection the right side platen knob was broken off and the platen itself freely turned.  I regained my composure and studied the again upright typewriter and stand.  No obvious nicks in the paint.  I figured out that the paper lever had been pushed forward allowing the platen to freely rotate.   A simple flip and that was corrected.  I then tentatively flipped the switch and hoped for the best.  The old Selectric came right on, sounded fine, and performed flawlessly through a couple of lines of typing.

Luckily the right hand platen knob had broken freely off the machine in one piece.  Super Glue on three points, and the after sitting overnight was as good as new (There is a very small chip in the plastic).  So, big heavy Selectric typewriters are apparently really made to take abuse.

By-the-way, I have been unable to locate a good source for Selectric serial numbers.  If anyone knows a reference please let me know.  I did see another one with a slightly lower serial number and it was stated to have been manufactured in 1964, so I am assuming mine is about 1965.  The serial number is 5239981.

More to come...................

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gear View of Underwood No 6

Couldn't resist.  Had to post this image.  Peering into the right side of my Underwood No. 6.
More to come.............

Monday, October 14, 2013

Batteries for Classic SLR Cameras

I recently conducted tests on replacement batteries for classic SLR’s such as the Minolta SRT 101 above.  When such cameras were marketed, the battery of choice contained mercury which is no longer available in the US and in many other countries.  The tests show differences in those currently available choices that most closely match the original battery.  If you wish to see the details, they can be found at:



More to come...................

SLR: Single Lens Reflex.  A common type of camera designed such that the image capturing lens is also used for scene framing and focusing.  When the shutter is tripped, the mirror momentarily is moved out of the lens, path allowing the film to be exposed.
Batteries: The power source that allows use of the cameras light metering system.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Another Off Topic: Teddy Roosevelt

I added another piece to my collection of Teddy Roosevelt books, photographs, memorabilia, and such.  Theodore Roosevelt has long been my favorite president and I am always looking for items associated with him.  This piece can still be obtained rather easily from the US Mint.

On May 9th, 2013 the US Mint and US Post Office issued a First Day of Issue Cover which contains two Presidential $1 coins for Theodore Roosevelt. I am not really a stamp collector, I do collect coinage.  This pleasing item seemed to be a good addition.

 Seems like my wife continually complains that our house looks more like a museum then a residence.  More to come...................

1st Day of Issue Cover: A postage stamp on a postal card or stamped envelope franked on the first day the issue is authorized for use.
Theodore Roosevelt: 26th US President from 1901 through 1909.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Old Adding Machine…………

Ok, when I bought the like new Underwood Standard No. 6 (Described in the previous post) the seller threw in an old manual adding machine that came from the same estate sale. Now, I do not collect adding machines, nor do I know anything about them.  This one however is in excellent shape, so I thought it would be worth knowing more about.  The problem is that I can find nothing on the adding machine that would identify the name or date of manufacture.  It is obvious that the imprint on the Bakelite machine cover is almost fully worn off.

So here is the question for those out there that know such things.  How can I find out the manufacturer and when this device might have been made.  If you know or can point me in the right direction, please post a response.  Thanks!

 More to come...................

Manual Adding Machine: Mechanical device that works similar to a manual cash register.
Bakelite: Plastic used in the 40's and 50's on many products.