Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Mother's Love

The label underneath the left side of the carriage has been worn away.

This machine has only one color option, though the black square has been worn off.
The button above the margin release is a mystery. Possibly for accent marks?

The disconnected G key. I've got no idea how this happens, but it's not difficult to pop back into place.

Right side of the ribbon guide that allows the ribbon to pass freely.
As a result, the ribbon gets snagged on the line guide behind it and blocks my view of the text.
The ribbon guide is crimped at the top, allowing ribbons to be threaded on, but tight enough to keep it in place.
I accidentally opened it while putting the new one on, and now I can't get it back together the right way.
I've tried needle nose pliers, but the opening doesn't shrink even if I bend the metal.

You think they would have put this in a more visible area.
The line guide. It needs to be cleaned. The text appears between the two red marks.

I've seen a few of these SCMs before, but never gave them a second look. While they aren't as common as the 1950s Sterlings/Super Silents (in my experience), they're a close second.

This machine did not come with a carry case, but I suspect that it is at Grandma's house in the attic or garage. I'll ask her to keep an eye out for it. I'm very happy to have this machine, being the only typewriter in my collection that I've inherited, and doubly happy that I was able to fix the major problems without breaking anything.

It doesn't operate 100% perfectly. I've already mentioned the ribbon guide issue, but capitol letters and numbers seem to trigger an escapement problem. The carriage doesn't advance the same way. I can't quite describe it, but you'd notice if you were typing.

However, I can use it for small jobs. My penmanship is terrible and script font adds a much more personal touch to correspondence. Might need to be tuned up before I tackle any long letters.

This will be a guarded heirloom for the rest of my life.

Mother. There ain't no other. So treat her right.
                                                                           – Mr. T

Power to the pen!


  1. Looks like I'm not the only one to get a SCM portable for Christmas! Mine, however, is an ordinary Galaxy 12.

    That mystery button is the typebar unjamming key. On every SCM I have had the key feels disconnected, that's normal.

    1. And it's really odd for a Classic 12, one of SCM's most heavily featured portables, to only have a single color option. Is there any reason you know of for this?

    2. I love unjamming keys! Thanks for that.

      I have no idea why they made it a single color only model. I looked at other machines online with the labels intact to figure it out. Maybe an all-black ribbon would make the capitol letters print clearly?

      My guess is that this model was made with school children in mind, so there's no reason for them to use red. I'm not sure how a script typewriter fit with the teaching standards of the old days, but I'd be curious to learn.

      I can't even date this machine. There seems to be conflict over whether it's really a Classic 12 or a Galaxie with a different body.

    3. It's a Classic. Galaxie 12s don't have a half space key, like yours does.

  2. Gosh, that machine must have a heap of history behind it, and I'm glad to see you've kept it with the family. Beautiful.

  3. It's one-color because SCM's script font has ascenders and descenders that run into both colors. Every script typeface SCM I've ever seen has no bicolor ribbon capability, even the Super-5's.

    1. Aha, now I know what to look for in eBay auctions...

  4. Congratulations on the fine Christmas gift. It's very special to get a typewriter and know its history, especially when the typewriter came from your Mother.

    You photos show a Classic 12 not a Galaxie. I've got one plain pica and one script. The script as Ted noted is black ribbon only and normal line feed is 1.5 line spaces.
    There are other Script machines that only use one color also.

    They are very nice typers until the rubber on the platen hardens. SCM used an aluminum tube for the base and it can get loud.

    For the manufacturing date if you belong to the TYPEWRITERS Yahoo! group post a request for the S/N date there. Jay Respler is the only person I know who has accurate records of SCM dates.