Remington-Rand History v2 (NEW and IMPROVED!)

This is where you hear a “sha-wing, sparkle sparkle”. If you don’t, then get your ears checked, please. ūüėČ

This version is decidedly better than the first as it actually shows a lot more. I used a family tree program so you’ll have to pardon the whole “birth” and “death” thing. But here it is! It’s a bit more readable/understandable than the linear mind-mapping.

Remington-Rand History (fixed)

A few notes:

  • The program decided to ignore the fact that Burroughs does have ancestors, two of them in fact: American Arithometer Co. and Burroughs Adding Machine Co. The former was established in 1886 and later renamed — after Burroughs’ death — to the latter in 1904.
  • I used Sperry Rand on purpose. They later reverted back to the use of the simple Sperry Corp., but this was only after jettisoning Remington-Rand Systems and Remington-Rand Machines in 1978. After this Sperry focused entirely on computer development. Prior to this, Sperry Rand did manufacture typewriters.

Hope you guys enjoy! Thanks for reading/viewing, have a great day and be safe out there. Oh and for sure, feedback is welcome. If you want more history, I’ll be more than glad to oblige!

(And now if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to sleep now… phew… damn history and it’s addictive nature. Where are those eye drops… I’ll be seeing dates in my dreams…)

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Goodness!

Okay guys, I’m sooo sorry! I didn’t know the background was invisible on the comments section… Thanks to Richard P for pointing it out.

It should be fixed, I think, for most browsers. It’s a quick fix until I can get it looking 100% the way I want it to look.

Anyway, just wanted to throw this up. Back to work…

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Remington-Rand History (Graphic)

This is the current mapping of the history of Remington-Rand. There are a few companies that I want to do some more research on to get this to be a more thorough mapping, but as it is, it shows the parents, mergers and acquisitions. It’s unfortunate that the final product (Unisys) is considered a rather “bad” company considering the amount of history behind it. But Rand Kardex did some really shady things… so did Remington-Rand… and Sperry… So I guess it just runs in the family, eh? ūüėČ

Remington-Rand History

Remington-Rand History

Medical Knowledge (Or “Someone’s Worse Off”)

Okay, so, here I sit in a waiting room to get yet more blood drawn. It is loud with the TV on and I must be the youngest one here by 20 years minimally. I’ve gotten used to the stares after being in the cardiac ward and being the youngest there by 40 years, supposedly.

Today is a bit different… At least I am grateful that I am here not for my heart. But, man, am I getting tired of being sick. I won’t lie: some pretty messed up thoughts come and go in those deep dark hours. It seems like if it isn’t one thing, it is another.

What is disheartening and amusing at the same time is how often I become a test subject because due to my age I “shouldn’t” have these issues. I “shouldn’t” have AFib and MVP. I “shouldn’t” have cluster headaches. And in this case, the test subject applies: my ENT is simply mystified. With all the major causes ruled out by test (with the exception of the current blood draw), we both don’t have the faintest as to what is¬†happening.

During the laryngoscopy, where a flexible¬†tube is passed up through your nose and nasal passages down into your throat (very weird feeling),¬† he noted there was absolutely nothing wrong with my throat. My vocal cords were a tad inflamed, but beyond that…? What he did note was that my tonsils were so swollen that they extended a bit down into my throat: which is what I am feeling. Not only have they done this, they’re also covered in little dots. Lots of dots. (All this I got to see on the screen afterwards.)

I think we have this assumption that in this day and age doctors should know everything. Databases are online for ready review. There are tons of articles. Just this vastness of knowledge has been compiled on the study of the human body and its related weaknesses. People too often get pissed off at their doctors for not having the answer and really I don’t think that is fair. Doctors are not all knowing. They may be specialists, they may have decades of experience, but every patient is unique and that uniqueness brings a new challenge to them every, single, time. They are life-long problem solvers. Some might be better at it or more proactive at it, but no single doctor can ever have the vastness of knowledge that people seem to expect them to have.

So… I might not have an answer but¬†at the end of the day, I can still breathe. I can still eat and drink. I can still talk, though with some amusing slight difficulty. I can still sing, horribly, to my favorite song. I’m not in the hospital, drugged up and on a surgery table getting a biopsy. This is one piece of the puzzle and this has at least ruled out a good handful of things. It is progress.

At the end of the day: there is always someone worse off than you. Always. This is something I have to keep reminding myself. That no matter how shitty I feel, at least I can be thankful for some things.

You guys have a great day and be safe out there. ūüôā

(Now… where is that wine so I can be grateful for that! Hmm…)

 

I am officially…

SICK.

Tonsils have been swollen for going on two months. They’ve gotten worse. Thankfully I’ve got an ENT appointment early this week to check out my throat because I can’t swallow something¬†in one go (excluding liquids). This has thrown me a bit off my game, so typewriter projects — which require all of my focus — are on hold.

I will however keep posting things as I recover.

The typewriter is being painted. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, so it’ll be chronicled. I’m doing it mainly because I love this thing too much for it to languish in this ugly brown/olive/whatever gunk they put on it. It has too much history and character! I deserves to be… happy! Haha!

Working on two maths problems — not sure anyone cares about this but since this is an update… One deals with Mongean shuffles and another with primes. The latter has become rather interesting and the results rather unexpected…

Another pen post will be coming up… not sure which one. I’m on a history kick right now it seems so probably will be a set or a singular pen that does have personal history/a story behind it.

Won’t be buying another typewriter until the Skyriter is 100% done. Even then it’s questionable. I’d like to fix up the J5, so that might be the next project.

Anywho, hope you guys are doing better than me! Haha! Have a great day and be safe out there!

Eversharp Slim Ventura, c. 1955

Alright guys n’ gals. I figured I’d start posting up tidbits about the fountain pens I own. These type of posts — since this is the first, I’ll get this out of the way — are part informational, part review. I am a user of fountain pens first¬†and a collector second. My philosophy toward typewriters (that they should be used if they can be) applies to fountain pens and in fact fountain pens is where that idea came to be.

Today, I’d like to talk about the Eversharp Slim Ventura.

This line was Eversharp’s last real attempt at making a quality pen. All pens after this dropped dramatically in quality as well as cost. As a last attempt, or possibly more accurately a farewell, I think they did an admirable job. These pens were produced in a variety of colors.¬†These had plastic barrels and metal caps in¬†three¬†grades:¬†gold filled cap¬†and clip, sterling cap with gold filled clip, and gold filled cap with sterling clip. To these they added two metal versions: gold filled and sterling silver.

The set that I have is sterling silver. It includes a fountain pen (set¬†with a fine point, non-flexible 14k gold nib) and a click actuated mechanical pencil. When I got this set, it was NOS (new old stock) from c. 1955! How cool is that?! It came from these awesome folks here and with the original boxes, price tags, instructions, and plastic around the pens. (The price tags have since gone missing, because… well, I’m a user not a collector.) And interesting tidbit is the sterling silver version is the only version to have a sterling cap with a sterling clip.

First and foremost, I simply adore this case! Some of the pens I own come with shoddy, questionable at best, boxes even though they cost a decent amount (in my book). This box has character. It’s nice to the touch and solid, with the name emblazoned upon the lid.CaseStraight out of the box, everything worked like a charm! I ink up old(er) pens with an ink that I know is neutral toward their ink sacs. In this case, it’s old reliable: Waterman’s Mysterious Blue, formerly Blue-Black.¬† (I should mention here that the ink sac in the pen is the original one! A testament to how well things were made back then, eh?)In Case

The nib is un-frickin’-believable. Ultra smooth and flawless. There is a down-turn to the nib which gives its stiffness, but there is also a slight degree of spring due to the inherent properties of 14k gold. Though the nib is stiff, it is nothing near manifold stiffness.¬†(The blotch on the nib isn’t damage, but ink…)Nib

The weight is pleasant and since it’s sterling, there’s definitely a degree of heft. With the cap posted, the weight is toward the rear, which is excellent for this pen as it doesn’t take very much pressure to get the ink flowing. The length is also easy going. The width is obviously smaller than other pens (as suggested by its name) but it isn’t too small for long-term writing.

The pencil is a bit more difficult to handle, especially if you’ve got larger paws like I do. Its stream-lined, aerodynamic nature that cuts through the air so you can precisely jot down ideas and musings makes it rather difficult to grip without it slipping occasionally. Another nit-picky complaint is that the click actuation to get the lead out is incredibly stiff. To my knowledge, this is on par with the mechanical pencils of the age but… wow, really stiff. Pencil Length

The lead in the pencil is original as well as the eraser — which is unusable, but understandably so, since, after all, it is well over 50 years old! The lead is definitely thick for me but totally on par with the era, at 1.1mm or thereabouts. (I personally prefer 0.5mm for mechanical pencils.) Hardness is… about HB, which is standard.Pencil Tip

Overall, the cost for this set was well worth it. I carry the pencil in my bag while I have the fountain pen in my pocket. Since it is a set, I enjoy it even more since sets have that matching allure. The pencil, unfortunately, goes more often unused partially due to its shape — not fixable — and its lead softness — fixable. Both are great daily users/writers and are in my rotation.

Hope y’all enjoyed this! Have a great day and be safe out there.

Smith-Corona Skyriter Carriage Study

I’ve been looking at the carriage a bit more on this guy and aside from the obvious scary amount of tension on it, there’s¬†a few other things that might be worth mentioning…

The entire carriage is attached¬† with 2 sets of 2 screws. The law of two,¬†as Scott K mentioned in a comment!¬†It is mainly attached to what I’m calling the Shift Plate. Then it is also attached to the frame by 2 other screws which creates the pivot point for it to¬†allow the shift action.

The Shift Plate itself is the foci, to some extent, of tons of attachments. Not only is the carriage attached to it, but the ribbon guide as well as the line indicators. Which means, if the Shift Plate is detached from the main mechanism, the entire carriage comes free along with everything else! This leads me to believe that this was build in a modular way because this kind of piecing would allow someone to focus on just that section and attach it later.

That thought lead me to another point…

Carriage Assembly

Why not remove it?

This was a bit tricky because there are things attached:

  • The backspace¬†is attached¬†in the form of a bar that pulls on a pivot that pushes another bar into a ratchet that pushes the carriage back one space. This is a simple hook. However, there is a screw that may be undone.
  • Also attached is the bar that causes the keys to lock. This is on a horizontal pivot about a screw. This mechanism is insanely elementary as it simply blocks the movement of a striker. And what makes it even easier is that it’s attached by only 1 screw.
  • There is a more complicated bit that associates several key functions but, yet again, it follows the law of two screws. One of which has its own hole drilled into the frame clearly suggesting its modular design nature.
  • Lastly there are the two screws that act as the pivot for the shift to work. To add to the complication, I believe they need to be set “just so” in order for everything to work. There is a degree of freedom to either side in order for the shift to work, which means this sucker has to be centered based on these two screws alone! If you’ve got calipers — specifically digital ones! — get them out now.

There is a definitely order of processes to this. The very last thing you undo are the two pivot screws. In order to get an accurate measurement for either you need to undo both of the screws that control the complicated functions. Before this you can undo both the backspace screw and the key-lock screw.

Let’s get to it then, shall we?

I started with the key-lock screw. Just move the carriage to the right to get access to it then use a 3/16 (5mm). This screw comes with a post, so do not lose it otherwise things won’t line up correctly! Once it is undone, you can push up on the rear of it so it comes free from the back. Now, you do not have to remove the rod! In fact, I would suggest you don’t: if you do, it has to pass through the front of the typewriter under the keys.

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With that connection done, I went for the backspace connection. Using the same 3/16 (5mm), unscrew it. Now, don’t do anything else with it! Let it be, just take out the screw and set it aside. You’ll see why soon.

The screw is easily accessed once the carriage is moved.

The screw is easily accessed once the carriage is moved.

Now for the major connections. I did the one with its own hole in the frame first. Same 3/16. This would appear to be a total beast to put back together but if you have magnetic tip screw drivers, you’re set. This comes out easily enough and with a little jigging, the screw comes free and you can add it to the growing pile. The second screw, which you can probably tell from the angle of the photo, is just a bit tucked away. This too can be undone with a 3/16 — just make sure it has a long shank!

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All the screws are now undone and the only thing remaining is the most stressful bit: undoing the pivot screws. Take out your calipers and take photos. These screws have to be set exactly the same way again! My left screw had 1.81mm of clearance from where I measured. My right screw had 4.92mm from the nut to the first turn. Now, these have nuts on them so they are designed to be used as markers. You do not have to turn the nuts. Just turn the screws. Remove both. I did the right then the left. The entire mechanism should come loose. There is a spring attached to the frame on the left side that connects to a black plate on the carriage: undo it from the frame, not the black plate.

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Here is why I said not to bother with the backspace bar: you can undo it now! I happened to just jiggle it a bit and it came right off.

Carriage Assembly Removed

And there we go!

Hopefully y’all enjoyed this. Thanks for reading, have a great day and be safe out there!

(Per usual, this is an opinion driven guide. Do what you will at your own risk. I cannot be held accountable for any damage to your typewriter, your person, or anything else.)