If you google "Smith-Corona Electra 120" and look for videos, one of the first clips you'll find is from Duane Jensen of Phoenix Typewriters, one of the gurus of the typewriter world. The clip's headline reads: Best mechanical electric typewriter -- ever! Having worked with several examples of the Electra 120, I fully appreciate why Mr. Jensen is such a fan.
This machine comes with a freshly installed ink ribbon and tucked inside a Trimline carrying case with its original locking key. Here's my own short video of this typewriter, cruising at an easy 65 words per minute. Machines like this one occupy a liminal zone between manual and electronic typewriters: what we have here is a traditional manual typewriter with an electric motor inside.This is a portable machine built for home use, dating to sometime around 1970. Inside, its mechanisms will be familiar to anyone who has peered inside a Smith-Corona manual typewriter. The escapement and tab mechanisms, the basket shift, the ribbon drive, the keybasket itself and most of its linkage connections -- all these are proven designs which you can find in Smith-Corona machines going back more than two decades.
The primary difference here is that the Electra uses a motor and a belt drive to propel keys up toward the paper. Your finger muscles are tripping little switches, not propelling the slugs to the printed page.
This gives the typed impression a consistency that's hard to achieve on a manual machine, whose every printed letter depends on the strength or weakness of the typist's keystroke. Delightful though they may be in use, electric typewriters don't enjoy the following among collectors that the older manual machines do -- and I completely get that. But properly set up, this is a wonderful machine from the years just before typewriters were eclipsed by the personal computer. Even for a typist who enjoys the honest muscle-work involved in producing clean copy on a manual typewriter, a motorized machine like this one can be great fun.In the course of my work with this typewriter, the body shell was removed for cleaning and access to the innards for repairs, adjustments and lubrication. Every function has been checked out, from line advance settings to margin stops and release, tab setting and clearing, carriage travel, caps & lowercase alignment, master trip, ribbon advance and reverse, the power spacer, half-spacer and back-spacer.
No surprises await the next owner of this machine. This is a righteous writer's tool, ready for work.Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Robert Caro's tool of choice is the Electra 210, a machine much like this one but with a motorized carriage return. Personally, I find that feature unhelpful and even a little jarring; I much prefer returning the carriage the old-fashioned way, thank you. The cosmetic condition of this typewriter is excellent. I invite you especially to examine the images of the specimen printed page -- after all, this is the machine's product.
The text generated by this typewriter is clear and consistent and even, about as sharp on the page as you're going to find from a machine half a century old. The type pitch you see here is pica, 10 characters to the inch -- the larger of the two most common typewriter text sizes.
The Electra 120 has one control on the left side of the keyboard that adjusts the impact of keys on the paper (used in the old days for generating carbon copies). Another adjustment wheel, under the machine's front lip, controls the trip-weight of the mechanical switches beneath the keyboard. This typewriter comes with the original Smith-Corona "Trimline" carrying case, scrubbed clean and in excellent condition.A fresh ink ribbon has been installed -- replacements are widely available here and on Amazon, but no hurry: this ribbon will be good for hundreds of pages. I understand the importance of careful packing and will do my best to ensure that this machine reaches you safely. I welcome questions from buyers as they get comfortable with a new typewriter. And I wish you all the best in your typewriter hunting. The item "Smith-Corona Electra 120 Typewriter withcase, ribbon clean & working beautifully" is in sale since Tuesday, March 9, 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.