Thursday, October 31, 2013

Remington Travel-Riter and Den Bosch, Holland

This nice, compact typewriter arrived a couple of days ago, with so little cushioning around the case that I feared the worst. But not only was it unscathed by the USPS, the machine that I lifted from the carton appeared as if it had somehow just emerged via a time warp from the 1950's Remington factory in Den Bosch, The Netherlands. It is that pristine.



Mid-1950's Remington Travel-Riter. The lever above the keys on the left reverses the ribbon. The lever on the far right locks the carriage. And that's it - no touch control, no bi-color ribbon.
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I'm holding the ribbon core, onto which I hooked the new ribbon, slid the core over the cylindrical fitting on the ribbon platform, and hand-wound from the plastic spool.
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Ribbon in place, and spool covers snapped on.

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Oooo! Shiny!
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Flint hard, but otherwise unscathed platten.
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Voluptuously curvaceous
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Comparative case sizes, left to right: Skywriter, Royal Futura, Olympia SM3, Remington Travel-Writer.
Travel typewriter? Not!
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Case swag included the unused guarantee card, manual, and touch-typing workbook
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Made in Holland, you say? So we go to our go-to source for pretty much all things typospheric, and find that, indeed, Remington in 1951 built a factory in the ancient fortified city of Den Bosch (The Forest) in the Netherlands. That information gave me the excuse i needed to play with one of my favorite toys. I can get lost in Google Maps and Google Earth for hours. This morning it provided me a pleasant coffee-time journey to Holland.


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Around and about in Den Bosch, The Netherlands. The wall next to the boats is part of the original fortifications of the city.
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Clearly-marked cylcing lanes are physically separated from those for motorized traffic.
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And how odd - in Holland it appears to be unnecessary when cycling to look as though one had walked through the Lycra clothing racks in a bike shop and everything stuck 
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Here in the golden, rollin', hills of California, we think "old" is something built in the 1850's. But this brick building, called De Moriaan (The Moor), was built in the 1200's
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The building was centuries old when it was included in this 1530 painting of a textile market. See the tower in the far upper right? 
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Here's a hint.
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Dat is alles voor nu!

17 comments:

  1. I do love this typewriter's profile. Though I admit - for me it looks the best in silver. Congratulations on "closet classic"!

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  2. I have a soft spot for all things Remington, and these early 1950s machines are among my favorites. I have a Quiet Riter which is very similar to your machine, but it does have the color selector and, as far as I remember, it includes the "miracle tabulator" feature... will have to take it out of my typewriter closet to check it out (good excuse, huh?)

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  3. I like the look of these guys more than the American version (which is a cut-down Quiet-Riter). There is a significant different between the American Letter-riter and the dutch one, and according to Rob Messenger, the dutch one wins out dramatically on typing quality. At least until the next revision of the design, where it became a dogged nasty.

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  4. Lovely looking machine and you are lucky to get one in such good condition. Thr painting is interesting too. The figure in the foreground is a Christian saint with a stylised halo - but presented as a merchant in a market with breathtaking perspective.

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    1. I noticed that also - seems odd that what looks like a wealthy person would be depicted as a saint although engaged in a secular or temporal activity like purchasing textiles. A bit of mystery that begs more research.

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    2. That might be the patron saint of the cloth sellers guild (St Francis? or Martin?). Handing out cloth to the needy, by the looks of it. (St Martin would be more appropriate then :-)
      Painting commissioned by the guild perhaps.

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  5. Congratulations on the fine typewriter.

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  6. Time warp is right! Nice find. Every time I see photos of The Netherlands I have the urge to pick up and move there.

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  7. If you're interested, there's a chap who sells new ribbons fitted with Remington-compatible spools in Amazon.com. Alas, they don't ship to Mexico, but being in the States, it might be of use to you. Just search for "Remington ribbon" in Amazon and you'll find it.

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    1. Actually, come to think of it, the ribbon that come from fjaproducts was Remington compatible - the center core of the plastic spool could pop out and there you go. But I think that would have meant discarding the metal ribbon covers that came with the typewriter, so, being me, I had to do it the hard way.

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    2. I also do it the hard way when I change ribbons to my Remingtons...

      Not so long ago I saw in Amazon another vendor who actually had Remington ribbons with metal cores instead of spools; I'll keep an eye for them, just in case. But I thought it would be interesting, considering that, of all places, we could source ribbons from Amazon.

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  8. What a beautiful machine. Here is my machine. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bronxtypewriters/7227266208/
    The Portable Typewriter Reference Site by Will Davis open my eyes to this little typer. I had so much cleaning to do on my machine plus re-attach the drawband. How lucky you are. Congratulation and enjoy

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    1. Looks nice, Jose. I looked at your other typers there, too - nice S-Cs. But a typewriter as your desktop background!? And i thought I had it bad! ;)

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  9. My 1958 Travel-Riter was stored of the past 20 years in an area where the temperatures exceeded 100 deg/f in the summer. The result was deformation of the roller that presses against the opposing rollers in the paper advance mechanism. Is there a source for a replacement roller, and can this area be accessed?

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