Sunday, 11 March 2012

Foundation and Empire

Imperial The Good Companion. s/n EN839, 1948
By Appointment to His Majesty King George the Fifth.
This, and the following four images are at the same scale.
Click any to supersize to 1000 pixels
Imperial Good Companion 4. s/n 4BS401T, 1958
Imperial Good Companion 5. s/n 5A756, 1957
Imperial Good Companion 5. s/n 5G990, 1958
The Good Companion, return lever
Good Companion 4, return lever
Good Companion 5 serial number. Earlier model had the number on the bottom
of the molding, later ones are numbered under the top cover
Ribbon selector is different between earlier and later models
Older and newer line-space ratchet pawls. What is the later arrow pointing to?
Possible platen re-covery? The ratchet on the later model doesn't work consistently when
it doesn't engage with the cog. This might be because it fouls the platen rubber.
Under the hood of the Good Companion 4

Under the hood of the Good Companion 5
What lies beneath. A Good Companion 4's nether regions exposed
...and the Good Companion 5's revolutionary though
more delicate undercarriage

Read my spoof manual for the Good Companion 5


  1. Very helpful reference photos for the differences between these machines.

    I like the earlier GC5's method of showing the selected ribbon color.

    I do think maybe your later GC5 had its platen re-covered and the rubber went too far. My GC5, which otherwise is similar, does have a paper gauge on the left end of the platen which is absent or covered up on yours.

    1. Thanks Richard. Based on that, I think it is time to experiment with the scalpel! I'm scared to dismantle the platen but I should be able to get a decent cutting line with the platen in situ.

    2. Sort of tempting to become 'completist' and search out the T, 3, 6 and 7.

  2. Great pictures! I think I prefer the look of the 4, which seems to have gull-wing ribbon covers but actually doesn't. Is it also carriage-shifted?

    1. Thanks Adwoa, yess, like the original Good Companion, the 4 is carriage-shift. The 5 s a finger-friendly basket shift so it takes very little pressure to operate.

  3. Very nice photos of a very nice typewriter. I really like that unique return lever.

    1. Thanks Bill, there's something serpentine about it.

  4. I love these detailed comparisons, and also the shot from the down side of the machines. In the end, it is the photographer's task to guide the observer's eyes. Typewriters offer many amazing opportunities to show details.

  5. All of them are really beautiful typewriters! But that GC5's return lever is absolutely amazing...

    1. It sticks out a long way but it is spring in both directions, so it keeps out of harm's way.

  6. Super comparison and photos, thank you.