06 February 2012
Smith-Corona Zephyr Deluxe: Keeping the Line Alive in the 60s
This is the Smith-Corona Zephyr Deluxe. It is a model not known for being particularly good, but it is not bad. I got this one for cheap and it turned out to be cursive. If I had wanted a cursive typewriter of this kind, I probably wouldn't have been able to find one for a reasonable price even at all. I haven't seen others (although, since they are indistinguishable from the keyboard from regular typewriters, I cannot tell if others listed are cursive or not. Maybe the "Pride Line" label is only for cursive typewriters, but maybe not all cursive typewriters are labeled with it).
It is a pretty good typewriter for being so light and portable. It arrived damaged (the typebars well severely bent and mangled and I had to straighten them with pliers not knowing if they'd snap at any time). After it, I always specify to sellers to put paper towels or some bubble wrap inside the typewriter over the typebars to prevent them from moving in transit. It has a plastic snap on case (not shown in the photo).
It is somewhat sad that they went for cheaper build and quality. They raised the Corona Zephyr up with the Skyriter, and then regressed with the Corsairs and multitude of names until finally dying out with what I hear are very bad typewriters (they had one more iteration after this with yet another body design which I find to be very unattractive and pointless). How the mighty have fallen...
This model though is pretty attractive and it works well and it is good for typing although due to its light weight, one really needs to be careful to avoid throwing it across the room when returning the carriage. The Skyriter slows you down with a very small carriage return handle. In the later Skyriter model, they used a similar handle as seen below. I had a Skyriter with that kind of handle, but I sold it already.