Monday, November 27, 2017

A magnificent Remington 3

On this beautiful evening in Cincinnati, I stopped to pick up the latest machines to be serviced at Urban Legend Typewriters.

Here's a nice two-tone green Remington no. 3 portable:

But what's this?

No color selector lever and no black and red dots on the indicator?

The notches on the end of the platen seem very big ... and the line spacing knob won't move at all.

Have you guessed yet? This is a "Magnatype" machine, with huge 6-pitch type (6 characters per inch).

Such a typewriter can't handle a 2-color ribbon; the top of each character would be black and the bottom would be red. It also has to advance the paper a lot for each line, so the normal line spacing has been disabled. This is an attractive typeface that could have been used for typing easily legible speeches, texts for young children who were learning to read, or signs and labels.

A final interesting detail is the bright gold of the pattern on the cloth that covers the base of the machine, which was revealed when some old rubber cracked away. This must have looked spectacular when the typewriter was new, in 1931.


  1. W o W <3
    It's said typewriters with huge typefaces were specially designed for writing politicians' speeches, in order to make them easier to read...

  2. That's awesome! I would love to replace my SG3 with a 6 cpi portable.

  3. What a beauty.

    I missed out on a Model 5 with those monster slugs, back in 2009. One of the great disappointments in my burgeoning collection of Remingtons. Imagine doing NaNoWriMo in 6-point type!

    1. That would be fun. You'd generate a nice pile of sheets!

  4. Hey, look - Coalhopper's alive! :D
    That gold pattern in the cloth is interesting - I've never seen that before.

    1. It makes me wonder whether the pattern is there on many Remington portables, and I just haven't noticed it because it's so dirty and faded.