1930's · nostalgia · Typewriters · Uncategorized

Remington Model 5 Portable Review

28016982987_1c37043b22_oOne thing you can say about this typewriter is that they made an awful lot of them and many have survived. Remington claimed that they had sold more of these worldwide than any other typewriter. They were popular for a number of reasons but mainly because I think they were one of the few truly lightweight portable machines of the day.  Typewriters were very expensive items and this one was popular with typewriter shops where you could hire a machine by the week. They were doing this in the 1960s as  well. One  exception was the Hermes Baby which was smaller and lighter than the Remington Model 5 but this was a very basic machine and one that I had learned to touch type on in my younger youth. Anyway, I thought that perhaps that so many are still around that a quick review might be of interest to anyone thinking of buying one. I found my one at a recycling centre where all typewriters are £5 but sadly many seem to be past restoration. This one was tucked away on a shelf in a corner seemingly unwanted and just thought it might be nice to save it from destruction. Clearly, nobody else was interested in it but they might have found taking the top of the case defeated them or finding that the carriage would not move which was only the carriage lock. Some of the controls can be confusing. Remington always did have their own way of doing things. If all else fails, read the instructions and you can download the manual for free on the internet. I did but only when I had figured out how it all worked. The Carriage lock is the same lever for line spacing and with the lever down unlocks the carriage and this also gives you single line spacing, for double line you turn the knurled knob by the side of the selector. The typewriter itself was in very good cosmetic condition which is more than could be said for the case which needed a good clean to the leathercloth covering (I used shoe polish after cleaning!) and an awful lot of cleaner to the solid brass lockwood. The wooden case is pretty bombproof too compared with the hatbox offerings in the 1950’s.The first thing you notice is the very small ribbon spools. If you need to replace the ribbon then you will have to wind a new ribbon onto the original spools. There is no paper bale but two sliding clips to keep the paper in place. There are two paper scales scales on the carriage and the lower one can easily be seen with an indicator below the ribbon holder which is a nice touch and typical of Remington machines. If you can’t find the margin release, it’s the silver button by the number two key. The most unusual feature is the key marked ‘start’ on the earlier models and ‘par’ on later machines. Pressing this advances the carriage five spaces, intended for new paragraphs, it will do this when pressed at any time and not just at the start of the left hand margin. This is as near to a tabulator that you will get on this typewriter. The paper rest is easily missed being two levers at the back of the machine. Don’t bother looking for an automatic ribbon reverser because this is a manual affair operated by the knurled knobs either side of the typewriter. Usual ribbon selector for black, red or stencils. It has a nice light touch and uses Remington’s patented geared letter strikers. I have never seen this on any other machine, works fine but later machines like the Quiet Riter (Remington’s spelling, not mine) of the 1950’s use the more usual type of mechanism. It took me quite a while before I could type at speed on this typewriter but once I got used to its ways I quite liked it. These machines are getting rather long in the tooth now and although you can pick one up like mine, the passing of years has not been kind to many of them so check if you can that all is well if you can before buying. The platen (the black roller thingy!) can be too hard, they were, I am told fairly hard to begin with like office machines but over time some have become so hard it is impossible to get a good print. Another common fault is the small rollers that hold the paper against the platen, unused for many years some machines will have flats on them. Apart from that they are still a nice machine to touch type on and I think make a nice noise as well!

 

 

 

 

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