Total Pageviews

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Original Noiseless Portable Typewriter

Packing up a carload of typewriters tonight for my three-hour workshop at the Australasian Society of Forensic Document Examiners conference in Sydney tomorrow, I decided it was time to apply a tiny bit of elbow grease to the 1921 Noiseless portable I picked up in Brisbane on the morning of our first Australian Type-In, on March 10. After John Lavery had had a quick look at it at the Breakfast Creek Pub that day, I packed it away and haven't had a chance to look at it since. But reckoning it should be among the interesting typewriters to present tomorrow, I gave it some long-overdue attention. Actually, Scott Kernaghan's latest post which mentioned the Type-In sort of reminded me to get to it. This is, of course, the original Noiseless, the creation of Wellington Parker Kidder, his crowning glory before he died in 1924.

6 comments:

TonysVision said...

I love the shiny knobs atop the ribbon spools. Remington retained them into the 1940's, when they were replaced by plastic caps. I wonder if the brass corner protectors have been added to the case by owners - they look nice, and would work well on some of my scuffed cases.

notagain said...

Love the tiger! Also, the org sounds interesting.

Ryan Adney said...

I read somewhere that original Noiseless machines had metal platens because the metal ended up being quieter than their rubber counterparts. It had to do with the precision that allowed the type bar to just kiss the surface of the platen. Is this true, or am I just remembering incorrectly. The idea seems counterintuitive, but stranger things have happened.

Robert Messenger said...

Thank you Tony, Peter and Ryan for your comments. Ryan's description is almost 100 per cent correct. There was no need for a rubber platen as there was no typebar impact on the platen to absorb. The typing action was a combination of Kidder's thrust-action and frontstrike, and the typeslug pulled up fractionally short of the platen, so the typeslug kissed ribbon on to paper, but not platen. The sound is a very gentle tapping. Lippman says, "The Noiseless uses the momentum of a pivoted weight on each typebar to bring the type to the printing point in a relatively quiet 'kiss' which reduces the noise but requires a rigid metal platen rather than rubber to make an impression possible ... The portable uses front-striking typebars which swing towards the platen, but are held back just before reaching the platen. The momentum of the small weight gently brings the typebar the last few millimeters to the printing surface."

Richard P said...

One of my favorite typewriters. I wish my example had a tiger on it!

Miguel Ángel Chávez Silva said...

A three-bank noiseless! That's a very interesting combination, and indeed it makes the machine very interesting!