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Friday, 27 May 2016

It's Creepy and it's Kooky and it's Absolutely Spooky

Typewriter lovers, strap yourselves in - as promised in my previous post, here is a truly weird tale of typewriter spookiness.
Terry Cooksley in his Antique Typewriter Service workshop in Blackett.
At the meeting of the Typewriter Appreciation Exchange (it's still a working title) in Sydney on Tuesday, I made certain to whet the appetite of attendees for the next issue of ETCetera, which will introduce fresh features, such as Bryan Kravitz's "Repair Bench". Terry Cooksley said he was already planning to submit to editor Richard Polt something along these lines, so maybe he will become a future contributor to this new regular column.
Bryan Kravitz in Philadelphia.
I also mentioned Herman Price's fascinating article titled "Serial Number Fun", based on some of the machines in his massive West Virginia collection of 800 typewriters.
Phil Card explains to Richard the work he has done
on the pre-Good Companion Imperial portable.
Colyton typewriter technician Phil Card had arrived at the meeting with a pre-Good Companion Imperial portable which belongs to meeting host Richard Amery, who has the most extensive collection of Imperial typewriters to be found anywhere. Phil had been working on this machine for some time and turned up with a docket book and proceeded to explain to Richard and other members of the exchange what he had done to bring the portable back to full working order. It was an Imperial originally sold by Glenn Dobell's Imperial Typewriter Sales Company at 22 Martin Place, Sydney, and made in Leicester in 1931, a year before the advent of the Good Companion.
This Imperial was put back into Richard's office and he returned with one of his pride-and-joy machines, a beautiful Regent he acquired many years ago.
We were talking about the Torpedo influence on the design of these models, and the similarity between them and some aspects of the early Torpedos, such as the carriage lever arrangement.
I have, of course, seen evidence of a Regent which was assembled in Leicester from parts made by Weilwerke (Torpedo) in Frankfurt. Richard's Regent was so obviously Torpedo-like I looked at the back of it to check that it, too, was made by Imperial in Leicester.
At this point I had a close look at the serial number - and something clicked. I asked Phil Card to give me another look at the relevant page in his docket book. Sure enough, the serial number on Richard's pre-Good Companion Imperial and on his Regent were just TWO NUMBERS APART!!! Different names, but they were two of a set of triplets - made on the same day in Leicester.
 The pre-Good Companion Imperial
The Regent
How freaky is that???
Below, the STAXy group in Sydney on Tuesday. Standing, from left, Phil Card, Philip Chapman, moi; seated, Terry Cooksley and Richard Amery.


Bill M said...

Very interesting points.

Richard P said...

What a wonderful reunion for the two old factory-mates!

These machines are Torpedo clones, for sure.

I would be very glad to get a contribution from Terry for the new column.