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Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Never (Again Shall I) Scorn the Humble Silver-Seiko Portable Typewriter

I mentioned earlier in the week that it was beginning to feel like old times here, with an influx of “new” typewriters for me to play with. That refreshing pattern has been maintained (not sure what I’ve done to appease the typewriter gods, but I hope these arrivals continue unabated). Today I was given a 1974 Silver-Seiko Imperial Tab-O-Matic (serial number 3150606) in immaculate condition. It belonged to a gentleman who 7½ years ago also gave me a Nippo Atlas, which he’d picked up in the duty-free port of Aden when coming out to Australia in 1962, as well as a cream Atlas (below) bought in Hawaii while on an overseas trip. This family really looked after their typewriters!

The Imperial Tab-O-Matic was introduced to the British typewriter market in June 1974 and continued to be sold there as a “new model” for the next two years. The identical machine had been introduced to the United States market as a Royal Tab-O-Matic in May 1972 and continued to be sold until 1978. “Tab-O-Matic” was a model name first used by Royal on a version of the Futura, from June 1960 (see Springfield News Leader articles below).

British advert, 1974
British advert, 1975
British advert, 1976
Below: Opening of Royal's Springfield, Missouri, plant on June 7, 1960,
with the announcement of the Royal Tab-O-Matic.


Bill M said...

I don't recall even seeing a Silver-Seiko typewriter live and in person let alone type on one.
The Right Reverend Ted speaks quite highly of them.

Joe V said...

I’ve owned several Royal Mercury’s and find them to be nice travel machines, with good type alignment and they never seem to have escapement issues.

Craig said...

I owned a Silver-Reed (which I think is related to Silver-Seiko, yes?) sub-portable back in the early '80s. Not a great machine, but usable.

Ted said...

I *do* like them! Easy & cheap to get, invariably reliable and good print to boot. Fun to work on, too (: