Ah, well, what a shame ... and it would have been such a great 63rd birthday present to myself. Maybe next time?!
POSTSCRIPT: Mentioning blackmail, which I did in my previous post, in regard to the woes of typewriter importers in Australasia in the early part of the 20th century, I was reminded of an incident some years ago when I loaned an old Remington portable to a group of Australian National University (Canberra) students who were making a short film based on a Coen brothers story. The tale involved an attempted $10,000 blackmail, and a young woman was to type out the ransom note on the Remington. When the students came to collect the machine, I insisted the actress give it a test type, and she sat down to write the note. "But I can't," she said. "There are no figures 1 and 0?". Just as well we "rehearsed".
While I was briefly researching the Fox portable this morning, I came across this message from a Judith Jablonski on a Yahoo typewriter forum - "Subject: [TYPEWRITERS] Re: Fox Portable No 2. I don't think all of the sellers are being deliberately disingenuous. A few weeks ago I was instroducing my young (6 & 8) nephews to typewriters.
They were baffled by them: wanted to know where the plug was and how to 'erase' stuff, etc. Most interestingly, they had no idea that THEY had to make things happen. When I told them we had to put in a piece of paper for them to type on, they sat there, expecting the machine to roll it in itself."
A couple of years ago, I gave a pinkish Adler Contessa to a young North American woman who works in "creative services" [advertorials] at The Canberra Times. She was delighted with the gift, saying she wanted to typewrite invitations to her wedding with it. But a few days later, I received a message: "Where is the return button?"