Spring Cleaning: Remington 5 and a Freebie

Moe’s friend Tim has some wonderful old typewriters.  I cleaned up a couple of his beauties a while back. Tim called me on the phone to thank me – such a super nice guy.  He’s a semi-retired newspaper reporter.  He recalls an article about typewriters that he wrote in the late 1990s or early 2000s.  He said it was one of his most heavily commented upon articles.  He’s going to try to dig it up for me.

Tim has this gorgeous Remington 5 which needed a dusting and a new ribbon, so I brought it home for a few days.

I took the top cover off – two screws in the front and two screws in the back.  I cleaned and polished the cover.


It was a beautiful day on Saturday, so I worked out on the back patio. Everything is in bloom right now: lavender, lilacs, geraniums, anonymous blue flowers:

DSC03853 - Copy

Cleaning the type slugs was very easy. With the cover removed, the type bars are completely exposed.  They lie flat, making it easy to scoot a towel under them. I draped the machine and got to work with a tooth brush and mineral spirits.


The red accent pieces like the paper scale and red keys are so attractive.



“Self Starter” is a key that tabs in five spaces – for indenting paragraphs.



The feet are in very bad shape.  If I owned this one, I would probably buy or make a new set.  It’s a rather low-slung machine and could probably use the extra clearance.

This Remington 5 is such a fine typer. It’s got a big, beautiful typeface:


I don’t think I held onto this one long enough – I didn’t have much time to play with it and do comparisons with other typewriters in the house.  I hope that one day another Remington portable (a good junker) comes to stay for a visit.


Oh, you beautiful thing.  It is high time I returned you to Tim’s loving embrace.

Moe called me last night and left a message.  A hauler she works with had been cleaning out a house and found a typewriter.  It was jammed, so he doused it with oil.  It was still jammed so he was going to throw it out, but Moe stopped him.  The typewriter was really broken, so she was leaving it outside her shop and I could pick it up any time – it was FREE if I wanted it for parts or whatever.

I swung by Moe’s this morning to drop the Remington off at Moe’s for Tim to pick up.  I took a look at my FREE typewriter.




Wow.  I brought it home, and it is currently sitting on my kitchen counter dripping oil. It’s comically greasy.

I can’t get the carriage to move, even when I try to disengage the carriage centering lever.



The top back panel is missing.  Perhaps someone tried to repair it at some time?

I think I have several pleasant hours of tinkering ahead of me this weekend.

24 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning: Remington 5 and a Freebie

  1. huh.. all but 9 of the tabulator pins are punched hard out and the tab set/clear is all bent up. I’ll wager the carriage will move if you push in all those tabulator pins by hand and ensure the jammed tabsetter is unjammed.. (:

    Looks like just your sort of machine!


    • Reverend, I think you may be onto something. The tab setting and clearing mechanism is mangled. I am going to get that straightened out and see if I can get that carriage moving.


  2. What a treat, seeing that Remington all shined up. I look forward to seeing what comes of your tinkering on the forlorn freebie. Generally I think of SCMs as fairly indestructible. I do wonder what this one has been through.


  3. Just stumbled on this blog-looking forward to reading it as my Grandfather just brought us a couple of my late grandmother’s typewriters, and… HIS GRANDFATHER’s 1927 Remington portable model 2 (I think) other than a musty smell (which I’m trying to work on) it seems to be in perfect working order! So excited to get a new ribbon for it, and trying to get my grandmother’s working too.


  4. Tyler Anderson says:

    Wow. That Clipper looks like it went through the wringer a bit. It’s sure to have an interesting story arc chart.

    I love the look of the Remington 5. Art Deco is my favorite aesthetic period, and this is one of the only machines that tried to truly go with it. I just dont like the geared typebar mechanism all that much, as it feels off to me


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