Thrift Gods Deliver Instant Karma: 1986 Canon Typestar 4 Typewriter

Amazing. A week and a day ago I mailed off my Sharp PA-1050 to C. A. Bennett (because she was having hella bad luck getting a working Thermal Mini-Wedge, and everyone should enjoy a Mini-Wedge!), and yesterday it showed up over there safely. A curious writer satisfied, and me now with a free slot on the shelf to fill up with a TypeStar. I’ve not seen any of those sweet little Canons in like 2 years, but I had faith that the Good Karma would prod the Thrift Gods into quick action, and I was not wrong…

well, at $17.99 maybe a bit more than I’d normally slap down on a Mini-Wedgie, but what the heck, I’m in a receptive mood…

yeah, really love these cases, plenty of room for a small stack of precious A4 Thermal Paper and the user manual.

Oh, I guess the carrying case was optional.

Canon Typestar 4 Typewriter User’s Manual (1986)

Updated: October 25, 2018 — 10:06 pm


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  1. Soooooo cool!!! I’m telling ya, it’s amazing what can happen for you when you’re a nice person, and you are definitely a nice person! Thanks again, and I’m so glad you got to get the new toy you were hoping for!! Blessing abound!! :-)

  2. Wonderful, Ted! As you know I have/love a number of Japanese siblings of the Typestar series. I also bought a Typestar 6 for the optional case which none of mine have. Sally it doesn’t fit, and I deduced that the body of mine matches the 7 but not the 6. Now I see that your 4 also appears to have the same body as my CanoWord PEN24 and 24Es. One day I’ll figure it out and find one. :-) Great score and nice karma story!

  3. That’s a great find, Ted! I had a love/hate relationship with a Typestar back in my college days. I couldn’t wait to give it the boot when Dad offered me his old 286 and a printer. Now I kinda wish I would have kept it. Enjoy your new thermo-fantastic friend!

  4. Congratulations on the neat find. I’ve not seen many thermal wedges. I shy away from thermal due to the special paper needed as well as the longevity of the imprint. Although the few I have seen I really liked the quiet. Maybe I need to give one a try.

  5. Awesome Ted! A day after I packaged up a Corona flattop to Preston English and Richard Mohlman I found a Maroon one. A maroon Corona Flattop Silentjust waiting to come into my world, suddenly freed to be mine. Blessings cannot flow into a closed hand – I believe there is really something to this!

  6. Hi! I recently got one of these. Could you tell me what ink ribbon it uses? Is it the IR-50? Thanks!

    1. yep, IR-50 II, I think. no point in bothering though – they’re made of unobtanium. Just use thermal paper like fax rolls. (:

  7. How did you get the Typestar into “typewriter” mode?

  8. on the Typestar, all the settings are made with Mode key and arrow keys+enter. see the little icons at the bottom of the LCD to see what’s being changed.

    1. Thank you! This confirms that the Mode key on mine doesn’t work. Now I see why it was at the thrift store, heh. The default settings are fine, but I’ll never have access to typewriter mode or anything other than single spacing.

  9. Hi, I came across your site when researching the value for the Canon Typestar 5 electronic typewriter I purchased new in 1986. It typed many college papers and was carefully stored in it’s wrapper and box after every use. It’s been stored for years in the original box with the manual, power cord, two new ribbons, and even the original charge card receipt and layaway form. This was an expensive purchase for me in 1986, so it was well taken care of. Subsequently, it’s immaculate and in working condition. Is it appropriate to offer this item for sale on this site, or to simply list on eBay? I’ve enjoyed reading the posts, and share the love of this Typestar – so much so, I feel as if I’m trying to re-home it to someone that appreciates it as much as I do. Thanks for any input & have a great day! : )

    1. put it on ebay, but don’t expect to get back your 1980’s investment. They aren’t at all rare, and the supply greatly exceeds the demand. (:

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