Electric typewriters don't get much respect among serious collectors. But lately, some forty years into this hobby of collecting and fixing these vintage machines, I have developed a real respect for these early hybrid typewriters that retain most of the mechanics of the manual machines that went before them -- but use the power of a motor to fling the keys with speed and consistent force onto your page. This is a fine example of Smith-Corona's early electro-mechanical typewriters, dating to 1961 -- just four years after the company introduced its first powered portable machine, the 5TE. This typewriter has been pulled from its bodywork, thoroughly cleaned and adjusted, reassembled and tested. It's a low-mileage machine now in perfect operating trim.
Here's a short clip of the typewriter at work, cruising at an easy 65 words per minute and putting a clean and precise impression on the page. Why do I like these early electric typewriters so much?
I think in part it's because I enjoy learning new things and this breed of machine has been fun to learn about as I work with them. They're historically interesting, occupying as they do a transitional zone between the manual typewriters that preceded them and the totally electronic writing machines that followed.Finally, there's the simple fact that these powered typewriters are such a pleasure to write with. I can appreciate why that guru of the typewriter world, Duane Jensen of Phoenix Typewriters, would make a youtube video of this typewriter's twin, the Electra 120, and headline the clip, The Best Mechanical Typewriter. As you can see, many of the mechanical features of classic manual typewriters remain on this model. You still return the carriage and start each new line with that big chrome lever. The backspace key is manual, as is the margin release. Tabs are set and cleared the old-fashioned way. The main difference between this Coronet and its manual counterpart from the early 1960s, the Smith-Corona Galaxie, is that each key on the keyboard actuates a small mechanical switch, and a spinning kick-wheel powered by the machine's electric motor does the work of propelling each key up to the paper. Later electric typewriters motorized more and more of the typist's work. The innovation I like least -- in fact it's the line I personally won't cross as a collector -- is the electric carriage advance.
I just find it loud and jarring and unnecessary. Of course, your mileage may vary -- and if an electric advance is what you desire, search for Smith-Corona machines with "Automatic" or "Super" in the model name. The cosmetics of this typewriter are excellent, aside from some scrapes on the back panel which most likely resulted from hasty placement and removal from the carrying case. The typewriter's full baseplate was removed for one photo so you can see the clean, corrosion-free mechanics inside.
Speaking of the case: the plastic piece that holds the carrying handle was cracked when this machine came to me, and I've reinforced it. I hope you'll spend some time with the video clip and the printed specimen page, because the ultimate measures of the machine are the user experience and the quality of the typed copy. Both, in the case of this typewriter, are excellent. To the extent possible, I try to show how well a typewriter actually works, rather than merely say so. Cosmetically that was true, but in fact the typewriter was unable to type a single character before I began my work with it.
In the end it was worth the hours of my time -- this really is a lovely example of Smith-Corona's electrics from six decades ago. I'm happy to follow up with help if any questions come up as you get started with this machine. The item "1961 Smith-Corona Coronet Electric Typewriter withcase & ribbon, working perfectly" is in sale since Sunday, February 14, 2021. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Pens & Writing Instruments\Typewriters".
The seller is "spanghew" and is located in Edgartown, Massachusetts. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Antigua and barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint lucia, Montserrat, Turks and caicos islands, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Uruguay, Russian federation.