Monday 1 August 2011

The wee fellow

I'll typecast from the Big-O when I have fixed the left margin and got the paper table/scale properly reinstalled, and I'll try to include an appreciation of the 'feel' for notagain. That's if I'm not too distracted by each seismic shock when the escapement releases a ton of iron southwards, one character at a time.

Meanwhile, here's a better photo of that other, smaller Brit - a 1962 Empire-Corona s/n 4Y 664648. Uninspiring in silver Hammerite, but interesting to see it listed on tw-db under British Typewriter's Empire brand. In production immediately after the 'I-can't-believe-it-isn't-a-Hermes' Aristocrat. If I have it correctly, the Baby begat the Aristocrat which begat the SMC Empire-Corona et al. It is a familiar format but this one looks like it is built to a price. Imagine, a 1962 typewriter with no bichromatic option. Maybe they saved the frills for the De Luxe? The nearest in layout to this one in the collection is Antares Parva - the SMC looks and feels cheaper by comparison. I'll check under the hood sometime for similarities - it has the same slotted alloy billet with keys secured by a dowel.

The platen is very spindly, so it has a tendency to put a curl in the paper causing it to feed back in. Then again, it has been pretty humid lately - which can't help. The good news is that a couple of pages typing and a drop of oil seem to have freed all the keys and got the line return ratchet engaging properly. This machine appears to have many incarnations so, if anyone wants a copy of the 6pp A5 instructions, just yell and I'll post a pdf. I suppose the copyright holders won't be paying much attention.


  1. It looks very much like a skyriter of that time. All my portable SCM's from the 70's were made in England - I wonder if it was the same factory.

  2. I'd strongly suspect so. The only reference for SMC I have found in the UK is their takeover of British Typewriters Ltd. and they only manufactured in Redditch.