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A Field Guide to Hunting Down Script Typewriters.

By Maytpapa
A field guide to hunting down script typewriters.

A field guide to hunting down script typewriters.

And just like that, I collect typewriters now. I started with my first unit in October 2020. By December, I had 5. My very last and cheapest purchase was a 700-peso Adler Junior 10 which I felt a little guilty getting for so cheap, because it still works. But the seller (who had written her name on it with a permanent marker, but which I can easily take out), it turned out, when we met her, seemed only too happy to get rid of it. A drove me 6 kms to Quezon City to pick it up. 700 pesos was hardly even enough for a day's worth of groceries, I thought, as she handed me her typewriter which she had used, she told us, as former secretary of the association of tricycle drivers in their area. (True enough, though the route to her street was circuitous and confusing because of the narrow streets, her house was easy enough to find; it was right where the Brgy Holy Spirit tricycle terminal was.)
Collecting typewriters is addicting, as I had been warned. There will always be an excuse for you to scour the FB Marketplace for a new posting, and there will always be an excuse for you to not look the other way, especially if it has a good price on it. But typewriters take a lot of space, and I realized that I might not really be that much of an addict after all (thank goodness!), especially as I had already found a nice typewriter with a script font, and I don't mind so much that it is a not so glamorous nor rare a find, and not so old. What I mind is that it has a beautiful script font.
So from now on, I resolve to only look at typewriters with script or unusual fonts, if I am to collect any more typewriters. Am keeping my script Olympia Traveller Deluxe, for sure. Am keeping my 4 others for the meantime, if only to satisfy my desire to learn how to clean and recondition units.
So here is a handy guide that I had collated from many articles and forums, about hunting for script typewriters. I figured that I might as well share it, and that there is no reason why I should keep this to myself, because I only collected them from what others have written online.

Typewriters with script fonts are unicorns, they say.

Because they were manufactured not for practical office use, but for fancy personal correspondence, very few units were made, which makes them so collectible today.
So far, I've gathered these few hunting tips, from online articles and Reddit forums:

  • Standard typewriters wiith script fonts are rarer to find than portables with script fonts.
  • A rare standard typewriter Royal 10 with half block, half script font- was in customized production till 1971)
  • Many of the script font typewriters were built toward the end of the typewriter era, from the late '70s to 1990 by the remaining typewriter companies, particularly the IBM models with the interchangeable ball.
  • Swiss-made Hermes (3000, Media 3) seems to top the list of the most sought after vintage manuals with script font
  • Another popular choice among collectors is the script typewriter debuted by Olivetti Lettera in 1963.
  • Other typewriter manufacturers that offered the script font were Olympia (SM3, SM7, SM8), Adler (Tippa, J4, J5), Royal (Safari, Sahara), Remington (Deluxe 5, Personal Riter), Smith-Corona (Classic 12, Sterling 5A, Galaxie Deluxe 10, Galaxie 11, Galaxie 12, Silent Super), Torpedo 18, Blickensderfer (with cylinder) and IBM (Selectric with typeball)
  • Experienced typewriter collectors have a most uncanny sense in telling if a unit has a script font just by looking at a picture and noting the model and some details. In earlier units, typewriters that have the letter 1 key is a good clue that it is a script font typewriter. In later units, the absence of a ribbon selector is a good clue, though later units (late '60s onwards) offered script with units that had ribbon selectors.

Other noteworthy beautiful fonts that are collectors' holy grails:

* Olivetti Graphika: Cassandre typeface
* Royal Model P: Vogue

My little collection. Clockwise, from top: Olivetti Lettera 32, Sperry Rand Remington, Smith Corona Galaxie Deluxe, Adler Junior 10, Olympia Traveller Deluxe. Only the Olympia Traveller Deluxe has a script font.

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