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Keygen Design Review 2006 Portable

Not a true portable but a "luggable" typewriter, this simplified writing machine is not to be confused with the later Remington Junior portable. This original Remington Junior has three banks of keys, and two shift keys only on the left. "It is smaller, it is lighter, it is designed for the simpler uses," says a 1915 ad. This model was not a market success, and its production was complicated by the disruptions of the First World War. We do not have firm data on production numbers.

Keygen Design Review 2006 Portable

This typewriter was a clone of the Blickensderfer #5, which came on the market around 1895. Remington bought the Blickensderfer tools and dies from the Roberts Typewriter Company in 1926. (Roberts had bought Blick out in 1919 but only made the Blick 90, a typebar portable designed by Lyman Roberts and licensed to Blickensderfer for manufacture.) Most Rem-Blicks had a QWERTY keyboard, but a few specimens resurrected Blickensderfer's favored "Scientific" keyboard (with DHIATENSOR on the bottom row). A less-common name variant, used in Britain, is Baby Rem. An even rarer name variant is S. P. Blick (for "Smith Premier"), used in France and possibly elsewhere. The Rem-Blick was advertised by Sears in 1929 under the Rem-Blick name for $22.50, and in 1930 under the name "The Blick" for $19.75. The earliest specimen known to me, KM80102, dates from February 1928, but Remington records state that the machine was first manufactured in December 1927. June 1928 was apparently the peak of production; it is the only month in which I know that over 1000 machines were made (at least 1665). At least 615 machines were made in September 1928, but I have heard of only two machines produced after that time: Baby Rem KD90003 (September 1929) and Rem-Blick KC90023 (October 1929). It is possible that after September 1928, Remington manufactured only a handful of Rem-Blicks per month, if there was a special request or need. This was the factory's practice with some other models as well.

This was one of the most successful Remington portables, both commercially and aesthetically. Its distinctive design feature is the rounded panel above the keyboard, accented with a horizontal ridge that makes a tasteful V at its very front. N13500-N127879 are the serial numbers in Remington's official records, but the earliest machine reported to me is N10085; it seems plausible that serials started at N10000.

This curious typewriter is virtually identical to the noiseless #7, mechanically. The design looks like a #7 with angular, faceted surfaces. The #8 is much beefier than the #7 and has an extra-wide carriage, accepting paper 11.25" wide. Remington called it the "desk model," and said it was for "the typewriter user for whom a portable is too small and a large machine too expensive." But it is still light enough to be carried, and comes in a case with handle. For this reason, and because it is essentially a portable mechanism in an office-sized body, I include it on this page. Its price was originally $105, reduced to $79.50 by 1935. In 1940 the cash price was still $79.50; installment price was $84.50. According to Remington records, triple line spacing was introduced with E17631 (Feb. 1933), but E12835 (Oct. 1932) in a collector's hands already has this feature. A touch regulator was introduced with E37745 (Apr. 1938). Name variants: Monarch Noiseless 8, Smith Premier No. 8, Smith Premier Noiseless 81. Usually this typewriter has an embossed "Remington" name on its paper table, but the paper table may also have a "Remington Noiseless" decal. For more information about this machine, follow this link.

This typewriter is mechanically the same as the boxy Model 5, but its body looks quite different: it is an example of the streamlined industrial design of the later Art Deco, or Art Moderne, period. In general, typewriter manufacturers didn't go very far in this trend that was taking other office and kitchen appliances by storm. But the #5 is a tasteful, striking example of typewriter streamlining. The shape was probably created by noted designer Oscar Bruno Bach (to judge from references in a 1940 Time magazine on Bach and his 1957 New York Times obituary, provided to me by Ed Neuert). A company pamphlet says, "The modern attractive lines of this new Remington brings [sic] 20th Century style and grace to the world's most famous portable typewriter ... make it a desirable addition to any home surrounding. Note the big, massive sturdiness of this new Remington Self-starter portable, its graceful lines and glistening finish." The scale is red on most specimens, but black on some. An unusual variation has tan or black paint and a color-coded keyboard for teaching touch typing; another unusual paint treatment is dark and light maroon. It sold for $49.50 when introduced. Early specimens have the traditional "Remington" decal instead of the Deco lettering shown here. This machine is essentially the same as the later version with a touch regulator and the still later Remington Standard Model 5 and Deluxe Model 5. The Streamliner of 1941 is also quite similar to the streamlined #5. Name variants: Monarch 5, Remington Portable Super Model, Smith Premier Portable Model 35. British name variant: Remington Victor S Portable.

This is like the streamlined #5 but includes a tabulator and a couple of other refinements, such as both upper and lower ruled tab bars on the rear of the machine. It is marked "Remington Portable Model 5T." Essentially, this machine is the 5T in a streamlined style (this may explain the designation "5T-SS"). The specimen on the left has a German keyboard (courtesy of Phil Garr). On the right is a European name variant, the Smith Premier Portable Model 35T (serial number V800428, courtesy of Flip Woltering.) The Remington Victor T portable (see foreign variants) is the same machine with a different serial number range. Remington records include this statement on the T-SS serial number page: "'BT' prefix means foreign model sold to some extent in domestic field December, 1940."

The Pioneer name was apparently reserved for embarrassingly basic typewriters. The first type has a sheet-metal body painted in wrinkle paint, and a three-and-a-half-row keyboard that it shares with the Remington 3B, with shift key only on the left. These machines lack even a carriage return lever -- you have to turn the platen knob and pull the platen by the knob. Their price was $19.95, $21.45 with case. Mark Adams writes, "The Monarch Pioneer does not have simply the same keyboard as the 3B, but pretty much the same internal workings. The Monarch Pioneer is a vastly reduced 3B, featurewise. On the 3B, the typebars rest in an elevated position; on the Monarch Pioneer, a lower position. My guess is that the 3B, despite having fewer features, was not a profitable machine, as it contained an amount of material equivalent to the more expensive models. The Monarch Pioneer is a lighter portable and likely a better design for a budget machine, in terms of materials used." 350c69d7ab


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