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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Typewriter Wow Factor: Corona Special (Four-Bank)

The wise words of Richard Polt, about finding hidden treasures while shifting typewriters, rang in my ears this afternoon, very much in tune with the merry clinking and thunking of this 1937 Corona Special, as it celebrated being restored to full health and use.
In case you are wondering, Corona means crown, which explains the silver crown on top of the ribbon spools cover.
All this Corona Special needed was about 10 or 15 minutes of my attention to return it to good working order - and goodness, didn't it respond in kind to the long-overdue care it received? I had half expected it would need much more work - and possibly the hand of a specialist. But no.
This Corona Special was a classic case of "out of sight, out of mind". It knew where it was, and basically what was wrong with it (at least, I hoped it was only the drawband). But while it wasn't in my direct line of sight, in the house, it was easier for me to keep putting off that inevitable day when I would have to spend a bit of time on it and finally fix it.
So glad now that that inevitable day was today.
The four-bank Corona Special (serial number 1C73745S - "S", presumably, as in Special) will tomorrow be joined by the all-red three-bank Corona Special (see below), which will return here with 100 other typewriters from the Canberra Museum and Gallery. The two-month-long typewriter exhibition ended with a whimper today, but while it was on it celebrated in style the centenary of Corona typewriters, among other things.
I'm wondering whether these Corona Specials were produced to mark the 20- and 30-year anniversaries of the first Standard Folding typewriters being made. Come to think of it, probably not.
The four-bank Corona Special is marked “out of stock” at See here. When available, it has a price tag of $795. The website describes it thus:
"A classic! The decade 1930s was particular of significance to L.C.Smith & Corona Typewriters Inc. Emerging from the depths of The Depression, the company launched a line of new portables: Standard, Sterling and Silent. The line was best known for its introduction of floating shift, a superior shift mechanism that lowers the typebar basket instead of the carriage when typing capitals. The Sterling-Silent model had a handsome classic design with the colour choice of maroon and green in addition to the black glossy finish. It came with many features available to a standard office machine. The Sterling and Silent models were essentially identical in appearance and mechanism except that the Silent model had a sound proofing design and an interchangeable platen. The two models remained tremendously popular and were produced all the way into the 1950s under the company's new name, Smith-Corona."
While is out of stock, a company called Vintage & Modern seems to have one for sale for $775 (Etsy, meanwhile, indicates this very same machine was sold in November last year. What gives?). V & M says, "RARE antique Corona 'Special' black-red typewriter with bezel keys, including owner's manual and case with original leather handle intact." Bezel is the rim which encompasses and fastens a jewel, watch crystal, lens or other object (keytop).


Scott Kernaghan said...

I've always found those three sites you have mentioned to be a bit - peculiar when it came to selling items.

This is a lovely machine you have!

And to a Melbournian.... Them's Essendon colours. I wonder if you have a black and white 'Collingwood' in your collection too. Not that I care for football.

Ken Coghlan said...

One of these came up on eBay a couple of weeks ago. I saved it to my watch list, but didn't bid on it. Quite a nice looking machine, though. The color scheme is great, as is the little crown on top.
I am sure it is one hell of a typer!

Richard P said...


Ryan Adney said...

Swanky. I love it. It makes my flattop Corona look downright dowdy.

Ton S. (I dream lo-tech) said...

All I can say is wow!

michaeliany said...

certainly a looker! attractive as can be!

Pearly Queen said...

I think I prefer the typo ...'viola, away she went...'

Bill M said...

Wow! That Corona Special is wonderful!

shordzi said...

You are killing me with this one.

Dwayne F. said...

Dang, that machine is stunning! You are causing a massive case of typewriter envy.

Rob Bowker said...

Now why couldn't they have stuck that silvery crown on ALL their kit? Reminds me of the discreet Ghia and Bertone badges used on otherwise run-of-the-mill cars. Do you reckon if we whittled a few and invested in some spray paint we could pass off not-so-special fours as specials and turn their base metal into gold? I have come across lots of people who find (and then use) as a price guide.

Marcus Spjutare said...

Beautiful machine !

What's the little arm on the left side for, my maroon Corona Sterling does not have that ?

Marcus Spjutare said...

Beautiful machine !

What's the little arm on the left side for, my maroon Corona Sterling does not have that ?