One 60th the price of a “funky, atomic”!
100 times the value
Plus a real rugger colour!I suspect my irregular instalments of “Australian eBay Typewriter Watch” are having some impact. After my last lash at “funky, atomic” typewriters, the bidding brakes went down hard on one item so described and came off another which was just pure and simple good value.
After that post, some good sense started to prevail in the case of the “atomic VINTAGE retro INDUSTRIAL all metal BROTHER TYPEWRITER” which was “strong in colour” (that is, it had no colour at all). This very common or garden Brother 215, however, did eventually sell for $105.50 after a further five bids, making 38 bids all up.
To make my point, at least to my own satisfaction, I decided to bid on a much more interesting Brother, a DeLuxe 220, which did have colour – indeed, all colours of the rainbow, and then some: it is all-black. This was listed as the same time as the colourless funky, atomic Brother 215.
I’d been meaning to celebrate my homeland’s win in the Rugby World Cup late last year with a modern portable typewriter, and this is it*
All-black Brothers are far less common in this country. I know Adwoa spotted one in a Geneva market in her December 2010 round-up, and Vikram has an interesting one in red-and-black. Richard Polt also has one as a Remington 333. Both the black Remington and the Brother are available on Etsy.
The sticker on Vikram’s Brother and on the one spotted by Adwoa says it all: 10 million Brother typewriters sold between 1961 and 1980!!! And just think, the 1961 Akio Kondo design is exactly the same as a 1980 portable: 210, 215 or 220! (And Kondo didn't use the words "funky" or "atomic" once!)
Anyway, I won mine for $1.75, after just three bids, one-60th of what someone paid for the non-colour 210. And given my DeLuxe 220 looks so darned attractive in black, I reckon I got far better than 60-to-1 value.
So, yes, now that I’ve rubbed an oily rang over my Brother (which it hardly needed, as it looks next-to-new), I am going to rub it in elsewhere: C’mon, Australians, try to be a bit more selective when buying typewriters, and try not to be so stupid as to be taken in by words like “funky" and "atomic”. They mean absolutely funky nothing …
“Old Chic Industrial” worked for this Royal 10 with a “complete set of keys" (! What else would it have?), which sold for a surprisingly high $451.
Now this “art deco” Royal is for sale at a mere $19.99. Is the colour genuine, do you think?
Some Australians did prove perceptive, and this very nice Remington portable sold for $362.
Derrick is now offering a Royal at $175.
It will be interesting to see whether this Remington Model 5 portable sells with a $425 buy-it-now price on it. There are still 25 days to go.
One item which did not sell (after no fewer than seven listings!) was the Imperial Model T – the price dropped by $80 to under $20, but the seller insisted on a same-day sale, plus pick-up, with no image of the machine. Hardly surprising.
It might also help this none-too-perceptive seller achieve a buy-it-now price of $65 over the next 25 days ("original booklet" or not) if he or she lists their item as what it is, a nice Royalite, rather than a very common Silver Reed, which it is not. I’d suggest the manual belongs to another typewriter – it certainly looks like a completely different typewriter!!!
Where, I am happy to say, the brakes did come off the bidding was on an uncommon Olivetti Lettera 41, which eventually sold for $112.
This unusual Norwood-Consul portable sold for $51. It looks like a very nice model, one I hadn’t previously seen.
Orange Adler or Triumph Contessas continue to sell for ridiculously high prices, and this one went for $104.50 after no fewer than 61 bids! Embarrassingly, the word about what silly prices Australians are paying for these common and very ordinary typewriters must have spread, because someone in Berlin (yes, in Germany) listed one for $99 (“VINTAGE super rare [I kid you not] TRIUMPH -ORANGINA - typewriter; POP DESIGN .... working [Just as well!]"). The postage of $74 probably put bidders off, because so far there have been no bids with a day to go.
A burgundy Olympia SM1 sold for $76 and a Pinnock Kofa Model 200 was a snip for just $23.
In tribute to my $1.75 Brother, I’d like to paraphrase The Hollies, a 60s British pop group which once rivalled The Beatles (seen below with a typewriter):
After Graham Nash left them to form [David] Crosby, [Stephen] Stills, Nash (and later [Neil] Young), The Hollies, named in honour of Buddy Holly, had a big hit with He Ain't Heavy, He’s My Brother:
The ribbon is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows when?
But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my Brother
So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We'll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain't heavy, he's my Brother
If I'm laden at all
I'm laden with sadness
That someone's collection
Is filled with the badness
Of funkiness and Atomization
It's a long, long ribbon
And there is no return key
While we're on the way to there
Why not share?
And the load
Doesn't weigh me down at all
He ain't heavy, he's my BrotherWikipedia tells us that the first editor of Kiwanis magazine, Roe Fulkerson, published a column in September 1924 carrying the title "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"; variations on the phrase are attested as early as 1884. The phrase is also associated with Father Edward J. Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town. Flanagan came across a line drawing of a young boy carrying his brother in the Christmas 1941 edition of the Louis Allis Messenger. The caption read "He ain't heavy Mister — he's m' brother!" It was created by Van B. Hooper, who later became the editor of Ideals magazine. The drawing was reprinted in the first issue of Ideals in December 1944.
The statement is an (unwitting) use of paraprosdokian, a figure of speech in which the second half of the statement causes the hearer to reinterpret the first part. Often used for comedic effect, this is a rare use of the form as pathos.
*The reason the New Zealand rugby union team was first called the All Blacks was not, surprisingly enough, because of its all-black uniform, on which is emblazoned the silver fern. On the Original All Blacks tour of the Northern Hemisphere in 1905-06, the team started out with a big win over the English county champions. A Fleet Street journalist cabled in his report to his newspaper and wrote that they played like “all backs” (rather than more leaden-footed forwards). But the sub-editor at The Daily Mail thought he meant they were all Maori (native) players, and inserted the “l” in “back”. The name stuck thereafter. Silly, but true ...
But not quite as silly as spending $105 on a Brother typewriter!