Thursday, 17 January 2013

Corona 3 with some [recent] history


‘I think I probably have a "spare parts" Corona 3 here that you're welcome to have and tinker with. It's not working, but I think can be made to work with some effort,’ said Robert Messenger in an email to me. And how I was I going to say no? Another project on the horizon, right after I had embarked on the Hermes 3000s? It was irresistible, the same word I used to describe the Corona 3 in that same email conversation.


Let’s say at this point my mother wasn’t too pleased.

“What do you mean another typewriter?”

“Oh, this one’s very small, I can assure you. It’s a good one.”

“That’s what you say about all of them, Jasper.”

“But this one’s a really good one, and its small.”

So, to cut the story to its bare minimum, I got it into the house. And what do you know? My mother actually liked the look of it, which is quite a change. She recognised it, too, from Mr Messenger’s red Corona that appeared on the front page of The Canberra Times

Image (15)

But it isn’t just a spare parts Corona 3, that’s for sure. It has a few connexions within the Typosphere already. Namely with Mr Robert Messenger and Mr Richard Polt and Mr Polt and his Moya 1 typewriter.

On the 14 March 2011, Mr Messenger blogged on oz.Typewriter that there was a golden opportunity to buy a piece of typewriter history. A Moya 1 had come up for sale in New Zealand for $US140, a bargain price.

Mr Messenger wrote:
”It seems a remarkable coincidence that less than three days after an Imperial Model B was sold on Australian eBay for $1575 ($US1587 at today's exchange rates), I should spot the Imperial's forerunner, a Moya 1, listed in an online auction at an equally ridiculous price - except in this case, at what strikes me as a ridiculously low price.

”And the seller's starting price (no bids had been made at the time of writing this) for a package of three typewriters - the Moya 1, a Corona 3 (which looks to be in reasonably good shape) and a Royal 10 (ditto)- is a mere $NS190. That's about $US140 at today's  exchange rates.”


Mr Polt expressed interest, and eventually won the auction. The Moya 1 was then posted to Mr Polt, while the Corona 3 was then posted to Mr Messenger as a thank-you from Mr Polt. But I haven’t been informed about the fate of the Royal 10. The Moya has been most beautifully restored by Mr Polt, and a picture of the restored machine is located here. But, as Mr Messenger is currently on a down-sizing mission, and there are a few working Corona 3s in his collection, one can assume I was given in it for a project and so it was kept within the bounds of the Typosphere.

But it was originally bought in Australia, as you can see in the label underneath the carriage below:


We can safely say that this typewriter has been around. Bought in Australia, sold in New Zealand, sent back to Australia, and then sent across a few more suburbs.

At the moment it looks fantastic. Cosmetically it’s good, but mechanically, the carriage isn’t working. At times it slides freely from side to side, while at other times one must use the carriage release lever. A makeshift draw-band hangs in a disturbing angle out to the back and the ribbon advance/carriage advance mechanism isn’t quite shot, but it isn’t in a good way. And I’m sure eagle-eyed readers will have noticed the backspace key is missing – I still have it in a plastic bag, though. Whatever is really wrong with it, it will take a fair bit of effort in getting it to work again, but for a Corona 3, I think that it’s worth it.





Serial number: 598784, which dates to late 1924.


  1. Well, Jasper. Guess what...

    I've been in contact with one of the former McDougall's mechanics lately. They probably read your blog, and might wander on by and chat later.

    1. Would you get a load of that. The typewriter world isn't necessarily small, but it is very well connected to itself, isn't it? That's fantastic.

  2. Looks good. I'm glad to have a little indirect connection to you.

    1. I'm glad to have a little indirect connexion, as well.