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  1. I have only seen these on shopoodwill, not in the wild. Nice score!

  2. Congratulations! Nice work. I have never seen one of these before.

  3. Great deal! Hooray, once again, for PB Blaster. Old electrical equipment does make me a bit nervous, though.

    1. They made me nervous too until this month – having a couple of electrics that badly needed cleaning/lubrication forced me to get the courage to dig into the guts of the things. Considering that the only electrical parts are the motor and the on/off switch, I’m just careful to keep the liquids away from those areas and treat the rest as if it were a mechanical manual machine. I put a thin spout hose on the Blaster so I can direct very small squirts of PB to the areas I want to treat, and don’t really have a problem with it getting on anything else. I’m starting to feel pretty comfortable with the Selectric, Coronet and 5TE mechanisms now. I’ve also gained a deep appreciation of how the Selectric can be completely field-stripped without turning a single screw.

  4. I do have the same type writer. My fault i have not seen that it works with 110 wolt electric. I had tried it with 220 w. and poor me had seen the smoke. Hope it could be fixed.

    1. You’ll want to check out this post by
      Modernidad y Obsolescencia
      which discusses the problems with using 220 on an American-wired 110 5TE.


    My name is Eduardo Garcia, I’m from Spain and I wonder if you can make me a huge favor. Here it goes:
    I would like to tattoo a little text from my favourite book “100 años de soledad” (100 years of solitude) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. And I discovered that Garcia Marquez used a SMITH CORONA ELECTRIC PORTABLE 5TE to write that book.
    I though that it will be awesome if I use the same typeletter as Garcia Marquez
    I saw that you have this typewriter and I want to ask you if you can use your typewriter to write the following text and scan it and send it to me by email so that I can show to the tattooist the exact letter type that I want.
    “Hasta encontrar un barco que hiciera escala en las Islas Afortunadas, y allí seleccionó las veinticinco parejas de canarios más finas para repoblar el cielo de Macondo.”
    I ask you this because I cannot think another way to get a written text with this typewriter. You can send it to me to edugc92@gmail.com. I will be forever grateful for you.
    PS: in other case the text that you posted here would be enough but the picture has low resolution, if you are doing do to what I am asking you, please do it if you can, whit the highest resolution possible. Thank you again. Even if you cant, it would be enough if you can send my the picture above but in the highest resolution possible

    1. Did you get your tattoo and the writing from the typewriter? I know you wrote that years ago but I just found one of these in my basement and all your comments came up on google. I hope you got it that was an awesome idea.

      1. Oh my gosh, I’m dying to know, too! lol

  6. I am living in Europe and I probably need a transformer from 110 V to 220 V. Does somebody know on how much Watts the typewriter runs?

    1. since no one has answered, I’ll guess. I owned one in 1958, and it is a small motor, probably 55 watts or less. You have a manual carriage return, so the motor is the only load.

      1. Correction. A model 6# on eBay, shows 1 amp on the name plate photo. 1 amp equals 110 watts.

  7. I have a Smith Corona 5TE that I want to restore. I want to take the metal case off and refinish it. I bought the 5TE shop manual but I have yet to receive it.

    I am puzzled as to how to remove the little plastic “Smith – Corona” letters off the front of the case. I think I know how to remove the red “electric” piece – but the individual letters remain a puzzlement. I don’t want to start out blindly and ruin them

    How can it be done

    1. they poke through a form-cut hole in the lid – you need to take the soundproofing off the inside of the cover and those letters will poke though the back all as one piece.

  8. Thanks – got them out from the back – just like you described – worked like a charm

    I went through college in the 60s with one of these and I’m rekindling an old lover affair

    1. Best of luck then! You may also want to grab the “Floating Shift” book, as these 5TE’s come right at the cusp of when SCM made a big design change in 1958-59, and the non-powered parts of the 5TE are more similar to the old Super-5’s of the 50’s than the newer 5-series of the 60’s, even though they were produced concurrently with the newer models. The “Floating Shift” one covers the entire basket shifted portable manual line up to the Super-5 and has much more detail in adjusting the non-powered parts like the carriage & escapement.

  9. Just went and bought the floating shift book too, I have both coming now.

    Thanks for the help with the letters – too bad there’s no “magic solution” for the painted “Smith-Corona” on the back. I guess I’ll have to dig up a stencil

    1. I dunno if this guy has 50’s SCM decals already made, but you might talk to him in case he does and just doesn’t list them on his site:

  10. you know the price of this machine. I have one smith corona like this but I dont know if I can sell.

  11. I payed $50 for mine and it needed a good scrub and oiling!

  12. I have a Smith-Corona portable electric and it looks like the 5TE in your photo. My mother acquired in the late ‘50’s or early 60’s and it has been in storage for last 25 plus years. Got it out today and it seems to work fine and I am excited to use and keep it in good working order.

    Three questions, if I may: (1) From where can one purchase ribbons; (2) what is the function of the roller adjustment wheel on the underside just below the space bar; (3) from where can the service manual and ‘Floating Shift” referenced in earlier posts be ordered?

    Thank you!

    1. hmmn, ok, here’s some links:
      The ribbon is basically universal, nearly any common ribbon will work. You’ll want to respool the new ribbon onto your original metal spools, if you still have them. (modern ribbons come on flimsy plastic spools)

      The adjustment wheel is to control the force which the typebars strike the platen, usually used for manifolding work (increasing the force to ensure a good print through multiple carbon sheets). you’ll want to keep the setting as low as possible while still getting good print quality to prevent undue force damaging your typeface and platen, and also preventing cutting holes in the paper and ribbon.

      The service manuals can be gotten here (as PDF files):
      or here, in printed, coil-bound paper workshop manuals:

      good luck! (:

  13. Wow, while reading through more than a decade’s worth of posts, I came across this picture of a 1958 SC electric. I bought one, not knowing whether it would actually work, at the Bouckville Antique Show and Flea Market in upstate NY (on US Route 20) two or three years ago. I paid $35.00. The ribbon was long-since dried out, but when I plugged it in, everything seemed to work. The most problematic aspect of the purchase was the case, which takes some “doing” to get closed up. The color of mine is some kind of brown/beige. I brought a pack of new ribbons–just need to get around to spooling one on the machine. How many machines of any kind work well after 66 years? That’s what I tell skeptical friends.

    1. Heh, 10 years ago, few people gave electrics a chance at all, on the theory that they were unlikely to work. It’s telling that now 10 years later, electrics have become almost as popular as manual portables. They’re surprisingly durable.

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