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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Silver Boxy: A Charming Remington Model 5 Portable. Is it a Rebuild?

This metallic silver-grey Remington Model 5 (Boxy) portable typewriter is temporarily in my care. The owner is keen to sell it and I am giving it a home for few weeks, just to have some more time to admire its many charms. I haven't seen a pre-war Remington portable painted this way before - either in colour or paint texture. Its serial number is V712499, meaning it was probably made in 1938 or as late as 1939. But given its very distinctive paintwork and the larger decal on the paper plate (similar in size to the Noiseless 8, the 9 and the Model 1), plus the absence of decals on the back plate which attaches to the case base, I am wondering whether it is in fact a Chartres rebuild. That is, a Boxy rebuilt in Remington's Sydney assembly plant, perhaps even after the war. The guide from on the top of the paper plate is also missing, but everything else looks to be in almost new condition and the nickle coating positively sparkles.
I have to admit that when this machine first emerged from its case this morning, I had immediate visions of some sort of Remington-Imperial hybrid, given the connections between Remington and Torpedo and Torpedo and Imperial. At first glance I was taken by the paintwork (I have a rebuilt Imperial Good Companion painted in a similar way), the size of the paper plate decal and the size and angle of the carriage return lever, as well as the solid top plate. I do have an Australian-assembled Remington Model 5 Boxy (see images below), but because of the stark colour difference, the similarities didn't at first strike me. The serial number, however, was a dead giveaway to this being a Boxy.
 My black "Australian-built" Remington Model 5 Boxy:
Meanwhile, I am continuing to work on a Bijou 5 portable brought down here (in very bad shape) from Sydney on Saturday by its young Thai owner. I was surprised to find that it too was sold by Chartres. I was well aware Chartres imported the Bijou folding to compete with the Corona 3 in the early years of World War I, but hadn't realised they were still importing them long after Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes declared Remington an "enemy" organisation in 1915. Obviously Hughes' mistake did not deter Chartres from continuing to do business with a German manufacturer, albeit through Remington.


Bill M said...

Those are some great looking typewriters. The first one is especially nice.

theshytypospherian said...

Rebuild or not, that Remington is stunning!
I would very much like to see how the Bijou is coming along :) Kind regards,