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My Scholes and Gliddens Garage Find

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Typewriters31 of 284SMITH-CORONA "STERLING" portable typewriter with caseWhat Remington is this?
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    Posted 5 years ago

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    Was watching a TV programme and the presenter visited a Typewriter Museum in the States and mentioned the first practical typewriter was a Scholes and Gliddens. "Wonder what the typewriter is we have got in the garage?" I said to the wife. Went into the garage and after dusting if off low and behold it was a Scholes and Glidden. It was in the house when we bought it 35 years ago and we know it had been must have been there at least 10 years before that, as that is how long the house had been empty.

    Carried out some research and found out that they have serial numbers ours is 3239 with no prefix. I understand that they were often operated by ladies and were decorated with flowers, curious thing ours has a variety of Coat of Arms.

    The condition I know is not good, the paint work is flaking, but with only surface rust, in hindsight I wish I had looked after it.

    Remaining problem is what to do with it! Any suggestions or information on this typewriter would be much appreciated.

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    1. fortapache fortapache, 5 years ago
      Very cool old typewriter never have seen one like it. Whatever you do don't restore it. It is only in original condition once.
      There are not a lot of typewriter collectors out there but if a couple get in a bidding war who knows.
    2. AntiqueTypewriters AntiqueTypewriters, 5 years ago
      Hi there. I'm a typewriter guy. I would love to see more of this machine and learn more of its history. My website is Thanks!
    3. SweetViolet SweetViolet, 5 years ago
      Hello, I previously posted a comment with information on you machine. Your typewriter is an earlier model sholes and glidden from the early to mid 1870s, as you can tell by the arm on the right hand side of the machine, connected to the fly wheel. Your machine is about 140 years old, and was built in the Remington firearms and sewing machine factory back in those days. Even Mark Twain had one of these machines, just like this one. A very nice find indeed, and I am happy that you had the foresight to have saved such an important historical piece all those years ago. I would definitely not recommend restoring it, or really even cleaning it. Thanks for posting this!
    4. Kribbit, 5 years ago
      Sweet Violet. My apologizes I did not see your previous post. Thank you for the interest shown in my Sholes and Glidden typewriter. The Serial No on the machine is 3239 without any prefix. Although I would not wish to question your dating, based on research it would indicate from the serial no that it is late 1876.
      This I find confusing as I have seen a Sholes and Glidden with a Serial No of A1119 which does not have a fly wheel on the side, maybe when this typewriter went back to the factory the modification was to have the fly wheel mechanism removed. Any further feed back would be much appreciated.
    5. SweetViolet SweetViolet, 5 years ago
      Hello, yes the date I gave is definitely a broad estimate, and the most reliable way to date exactly, is the way you did, using the serial number. I would however, be inclined to say that your typewriter is not one that was sent back to the factory to be refurbished for resale, or just for updates for the original owner. The reason I say that is because usually when they did that, they would remove the arm and the flywheel, and replace it with a more modern and convenient, for the time, carriage return system, kind of like that found on more modern typewriters. I figure that was to make it a bit easier to use. When they would get them to resale as a refurbished machine, they would stamp an "A" in front of the existing serial number to indicate this, from what I've heard. And, lots of companies and typewriter dealer firms even through the 1960s would get older machines, and sell them as updated and refurbished to places like schools and offices and stuff at discounted bulk prices; I figure that's what Remington did sometimes back then. Even now, companies do that with computers in schools sometimes. Finally, I notice that your machine still has the 1870s handpainted floral designs, and the little coat-of-arms like decorations on it. It also still has the old style sholes and glidden logo. Typically, but not always, the factory would take the machines apart, and redip them in plain black japaning paint, and then just repinstripe it, maybe print a new "Remington Logo" on it, since that was simpler and a bit more with the times, removing the decorations. So, I guess what I'm saying in short is that, your machine is really a bit nicer than a lot of the machines that can be found, even in museums, because yours still retains everything completely original and untouched from when it was brand new, which is really neat. To be honest, if I were in your position, I would recommend finding a nice little shelf or table in a corner somewhere, and display all nice and pretty, cause you have a very nice and important piece of technology history. And really, it is actually in quite nice condition, so a full restoration would really not be necessary, or beneficial. Thank you very much again for posting!

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