This new-to-me American Writing Machine Company Century 10 is an eBay impulse buy with free shipping. I had admired Scott K’s Remington J from afar and when I saw the J’s froggy-eyed cousin online, I jumped on it. Very out of character. I think that the solvents I have been recently using in typewriter clean-up have affected my self-restraint. The solvents may also be opening doors of perception that are better left closed.
1919 American Writing Machine Company Century 10
serial number: HS90097
So my petite 17 lb sorta-portable has arrived from eBay in one piece. The seller packed it beautifully. The typewriter even sort of types a little – a bit arthritic, but game.
Such an old weirdy – why are the ribbon spools tilted like the bulging eyes of Keroppi?
This is my oldest typewriter (my Oliver No. 9 is from 1921). Of note: the Century 10 Richard Polt mentions on his collection page has a serial number of HS90099 – he dates it from June of 1919 (that’s pretty specific). It sounds like my Century 10 (serial number HS90097) was two ahead of his on the assembly line on that June day in 1919.
The typewriter is missing the paper table which would have had a huge Century 10 decal, but overall she seems pretty much intact with all her weirdy parts. Fortunately there is very little rust, just a thick layer of dusty, greasy grime that has undoubtedly protected her for many years.
I think it was Stan Lee – or Voltaire – who said that with great power comes great responsibility. I feel the weight of responsibility to do my best by Old Weirdy and do no harm. I plan to clean her gently and get her running and admire her strange froggy stare.