To Type, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth...

A man of the cloth and the steel he wields

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  1. Good rescue job!

    Yeah, these can be good typewriters when they’re in top condition, and also nice and quiet if the rubber is good. Except I still hate their ratchety carriage return.

    1. yes, I do like the sound it makes. in fact, it’s very close in action and sound to my Signature 440T, which I like very much. The carriage return lever seems similar in design to the one on my Tower Chieftain III, which is.. well, adequate, and better than the vestigal ones that usually come on metal-hulled Skyriters, but certainly hinkily designed. I still would rate the Brother lever as far better.

      1. Also, the Brother prints a much cleaner line. What is it about Smith-Corona elite typeface machines that makes them looks so spastic and uneven?

      2. Linda Riesenberg

        Great website! I just picked up a nice 440T from a Goodwill in a neighboring town to use in my high school classroom. To me, typewriters are the original technology–other than a pencil–and I love typing! I wonder if you would be able to suggest a decent ribbon supplier for this model of Smith Corona. Thanks, Linda

        1. Locally, you may be able to find ribbons at Staples or other office supply stores, check your yellow pages and call around the older stationery stores – they sometimes have old NOS (new-old-stock) cotton and silk ribbons from the 60’s/70’s that still work fine.

          Other than local, you can get cheap chinese-made ribbons on ebay that will work (nylon, usually), or you can call BACO Ribbon & Supply and they can hook you up with many kinds of ribbons, even in colors (:

          http://www.yellowpages.com/ballwin-mo/mip/baco-ribbon-supply-3183212

          1. Linda Riesenberg

            Thank you!

  2. I like those. they seem to hold up better than they ought to

  3. That typewriter looks great. It’s got to feel good to bring a typer back from the dead, even if you did have to get out the big guns. I have what sounds like a typical “Frozen Facit” case coming from an eBay seller, and I hope I have the same level of success but I’d better stock up on carb cleaner and PB Blaster.

    1. Yep, the carb cleaner/PB is the best solution I’ve found so far for clearing out ancient shellacked stickiness in a typebasket. just make sure to cover up plastic/rubber bits before blasting. I’m not sure if it would mark/melt those things, but I’d hate to find out the answer was “yes”. :D

  4. Nice work on the Corsair.

    I never had one, but it is nice to know they are fine machines in case I come across one. Thrift shops around here generally don’t have any typewriters, but lo & behoild, the local GW did have one wedge and a Sears portable electric the week between Christmas and New Year.

    1. Heh, I heard about your Christmas sighting from your post. I wonder if FL GW’s sell their good stuff via shopgoodwill.com? Seems odd that there would be such a dearth of cameras/typers in a state with such a high retired population.

  5. Although the typewriter I learned on was my mother’s Hermes 3000, the first typewriter that I owned, for my on self, was one of these pastel blue Corsairs. Yes, it was lightweight and skittery and it felt like it was all plastic, but I loved it with a passion. Even with a small collection of portable Remingtons, I occasionally get a nostalgic urge to add another Corsair to the stable.

    I used a coarse-woven place mat under mine, to keep it from dancing across my desktop. But, we have awesome, sound-deadening typewriter pads, today. That would be my suggestion, in addition to using your new acquisition in good health. You mentioned that it is fast, but I also recall them as not being terribly noisy. For the price, it’s not like you should be afraid to take it out in public.

  6. I just bought one of these from a junk shop. I got her cleaned up and moving fine, and then refreshed the platen since the paper was slipping (I took a long shot and used a rubberized spray, figuring I could still remove all the rubber and replace with a rubber hose, lo and behold it seems to have worked). However, when I got everything back together again, the paper table seems to have shifted down, which blocks the carriage movement. I can physically lift the table back where it should be, and everything moves along fine for a bit, until it falls back into the wrong position.

    I’ve been scouring google for weeks looking for each problem as it comes up (which has been a serious help for fixing bent keys and such), and this is the most recent blog post I’ve seen on these machines, so I thought I’d take a chance and see if you had any idea what it is I’m missing. Is there a screw back there that fell out? Does the paper table sit on something that keeps it in place that I didn’t reseat correctly when I replace the patten? Any advice you can give would be much appreciated.

    1. I’ve gotten 2 of these in the past year, but never had to remove the paper table, so I can’t be very helpful. Unfortunately, both have found new homes, so I can’t refer to one to check for a solution. (:

      1. Sigh. Thanks anyway. I will figure this out. It’s just too adorable to not get working.

        1. good luck – I do like these models a lot – they’re worth the effort (:

          1. I figured it out! In case anyone ends up here with the same problem (google might find my first comment . . . ) I wasn’t getting the paper table reseated correctly.

            Once the platen is removed, you can see that the paper table is resting on a metal prong through a rectangular hole in the table. Well, there are TWO prongs. One should support the top of that rectangular space (the paper table has supports on the back for this purpose, and you will see the prong through that hole), and the lower prong you shouldn’t be able to see. It supports the bottom of that rectangle from the back. When I removed the platen to refinish it, the paper table must’ve pulled away from those support prongs and shifted downwards, so that both support prongs were sticking through the rectangular hole in the table when it settled.

            It took a little bit of steady pressure to get it back where it should be, but everything is rosy now.

  7. Excellent work! Thanks for letting us know the solution (:

  8. I recently stumbled across your website. Great find and great work!!! I have never used a typewriter personally however my fiancé and I are in the process of preparing our wedding invitations and thought it would be great for addressing envelopes etc.

    We found a Smith Corona Corsair made in England (I don’t believe it is the Deluxe version) however the ribbon is completely dead. Realizing that ribbons/spools that fit this model are difficult to come by, did some searching around and discovered that you can rewind a new ribbon on old spools. So we are all set !!!!

    Not quite….. I tried pulling out the old spools but they appear to be firmly fixed in place. There are two screws in the centre of the spools? I searched around online and people with similar models say that you should just pull at the spools and they should come out. I am just a little nervous as I don’t want to break it.

    Can anyone help me out here?

    1. I don’t recall the spools being held on by anything in particular on any example I’ve seen. They should just pull off, although they can sometimes be tight. Don’t mess with the thing that looks like a screw slot. :D

  9. I am curious to know what the difference with this model is, I see some with red Keys?

  10. Do you have any leads on where someone might find some spare internal parts for a Corsair these days?

    I just inherited one that’s in pretty good condition. I’ve been slowly taking small sections of it apart to figure out the cause of some of its quirks and found out that one of the catches for the gear beneath the left ink spool is broken, which is causing the ribbon bunch up after prolonged use.

    It’s a long shot, but do you have any suggestions as to where I might look?

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