I was leaving on vacation a couple weeks ago, but I couldn’t resist the siren call of a broken electric typewriter at Moe’s shop. While I supposed to be packing, I was instead fooling around with this misbehaving Smith-Corona Electra 210:
When the power was turned on, the typewriter mysteriously typed all by itself, hitting “5” repeatedly. “555” is not exactly the mark of the beast, but the typewriter was seemingly possessed:
I took off the bottom of the typewriter and blew out dust and etc from inside the machine:
You can see that the lever for “5” is partially engaged and I found the lever connections very gummy. I cleaned carefully with mineral spirits:
I flipped the machine over, plugged it back in, and turned the power on. No automatic “5” typing! I did some tentative pecking and all seemed well until I hit the “h” key and the typewriter went bananas with a repeating “h” key. I ended up turning it off, unplugging it, flipping it over, and cleaning it a few times as random keys would get stuck. Eventually everything was freed up and the typewriter was working like a charm.
This is such a pleasant machine to use, fairly quiet for an electric.
Joe Van Cleave recently posted a really good video comparing a Smith-Corona Galaxy 12 with the electric Smith-Corona Coronet Automatic 12:
I have enjoyed Joe’s typewriter video series very much.
I may end up buying the Electra 210 from Moe and donating it to The Shop at Flywheel Press. It could replace a wonderful but rather delicate electric Penncrest. That poor dear has sprung clevises (AKA “link springs”) that have sprung so many times that they can’t withstand the onslaught of kid fingers after re-attachment. The little kids have a tendency to push several keys all at once and *POP* goes the clevises.
This Penncrest should probably be an adult-only typewriter.
After I returned from vacation last week, I swung by The Shop at Flywheel Press to do typewriter tune-up. The typewriters there had been through several summer kids camps and had a few events in front of them.
I brought my tub of cleaning and repair materials and got most of the typewriters back on their feet. Minor ribbon issues and engaged carriage locks seem to be the most common problems.
That wide carriage Olympia SM3 came home with me since the space bar was unresponsive and the vertical text alignment very off.
I am amazed that repairs such as this duct-tape clevis repair on a SCM Galaxie have withstood the slings and arrows of kid camps.
Yay, duct tape!