Sunday, 7 July 2013

Two Remingtons


Most weekday classified advertisements are court notices or are for “adult services”. Occasionally, hidden in the thin columns of tiny type is something of interest under the “FOR SALE UNDER $100” heading:

TYPEWRITER Remington 1960 Portable Travel Riter de Luxe

Late on the afternoon of the day the newspaper was published, I rang the phone number. No, no – no one else has rung. Yes, yes – it’s still available. Would you like to see it? Oh, and there’s another typewriter here, too, you might be interested in. Yes, this one’s an interesting one. A Remington Portable. Oh, yes – it’s in very nice condition. Saturday? Would that work for you? Eleven o’clock?

This was Tuesday. I waited. Wondered. Thought someone else might ring up and that it might not be available by Saturday. My fears weren’t warranted, though. I was the only one who ever called.

After a pleasant and productive meeting with an ATM on Friday evening, I went out to see the typewriters on Saturday morning. I was welcomed in and taken up a flight of stairs. In a little study two typewriters sat on a desk, one with my name on a piece of paper rolled in the platen.

There was the one which was advertised. The Remington Travel-Riter Deluxe. Pretty good nick, a few scratches in the paint. And then there was the Remington Portable #2. In a case with a bit of rust and some of that alluring, old typewriter charm.

“Now I’ve got a computer I don’t really need these,” I’m told. “The older one belonged to my mother-in-law, the newer one was mine. It’s seen many, many miles; I wrote a lot of things on it.”

Removing lots of paragraphs of purple prose and cutting to the chase, if I may, I paid a very fair price and was shown out. Both parties very pleased with the result. Downsizing older couple had got rid of two old typewriters they didn’t need; teenage typewriter collector had bought two typewriters he didn’t need but liked a lot.


The Travel-Riter had an unfortunate case of flattened feed roller. Some fatherly assistance and shed engineering produced a suitable replacement. The only other “issue” with the machine now is the ‘d’ type slug. The soldering is a bit dodgy, meaning the alignment’s a bit out. If I find the courage one day required to put a soldering iron anywhere near the typewriter, I might fix it.

I have always fancied this era Remington just because I like the look of them. Ideally, I’d have a Remington International, an absolutely huge thing of a typewriter, but with the thought of space (and the sanity of one’s parents) in mind I have happily settled with the Travel-Riter.

As the typewriter only came with one ribbon “top”, I’m also on the lookout for one required as a part of Remington’s proprietary ribbon system. If you have a spare you’re willing to part with, I’d love to hear from you. 



The Remington Portable #2 was in great shape. Ironically, perhaps, the feed rollers on this much older machine were fine. [Insert obligatory comment here about how they don’t make things like they used to.]

It types extraordinarily well, and the only very minor issues are cosmetic. This one’s well on its way to becoming one of my favourites.





  1. The Remington 2 looks great! However, that version of the Travel-Riter, I have no passion for what-so-ever.

  2. Congratulation on your nice finds. The Remington 2 especially.

  3. Stories like this are fuel to my typewriter fire. If you ever find an extra carriage return lever that'd fit your Portable #2 (and I believe a Portable #5), perhaps in the newspaper classifieds, under a friend's sofa or in the nest of a colour-blind bower bird, please let me know.