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Old Smith Premier Typewriter

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    Posted 2 months ago

    MarleneCap…
    (9 items)

    So today I thought I would try find out more about this old typewriter. After searching on some sites, I couldn't find a match for the serial number anywhere - XC60795. If there are any typewriter lovers out there, please would you let me know how old this baby is? It still works!! I love the clack-clack of the keys and watching them move in that half circle area - quite mesmerizing. Best of all is the "ding" when you reach the end of a line. Quite understand how some authors prefer a typewriter to a computer. Have a fabulous week all!

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    Comments

    1. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Hi, MarleneCapeTown. :-)

      I suspect that I might be having some kind of difficulty in reading the Smith Premier chart at typewriterdatabase dot com, because I would think that the serial number "XC60795" would fit into this group (hint: you should probably go to the link, because this excerpt from a chart probably doesn't make too much sense without headers and in a forum that wraps information that exceeds a certain width):

      *snip*

      XX60000-XX69999 1916 XX=Two-letter prefix numbers, Remington s/n's 3

      *snip*

      https://t/smithpremier.98.typewriter-serial-number-database

      That block of serial numbers supposedly pertains to Smith Premier model 10, and to me, your machine looks nothing like an SP model 10, e.g.:

      https://typewriterdatabase.com/1916-smith-premier-10.7681.typewriter

      What it looks like to me is an SP 60:

      https://typewriterdatabase.com/1926-smith-premier-60.4084.typewriter

      Perhaps you should consult them. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a contact email address or interface, so I fear that you might have to create an account on the website.
    2. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OK, I didn't quite understand the Remington reference in the Smith Premier serial number chart at typewriterdatabase dot com, but this explains it:

      *snip*

      It's debatable whether to include this full-keyboard upstrike [Smith-Premier #1] here, under the Remingtons, or in a class by itself. Although the first typewriter built by the L.C. Smith & Bros gun factory that would ultimately give rise to the legendary Smith-Corona line, the Smith-Premier Typewriter Co and Smith-Corona were not corporately related. It was invented by an L.C. Smith & Bros employee, Alexander Brown, who felt he could improve upon the Sholes & Gliddon. After the company folded in the early 1900s, the Smith-Premier name was purchased by Remington, which continued to sporadically apply the name to their own machines. Since this machine was born in L.C. Smith's factory, and presumably was the stimulous for them to enter the typewriter business later on, I'm going to catagorize it here, as the grandfather of all things Smith-Corona.

      *snip*

      http://sevenels.net/typewriters/s-coronas.htm

      Here is some additional information about Smith Premier typewriters:

      https://type-writer.org/documents/typewriter-books/buisnessdigest/Serial_numbers.pdf

      And specifically the SP model 60:

      https://archive.org/details/TheAmericanDigestOfBusinessMachines/page/n206/mode/1up
    3. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Here's another Smith Premier model 60 (no serial number given):

      https://www.londontypewriters.co.uk/product/1930s-working-smith-premier-model-60-stationary-typewriter-new-ribbon-made-usa/

      BTW, that Smith Premier model 60 at the typewriterdatabase dot com site has a serial number that starts with "XK6," and it's dated to 1926, so I think yours is just a tad older.

      I still don't quite understand their Smith Premier serial number table, but per it, the model 60 was produced 1923- 1940.

      Some more Smith Premier tidbits:

      https://www.antikeychop.com/smith-premier-typewriters

      https://www.typewritermuseum.org/collection/brands/index.php3?machine=smithpr1&cat=ku#

      This is not about the Smith Premier model 60, but it's fascinating:

      https://www.bangkokpost.com/life/arts-and-entertainment/388210/key-development

      Pictures of various non-English alphabet Smith Premier typewriters:

      https://www.syracuse.com/vintage/2016/07/typewriter_capital_of_the_worl.html
    4. MarleneCapeTown, 2 months ago
      Dear Keramikos, Wow!! Thanks very, very much for your extremely thoughtful and thought-provoking replies. I had no idea the typewriter world entailed so much! And really appreciate the links, so much to learn. Thanks again! Have a great day!
    5. keramikos, 2 months ago
      MarleneCapeTown, You're welcome. :-)

      I saw to my dismay this morning that one of the links I provided yesterday doesn't work. It was no doubt a slip of the finger on my part. It happens. Here's one that should work:

      https://typewriterdatabase.com/smithpremier.98.typewriter-serial-number-database

      In doing some more reading, it seems that glass-topped keys were the norm for Smith Premier typewriters, even into the 1930s.

      Here is some more information from somebody who repairs antique typewriters:

      https://www.johnlewismechanicalantiques.com/clean.html

      The "About" section of the website has some amusing tidbits. It seems that he had a stern taskmistress for a typing teacher when he a schoolboy. She used a metronome.
    6. MarleneCapeTown, 2 months ago
      Dear Keramikos, thank you so much once again for your help. Your attention to detail is awesome! And greatly welcomed. I loved Mr Lewis' story, and to be fair, there is not a chance I could have kept up with the metronome either. Although, I would have admitted I could type in the army in the hope it would get me out of other, more onerous tasks. :-) I have since found another 2 typewriters among Granny's things, but they are not nearly as old nor as interesting as this one. Here's to more discoveries as I find more treasures from the trove. Have a fabulous week! Marlene
    7. keramikos, 2 months ago
      MarleneCapeTown, You're quite welcome. :-)

      To my dismay, my attention to detail seems to wax and wane.

      I too found Mr. Lewis's story quite interesting. A metronome in typing class would have been way too much pressure for me. I type, but I type poorly.

      Feel free to post your grandmother's other typewriters, or anything else here.

      You have a fabulous week as well.
    8. MarleneCapeTown, 2 months ago
      Thank you! :-)

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