Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Swiss Type-In Souvenir: Remington Junior (c. 1936)

I never thought I'd be drawn to these gleaming black metal typewriters, but here we are. Far cry from the candy-colored Annabellas and ABCs of yore, but very attractive in their own right.

Type-bar macro shows that some cleaning is order (maybe even overdue!), but it hasn't gotten bad enough to affect the quality of the text produced... yet.

Sticker from dealer in top of case, and a couple of pages from the user manual.

A careful eye will spot a few of the mechanical "shortcomings" I listed as peculiar to this Remington Junior: no right-hand margin stop and no right-hand carriage release lever.

I was quite happy that the handle of the case had survived intact all these years, a good indication that the typewriter had been quite well-preserved.

Gratuitous typewriter pr0n :-)


  1. Wow, what a lovely little typewriter, and in such great condition!

    I love the rather low, broad typeface. Very clear and readable. Excellent find!

  2. Beautiful! I'm so glad you're getting your Remingtons finally. Every home needs one, just because they're so pretty and fun to type on :D

    It looks to be in pristine condition, too! Having a useable leather handle on those things is fairly rare, from what I've seen of the 30's Remingtons at MTE.

  3. Gorgeous. How do you shine it up so nice? Or is it a secret?

  4. Wow, it looks brand new. Very nice. I will update my Remingtons page to take account of the backspacer issue, thanks.

    Now you need a Remington Noiseless portable.

  5. Somehow my collection STILL lacks a 1930's machine. This is a very nice one you have.

  6. Gorgeous machine and beautiful photographs, as usual. "Gratuitous typewriter porn" Yes, this type of photo has sent many down the rabbit hole of new typewriter acquisition :-)

    I see these machines in the wild here in mid-America, but none in this condition. That is a gorgeous typewriter. I don't have any Remingtons, but I came close to buying a Noiseless 5 only to have the seller back out due to incorrect pricing on ebay. I will have one and can't wait to play with the mechanical bits.

  7. I only have one Remington but it's not nearly as nice as this one! I'm jealous! ;u)

  8. @Cameron: It has a regular Roman typeface; I hope I didn't mess with the aspect ratios while resizing it! But you can click on it to see it in the original. And it is rather clear and very readable nevertheless :)

    @Ted: I figured as much about the leather handles; I've only seen a few of these '30s Remingtons in the wild, but all have had very worn/ missing handles. Glad to have a Remington at last, although I'm still lusting after that Art Gothic... :)

    @Duffy Moon: Nothing to it, really. This looked very nice when I picked it up, and I just wiped it briskly with a dry cloth to clean off dust and shine it up a bit without ruining the decal (lesson learned on another machine...). Didn't use any liquids/ oils/ waxes at all; didn't need it.

    @Richard: Noiseless, eh? I guess we'll have to see if one of those finds its way here :-)

    @notagain: With your luck, you will find one very soon!

    @Dwayne: The problem with these Remingtons, at least for us typeface aficionados, is that they are almost all Roman/ pica. However, you should check out Ted Munk's Jake, a Remie Scout with an Art Gothic typeface to die for... that'll get you hunting for sure!

    @wordrebel: Just a stroke of luck; and being in the right place at the right time! It's very exciting to find something so well-preserved in the wild.

  9. It's great to see those typebars appear out of nowhere to travel almost 180 degrees before they hit the page. My Remette is the same.
    Nice pick-up, Adwoa! Enjoy it!

  10. I love the condition of your Junior - very nice. I think the mechanism on these typers is quite good. The Rem Rand I got is a little similar but much later. Great score! And it types nice and neat and straight.

  11. What a great wirte-up. When I read "I thought it was the best find of the day, although" and then the 2 photos came, I thought "Hey! What about my Hermes 3000?" and when I read the next page, I really had to laugh. :)

  12. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! I've been pining for a Remington lately, for not good reason, but your immaculate photos have made me put one on the list for sure!

  13. Amazing find and great write-up!

    I hope I won't bore you with a little more on dead keys for accents. There are two ways that these keys can work.

    Either they type at the typing point, in which case you must type the accent first and then the letter. This is how my 1930s Continental Wanderer works. (From your photos, it appears your Junior does as well.)

    Or they can be cantilevered to type one space to the left of the typing point. This way, you type the letter first, and then add the accent. This is how my 1923 Remington No. 1 portable works.

    The difference can be expressed as a variation on an age-old philosophical question: which comes first the accent or the letter?


  14. @teeritz: I used to want a Remette, but this has certainly quelled that hankering. I guess I've been after a Remington portable for a while, come to think of it...

    @rino: Well, you told me in a letter once that I needed a Remington and as you can see I took your advice to heart!

    @maschinengeschrieben: I thought you might find that amusing :-)

    @rad-tastic: They are not rare (especially where you are), but getting one in good condition makes all the difference.

    @rn: Indeed, the accent types at the typing point, so like the first option you mentioned. I've never seen the mechanism you describe second, but it sounds quite intriguing and advanced as well.

  15. Adwoa: Thanks for your response on the question of accent keys. I'm wondering: how does a person who grew up speaking a language that employs accents think about those accents? Are they add-ons to the letter? Or are the accents primary and the letter secondary. If they are add-ons, the cantilevered approach is more intuitive. If they are primary, then the mechanism of your Jr. is more natural. It's also possible, of course, that the accents and letters are melded so seemlessly that any attempt to separate them is artificial.


  16. Rob: I didn't grow up speaking a language that has accents... unless there are some in English I don't know about (and that haven't been borrowed from French).

    But from what I know about French and Italian, accents are not necessary so much for letters as words. They are sometimes there to guide how the word should be pronounced, but also to differentiate words that are spelled the same but have drastically different meanings ("ou" can mean "or" or "where", "mais" can mean "but" or "corn", etc). And of course they are indispensable for conjugations - forming past tenses in French. So, without an accent in the right place, your sentence may - and in most cases will - lose most of the meaning you intended. Of course, all of the letters that are regularly accented (a, e, i, o, u) also exist in the language in unaccented form, which is the source of confusion. So - accents are not inseparable from the letters, but they are certainly inseparable from words!

  17. Decades back, some English words did have accents--for instance, in some old books hotel was spelled hôtel, and I recall seeing rôle as well. I have no idea why. I get your point about accents being crucial for words. Which is why I'm wondering what's more intuitive for someone writing in French or Spanish--typing the accent before the letter or the letter before the accent.

  18. In your list of absent features, you chose not to mention that the platen roller only has one knob, which was conspicuous from the photos. Was that intentional? I've seen few typewriters with only one knob like that. (Incidentally, that's a very beautiful specimen you acquired. Congratulations!)


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