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  1. That’s pretty interesting. I’d love to try one of those out, even without owning one.

  2. You are awesome! Thanks for posting. The mystery of the right margin has been solved. I would not have guessed that there is no right margin stop; only a bell. Maybe adding a stop was one of the 250 improvements on the Model D.

  3. Ted, you are very nearly hip-high in IBM machines. I approve.

    1. well, I dunno if 2 is hip-high, but I’ve poked around at the Model C’s that Bill has at MTE. I approve of the design sensibility, but crimeny, those are about as jealous of space as an Ambassador, or that Adler Universal.

  4. Wow. My grandfather just passed away and left his Type D executive typewriter. I had never used one before and this manual helps me get the basics. What an amazing machine, it’s got a je ne sais quoi about it that makes me wanna keep on typing all night long.

    1. Sorry to hear about your Granddad, but I’m glad you’re left with something that encourages your writing. I agree that these mechanical monsters tend to bring out a joy of writing that seems almost magical. Keep typing! (:

  5. Anyone know where I can get an assy/d-s-assy manual ? I just bought an Exec and the ribbon isn’t moving so I need to take it apart. I’m pretty good with a Selectric I, but not this puppy.

    1. Try the Yahoo GolfBallTypewriter forum. Lots of ex-IBM techs hang out there, so probability is high that you’ll find help and possibly even documentation. I see in the “Files” area that someone has one and has uploaded the contents page.

  6. I had a the IBM Model D Executive – love it. It came in two major type fonts: Arcadia and Proportional Modern; the more common
    was Proportional Modern. Rose Mary Woods, secretary toe the
    prez of the USA, Richard Nixson, had two of these on her desk!!!

    I had one of these and loved it. Then, I got a second IBM — the
    long carriage IBM Correcting Selectric II. Used Courier, Orator,
    Prestige Elite, Letter Gothic, Advocate… depending on what
    task I was doing and whether I wanted the elegance of the
    Model D Executive or the flexibility and modern work
    of the Corr.Selectric II. (Later, got a corr. sel. III).

    Used Orator for presidents’ speeches and set line
    for 3… and phrased all of this spoken speech…

    Used to use letter gothic or courier to transcribe
    from shorthand to work copy. i take Gregg at 190 wpm
    and type 114 on selectric; 101 on the Executive.
    Although neither has a true “data buffer,” when one ha a boss who’s demand well….

    speed for transcription is is about 80 wpm … from shorthand to final copy!

    Office also hand a strange machine for that day…. the IBM Mag Card Typewriter. The mag card reader and processor was 30″ tall and fairly compact as to fit between to desks. I had one next to my credenza and the other side was facing the credenza of the exec secretary. Noisy, but efficient! It was great for legal descriptions on bank loan agreements…

    but times’ they be a changing…..


    facebook: marc edmund barlow

    # # #

  7. I recently uncovered my Grandpa’s old Executive typewriter in the basement and started working on tuning it up. I reinstalled the carbon ribbon but when I plugged the machine in and turned it on I only heard a faint buzzing but nothing was working. I’d love to be able to get the typewriter back in working order again. Any ideas?

    Thanks a ton!

    1. electrical problems would require expert attention. If you are not, I would highly suggest not messing with anything that old that takes 110 house current. Danger, Will Robinson!

      Besides, the Executive is an intricate beast of a machine, certainly not a starter repairman’s project. Add in the power element, and I would suggest it’s a bad idea to try to take a poke at it yourself. (:

    2. Probably had a lot of keys pushed. Open the lid and turn he drive pulleys by hand and work it through. Should free it up.

  8. Ted, I just looked at one of the eBay listings that popped on that neat widget on this page. It’s an ad for some sort of Executive Selectric. Is it the same as a Composer?

    1. That is a REALLY long link, sorry bout that.

    2. Nope, it lacks a Justification dial and the scales are clearly marked for monospaced 10/12 pitch markings (the Composer has an elaborate auto-shifting/calculating scale), so it can’t be related to the Composer. It’s just a Selectric II that’s been wired for I/O to a Mag Card read/write unit.

  9. Bought a used typewriter like this – reviewed the manual u posted here – came with a ribbon but guessing it’s dried out because nothing shows up on the paper or my fingers…any advice on where to get one?

  10. I have one that looks identical except for the “Executive” logo…works beautifully, just needs a replacement ribbon…any idea of where one might get one?
    Many thanks

  11. Yesterday I bought a lovely Model D Executive that seems to have been well maintained but not used in years by its former owner, a retired secretary. Before I picked it up, I perused your blog extensively and found it to be a veritable bible of typewriter lore and know-how. How do I find the entry again about resetting the margins on an IBM Model D Executive? It seems to be locked at about label-width, and pressing ‘Margin Reset’ does nothing.

    At first, the Model D didn’t seem to function, but I know from many years of using various IBM – typebar and element – models, they need to ‘warm up’ before they function. After leaving the machine on for many hours, it seems to run fairly well now, given the age of the machine. Some of the keys don’t always strike, especially the ones for which IBM controlled the velocity, e.g. the period, dash, slash. Maybe if I leave it on even longer and type more on it, all of the keys will eventually function. However, the margins are limited to about a three-inch writing area, which limits how much can be typed without reaching for the margin release.

    Many thanks for your help and for maintaining this amazing site.

    1. Dunno, this was years ago and I’ve never actually had one. Based on your symptoms, I’d suggest cleaning the margin mechanism completely. Those are usually spring-loaded and if it’s been set to those margins for years, it may just be locked in by dirt and dried lubricants.

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