Will's Typewriter Blog w/ news & notes
Blog about typewriter collecting, my website, my experiences and current events
Entry for November 1, 2006

Hello again; sorry for the lapse in postings here, but things have been QUITE hectic.  So, there are a number of things I'd like to comment upon.

First, we're all still saddened by the recent passing of long-time Portable Typewriter Forum member John Tomlinson.  You might say that John was a "charter member" - there was only one other member still active (other than myself) who'd been there longer when he died.  His contributions to the forum and to the lives of its members have been well documented these last few days; he will be remembered.  At least two people have inquired as to how he died; I will not lie and tell you I don't know, but I think it's irrelevant at this point, and does not need to be discussed. 

In the typewriter world, we had a discovery today concerning SMITH PREMIER machines.  The conventional wisdom holds that the Monarch machine was made in Syracuse from inception until about 1914-1915 at which point manufacture was moved to Remington's Ilion, NY plant.  Later on, when the Smith Premier No. 10 was dropped, the Smith Premier name was put on the Monarch-design machine and the Monarch name dropped.  All of that holds true, or nearly so, but the arrival today of our Smith Premier 60 adds a twist.  You see, the machine clearly states that it was made in Syracuse, New York.  What this means is that, in all likelihood, when production of the Smith Premier No. 10 was dropped, the tooling for the Monarch-pattern machine was moved back from Ilion to Syracuse, except this time to the Smith Premier plant where it was placed back in production (initally as the Smith Premier 30.)  Thus the Monarch design, with evolutionary changes, was built over time in THREE DIFFERENT PLANTS, namely the original Monarch plant 1904-1915 followed by the Remington plant 1915-1921 and then the Smith Premier plant 1921-1939 when production of the design ended.  Naturally, photos are upcoming and this will all go on the site in detail, with necessary alterations to the articles concerned.

We also opened up another European-made machine today, a STOEWER REKORD (which is actually a Modell 5) and found something interesting in the decals on the front; the machine won the Gold Medal at the Industrial Exposition in Manchester, England in 1910.  I've never read this anywhere, but there it is on the machine itself.  Unfortunately, though, the overall design of the machine seems -- well -- sort of  rough.  We'll know more later, as we took it right up to YT&C for cleaning out and unsticking / unjamming.

We're also ready to proceed with the next chapter in the whole Harris story; we have our Demountable No. 2 fully operational, and have also been lucky enough to acquire an original instruction book for this machine.  Thus, we can add perhaps the final chapter to that story on the already-huge article concerning this most intriguing set of machines from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Finally, it is beginning to appear as if production of the Reliance machine may not have immediately begun following the shutdown of Pittsburg.  We have yet another information source here (a rather odd typewriter repair manual) that gives a starting date for Reliance of 1915.  This is in line with Beeching, makes sense due to the takeover of industry at the time of the US involvement in the First World War, and also seems to correspond well with our Reliance here which has an accompanying book with a date penciled in (details of that are all in the article on my site.)  We might have to go ahead and run with the story that there was indeed a gap, or else a period of very slow or spotty production, before the Reliance got going.  NOTE:  We also have a machine here with serial 60800 that is labeled as having been made by "Reliance Machine Mfg. Co." and NOT by "Reliance Typewriter Co." which adds yet another corporate entity to this already intriguing line.   If you have not checked out my articles on visible machines, do so; we have a LOT of new information there you will NOT find in any collector book or on any other website, and it's all very interesting. 

That's it for now; much more to come.

2006-11-02 00:14:40 GMT