When a Victorian couple asked me last year to “give a good home” to their now retired Remington Super-Riter, I naturally said “Superman’s typewriter will always find a roof over its carriage and a warm ribbon in its belly in my home”. This seemed to “go through to the ‘keeper” (or, in American baseball parlance, "through to the catcher"). I explained Clark Jerome Kent used just such a typewriter at The Daily Planet. They seemed sceptical, or perhaps thought I was a bit nutty, until I showed them the indisputable evidence:
It’s a Remington Super-Riter all right. Now even Sydney typewriter collector Richard Amery is referring to it as “Superman’s typewriter”. Actually, Richard is an avid fan of the George Reeves Adventures of Superman TV series. And, after I mentioned this must be the model mild-mannered reporter Kent used, Richard went back to his tapes and confirmed what had already been my impression. I now have two Remington Super-Riters in my collection. Hey, since when is one Superman typewriter ever enough?
If you look at an uncropped version of the photo above, from Jim Hambrick’s Super Museum in Metropolis (where else?), Illinois, you will see there are two Remington Super-Riters among the collection of actual props used in the TV series. The one seen here, on the bottom right, sits beside a Royal and an IBM electric. There is another Super-Riter on a shelf below this one at the museum in the Metropolis Town Square at 517 Market Street (maybe the second one was used by Lois Lane, before she went electric?)
Lois was just (wo)manning the reception desk this day. The rest of the Planet team was out having a long lunch, leaving their crack reporter to keep on eye on things.
The eagle-eyed reader will note that, as Kent leaves the scene (below, February 1976), he’s not carrying a typewriter, so obviously he did leave the Remington back at The Daily Planet in Metropolis.
Wikipedia refers to Kent being able to type “extraordinarily fast” and this cover illustration demonstrates that Wiki isn’t kidding.
And this letter and editor’s reply provides further evidence:
Naturally, most of the other superheroes wanted to emulate Kent’s typing ability. After Clark destroyed Lois's Remington, she got an electric portable
Clark's pal Jimmy Olsen got in on the act (or was it the gorilla?),
Batman and Robin made good crime-fighting use of the 14-ton Underwood Master from the 1939 New York World’ Fair,
Mr Terrific could memorise and type quickly
And Wonder Woman was an adept at the keyboard, too
But when all is said and done - while Snoopy might have been the world's most famous typist in the last quarter of the 20th century (see earlier post), Superman was undoubtedly the greatest typing superhero of them all: