Ok, I admit it. I finally met the Checkwriter I couldn’t resist. As a thrift-huntin’ typewriter collector, I occasionally see a Paymaster Checkwriter sitting in the same general area that typewriters are stashed. Although always intrigued and tempted by these neat very mono-purpose printing machines, I’ve always held back on buying one (and you do only need one, if you need any at all) mainly because they are invariably priced much higher than typewriters, and also because every one I’ve seen up until now has been inked with a messy pad.
The Series 8000 Ribbon-Writer however, as the name suggests, is inked with a ribbon, just like a typewriter. But it ain’t no typewriter ribbon in there – the Ribbon-Writer takes a ribbon nearly 4 inches wide. That ribbon spool makes the ribbons on old upstroke typewriters look wee and dinky.
The ribbon was just one major reason why I picked this particular one as my personal checkwriter, though. The condition is beautiful and it functions perfectly. I’ve been keeping an eye on this one in the Deseret Collectibles case for weeks, as it started out priced at $50, and grew more tempted as the price kept dropping without any buyers. When the price tag hit $10, I finally dropped the dime. Another important consideration to check before buying: some of these machines have specially-ordered impression plates that emboss the name of the company that owned it on your checks. You want to make a test print before buying to see what gets printed. If you’re gonna use it, make sure it just prints the generic “The Sum”.
While my original impression was that the two fractional characters when typed together (similar to the smiley face on GP “Sunshine Script” elements) made a logo that looked like the Union 76 oil company logo, the Professor remarked that it looks more like a logo that was commonly used during the USA Bicentennial celebrations of 1976, and I agree. Perhaps this strange element was a special run for the ’76 celebrations, to capitalize on American fervor for colonial-style stuff during that year or so? The typeface’s lowercase does look very German Fraktur-like, while the uppercase seems more English-language calligraphic in style, and more readable than true Fraktur. Anyone have any experience with this typeface/ball care to comment?
And, in other Typewriter Database news, there is now a page for Xerox – culled from product introduction dates mentioned in a 1987 Xerox Factbook. All you Memorywriter wedge owners now have *something* to go by, which is better than what we had, which was *nothing at all*. :D
A Typecast Blog by The Right Reverend Theodore Munk