In our dining room, we have a framed artifact from a simpler time.
This is Old Pinkie. It started out as a Halloween costume and was worn every day for several months in 2005/2006. Here is Old Pinkie in late December 2005.
It was about 50 degrees and foggy, so my daughter is wearing Old Pinkie and flip flops. Contrary to the opinion of every grandmother out there, going coatless and wearing the same ballerina costume every day are not life or death situations.
We framed Old Pinkie because it serves as a reminder of the limits of power when faced with a wily, tenacious, and vocal adversary.
Welp, there’s a new Old Pinkie in town: a 1956 Smith-Corona Silent Super, serial number 5T 416581X.
Last week both my husband and my daughter were out of town, so I had the whole house to myself for a few days.
I conducted a science experiment in the garage. More about that in a future post.
I thought that having the run of the place was going to be a lot more fun than it was, but I was at loose ends without the customary structure to my days. I binged-watched Russian Doll, finished off a bag of marshmallows for dinner, and trolled eBay.
I found an Art Nouveau beast at eBay that I really, really wanted, so I put it on my Christmas wish list.
Also on eBay, I found this SC Silent Super that I impulsively, guiltily bought. What a honey. This is my kind of typewriter: one that looks like it will involve many pleasant hours of tinkering and cleaning.
It came with a “Holiday” case:
I had no idea you could remove the metal fastening frame from the case, but you just push the frame release lever to the right and lift it out. This is going to make cleaning so much easier.
Here’s a Godfrey’s Fix-it Shop (Seattle, WA) price list from September 1969:
It looks like rotisserie repair was more lucrative than typewriter repair at that time.
The typewriter itself was impressively dirty, full of orange gunk and hair. Touching it left me sticky and hairy.
The drawstring was snapped and twisted around the mainspring.
None of the keys moved initially, but I got the letter T to type. I pulled left on the carriage to see if the escapement would advance, but no go.
Underneath, all the dogs and rockers and wheels and springs and whatnot were paralyzed in orange congealed goo – perhaps this typewriter was the victim of WD40?
I did a quick wipe down with mineral spirits and manually worked the escapement until it was springy and responsive. The carriage began to advance when I hammered the letter T.
This Old Pinkie is going to be just fine. I have another Silent Super to refer to if I run into problems:
To be continued.
8 thoughts on “Old Pinkie the Smith-Corona Silent Super”
Wow, Godfrey’s sure claimed to be able to fix a lot of things.
That Excelsior has been on offer for several years now, I think! I imagine they would consider a seriously lower offer.
Godfrey had even more items listed on the flipside of his flyer:
Benevolent cleaning along with repairing broken parts and replacing worn-out bits go with owning typewriters. Sometimes the crusty machines are the most fun.
These crusty ones are my very favorites – they have “potential” written all over them.
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Ohyeah, I can see how this is right up your alley! Boy, new Old Pinky is gonna really enjoy what’s coming… 😀
The pressure is off when I clean and tinker with very beat up typewriters because I can’t make them any worse – I think. 😀
Just think if we could still get things repaired; and at those prices!
I’m anxious to see your restoration of pinky.
That fix-it menu is pretty amazing in range. Nowadays we just pitch broken things because it’s cheaper and more convenient to buy new.
Old Pinkie is coming along great – I just need to address some cosmetic concerns.