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Friday, 1 February 2013

Changing the Ribbon on a 60s Remington Portable Typewriter

Using a "Universal" ribbon
already on spools
and adapting it for use
on a 60s Remington portable
A reader in Toronto, Canada, wrote asking for advice as "a kind of 'newbie' typewriter collector". "I recently acquired a red [Remington] Riviera and am happy to have it. It  seems to be in fine working condition except that, like a lot of older  typewriters, it needs a new ribbon. I want to replace the ribbon (I have a new ribbon on hand) but I'm STUMPED about how to remove the cover. I don't want to force anything and end up breaking the lid. Since it looks like you might be familiar with this machine, could you give me some pointers on how the lid comes off? Would much appreciate any help you could offer on this."
This gentleman is by no means the first to ask about this, and about ribbon changing. The latter job I find difficult to explain in words. It can be a quite baffling task on one of these Remington portables, especially when using a "Universal" ribbon already on plastic spools. So I have made this demonstration video. I hope it serves its purpose:

The model show here is best known as the Ten Forty, or Envoy III. The ribbon spool cover on the Envoy II range, which includes the Riviera, comes off the same way, with a finger from each hand under the lip closest to the carriage, then a gentle flip up.


Miguel Ángel Chávez Silva said...

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth more than a thousand pictures. And no matter what typewriter you are working on, changing ribbons will always be a "dirty job".

Apparently you can buy Remington-style ribbons from They include metal rings instead of spools; you just slide the rings over the ribbon advance shafts, replace the covers, and thread the ribbon through the vibrator. Alas, they don't ship those ribbons to my country.

Kristy Sloan Wilhoite said...

I have my Grandfather's Remington Streamliner (Sperry Rand) portable typewriter. Much to my delight, my 7yr old son asked me for a typewriter so he can begin his first book. Can you suggest how to freshen it up before we start using it again? I don't want to abuse it. It is in pretty good working order...a few sticky keys and needs new ribbon/ink.
Many Thanks!
Kristy Sloan Wilhoite said...

Robert- Thanks so much for the video- I just acquired such a critter and was baffled by the spooling for the ribbon. I also find the vibrator mechanism interesting, as it pitches up from the left only. Very different mechanics from my other portables- again, thanks!! ~Tom Hitt~