In the 1960s and 1970s, Smith-Corona manufactured variants of their popular electric portable typewriters, the Electra and the Coronet, for sale by the Sears-Roebuck brand. Usually these Sears machines were differentiated from Smith-Corona's own typewriters mainly by way of unique body work -- shells that gave a new look to the same mechanical innards. But with the Medalist Electric 12, Smith-Corona went an extra mile to build a machine with special features that could be claimed as unique to Sears.Before going deep into the weeds of this typewriter's unique features, let me just say that it's working perfectly and is a delight for the typist. Here's a short video of the machine in action. Sears Medalist Electric 12 typewriter demo. If you watched closely, you just saw one of the biggest special features of the Medalist: a paper injector mechanism that loads the sheet almost automatically into position for writing. In some 40 years of collecting and tinkering with typewriters, I've only seen this feature on huge office machines and on Brother's premium heavyweight portable, the 511D. Among its other nifty features, this Medalist has a set of four "Change-a-Type" mathematical keys stored in a tiny box, tucked under the ribbon cover. And the keyboard has a repeating character you access with the shift and the numeral 7 -- it's a matrix of dots designed as a sort of anti-tampering measure for typing checks. Flanking the space bar are both a half-space button (handy for squeezing in characters if you're fixing an error) and a repeat spacer that sends the carriage merrily stepping along. This typewriter has not only full tabulation controls at the top of the keyboard, but also a special key that steps the carriage forward 5 spaces from wherever you are on the written page.
The wide carriage takes a sheet in either landscape or portrait orientation, and the line spacing can be adjusted for 1, 1-1/2 or 2 lines. One feature I've never seen before is a real oddity that Sears and Smith-Corona unveiled with this typewriter, then never used again: a mechanism that drove a special four-color ribbon so you could type in black, red, blue or green ink. That specialty ribbon has been out of production now for decades, and the motorized ribbon drive on this machine isn't working: I found its rubber belt broken inside the metal housing. The usual control lever on the right side of this typewriter's keyboard still works perfectly, switching between the red and black ribbon settings.
The new ribbon I've installed here is all black, and has been wound onto vintage steel spools that are correct to the period of this typewriter. And I didn't even mention one of my favorite features of this Medalist: the charming way the Sears name lights up and glows on the front panel when the machine is switched on. The type you see here is elite, 12 characters to the inch: the smaller of the two most common type pitches for typewriters. The Medalist has a keyboard touch control under the front lip of the typewriter; its action is fast and comfortable. You can get an "as-found" electric portable fairly cheaply -- but I can say from honest experience that I've never yet found one of these that didn't need some sort of repair.
To get this one working just right involved four or five hours of my time, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The item "Sears Medalist Electric 12 typewriter withcase + new ribbon Working beautifully" is in sale since Sunday, May 23, 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.