Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Shelf and the LC Smith 14

My parents came up to celebrate Mother's Day and brought us some great furniture. One of the best pieces was a shelf that we'd picked up from a friend years ago, but never used.

Well, it's getting used now!

Just about every typewriter I own fits except three: Royal KMM, SC Eelctra 210, and Tower President.

It feels so good to have all of those machines consolidated in one location!

Last week, I had an interesting foray into journalism. Courtney and I wanted to stay updated on local yard sales. Someone told us to get a copy of the Ste. Genevieve Herald. So, I went and paid the 75¢. When I looked up from the counter...

This LC Smith was sitting on the shelf behind the front desk, along with a number of other items.

"Mind if I take a picture of that?" I asked the lady. 

She looked at me funny and said, "No one's ever asked about that typewriter. I don't know who owns it or where it came from."

I emailed the owner/editor the next day and arranged a meeting. Toby was very nice and seemed quite intrigued by my...intrigue. I yanked it off the shelf and tried to find the serial number.

Touch regulator?

The platen is beyond saving, the product of years of neglect and heat.

I couldn't find the serial number. I looked under the carriage, inside the front panel, under the frame, but it just wasn't there. Since it has a basket shift, my best guess is post-WWI, probably the 1920s.

No one at the newspaper knew who "Wichem" was supposed to be.
Very neat, for a scratch!

During the conversation, another guy who was working there named Bryan Hollerbach who joined in. "I learned to touch-type on my mother's Smith Corona portable," he said. "I've got a few stashed here and there." As we got deeper into the conversation, he revealed his favorite machine. "I'm very fond of the SC Deluxe Secretarial."

The mystery remains, but it was great making another friend with a shared interest and delving into local typewriter history! Before I left, Toby brought me to the backroom to show me a SC electric that's still in use at the paper.

Who says typewriters are obsolete?

Power to the pen!


  1. Neat old typewriter. I didn't see any LC Smith 14s in the Typewriter Database - you may want to add it. Your 14 looks very similar to a 1930s LC Smith Super-Speed at Machines of Loving Grace

    1. Yeah, I suspect it is a 1930s because it has a basket shift mechanism.

  2. I think that machine is an early Super Speed (with missing or repainted labels), judging by the body style. The "14" is actually the carriage length, because there was never an LC Smith 14 ;). Nice machine nonetheless, and perhaps you could save it too!

    1. I told the staff about Jones' Typewriter in St. Louis. They are not sure who owns it now, so I didn't press the issue. Other than the ruined platen, it's in decent shape for being so old. Just a broken draw band and very VERY dirty.

    2. Thanks, JustAnotherGuy. I was wondering why I couldn't find a 14 in the Typewriter Database. Mystery solved!