Thursday, 25 April 2013

Got it in one

Ha ha haaaaaa!! You’re all wrong!!! Well, technically you’re absolutely spot on. The typewriter is mechanically, cosmetically and physically a Remington Noiseless 7, aside from the fact that it says Underwood Noiseless 77 on the back plate. The fact that so many of you could simply look at the box alone and tell me what was inside is very very impressive indeed! Although in saying that, the fact that no one mentioned the possibility of an Underwood 77 does provide me with just a tiny tiny little bit of satisfaction!

You’re also spot on in that it arrived unscathed. This was largely due to the sturdy clasp things that hold it to the case. Inside the box was just these token couple of bits of scrunched up of newspaper which would have done almost nothing if one of the clasp things had have failed on its voyage from hot, dry Cathedral City, CA.

But I’m stoked to own this shiny old Underwood Noiseless 77 Serial Number 844407. I have no idea what things it’s been up to in the last 77 years, but I don’t think typing is one of them. It seems like its almost brand new, which was a big selling point. Pretty much all my typewriters up to this point have been a bit beaten up or scruffy or rusty needing repair or all of these things simultaneously. So inspired by Ken's recent post on his "like new" Olympia SM5, I really was keen on finding something that looked, smelt and worked like it had just left the factory. Owning a machine with the noiseless mechanism had also been on my wish list. I saw the noiseless mechanism in the flesh for the first time at the Brisbane Type-In early last month, where John showed me how it worked. I found and still find it fascinating how it works and will look forward to searching for information as to why it wasn’t more enduringly popular. The fact that this typewriter is as common as the rain doesn’t bother me either, as spare parts will be easier to come by if I need them and this time around I was definitely after sparkle rather than rarity. Achieving both these things simultaneously can be rather too painful on the old hip pocket...

Clean typeslugs and an almost gunk-free mechanism

The only slight gripe I have with the transaction is that the seller listed typewriter as “mint” condition, which it certainly is cosmetically. But by “mint” I perhaps optimistically assumed it would be working in mint condition too which it’s not and I didn't bother to ask. The ribbon vibrator wasn’t holding the ribbon properly and needed minor attention with long-nosed pliers and the paper rollers are all but square. These will require replacing if I can find the right ones, or otherwise a bit of boiling or gaffer tape or all of the above. The keys are a tad sticky and the print doesn’t seem completely even, however I’ll find out for sure whether this is an issue or not once I replace the ribbon as this one is pretty dead. This certainly isn't anything major though and theres nothing wrong with a bit repair tho. It will be a little bit scary mind you, as it’s one thing to work on a beaten up cheap typewriter, but it’s a little more daunting working on something which reflects your face as you work on it and looks a new car (even if it does smell like a musty attic). This may be a job for Monday...


  1. Ohhhhhhhhhh Nice. Pretty!

    I'm feeling a bit of noiseless love at the moment. I'm still working on my machine, which is far from mint. And I'm buying one from a friend in the USA that is much closer to working condition.

    Lovely typer. Rollers you say? I'll have a chat with you on Monday about that.

  2. Beautiful looking machine, Steve. Now you've got me thinking about Noiselesses! And it IS a buzz to receive a machine that looks all shiny and new. My recently-acquired SM9 certainly looks like it was made yesterday, even though it's as old as I am.
    Best of luck with the minor repairs. I reckon you'll get there sooner or later.

  3. Nice noiseless! I'm not too fond of the noiseless action, but I do think they're pretty machines to look at. If you have problems with the type ghosting and notice that the type arms extend all the way out at the end of travel, look at the keystop comb underneath the machine. If it has missing bits, you may have to make a new one. I had to do that with a Noisy Noiseless I had - very annoying design flaw, IMHO. :D

  4. Wow, it is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing, and I hope you get it working 100% soon.

  5. I'm glad it arrived safe and sound. Quite a handsome Remington Noiseless. The issues seem minor enough, I'm sure you'll get those fixed. Cheers!

  6. I had exactly the same thrill whn I picked up my first 7. I couldn't believe (still find it hard) how new and shiny it is. They are an acquired taste to type with though. Enjoy fixing tghe niggles.

  7. Thanks all, looking forward to getting stuck into it! Ted, many thanks for the advice, that may just come in very handy indeed

    1. ahh, well if you do have that issue, I have posts here and here that address my diagnosis and fix. enjoy! (: