29 March 2012

A Matched Set! A New Smith-Corona Skyriter

Smith-Corona Skyriter

What? Another Skyriter? Yes, of course. I have been seeking one like this for a while.

At the end of 1949, Smith-Corona released their new models. The main portables were the Super 5 series and these are perhaps the best portable typewriters ever made. They also redid the Corona Zephyr, and they vastly improved it, and released it as the Skyriter.

In the Super 5 series, the first models had two tone green keys and stripes on the body as you can see here:

Smith-Corona Silent

The first Skyriters also had two tone green keys and stripes (and I think office models also had similar keys). The Skyriter's stripes are very interesting. They go all the way around. The metal snap on case has them, the front of the frame and bottom of the Skyriter has them, and of course the top of the Skyriter has them.

This Skyriter has an issue which I haven't resolved fully. When I got it, the screws holding the frame in the back were removed and in a bag separately. The escapement was not being engaged either, and occasionally, it becomes disengaged (this makes the carriage fly freely to the right). However, it doesn't do this when typing, only when backspacing and when returning the carriage sometimes so I can catch it if it lets go. It is easy to re-engage, but I will have to get a closer look to see if something is loose.

And winning this does show that the ideas about how to get good deals on eBay are often needlessly complicated. I bid my max, and two others had bid, and I won with the minimum amount. No playing games or trying to second guess other bidders in an effort to psychologically feel like I am doing something to increase my chances of anything.

This will be my last Skyriter I seek I think, unless I happen to stumble on one. Too many typewriters take up space and hinder actually writing with them.


  1. Congratulations on an excellent find. Great "matched set"!

    Yes, it is a challenge to use all the typewriters in one's collection, especially if there are more than a dozen. I do manage to cycle through all 20 of mine fairly regularly, although it's a stretch. I hate for any of my typewriters to sit, unused, for too long.

  2. Those are nice! I've long coveted those earlier ones. I finally found a skyriter but mine is the late-model silver one and has no front cover. It does have a nice case though.

  3. just stumbled across your blog trying to learn about the skyriter my grandma just gave me, which is exactly this model (early serial number, 1949 design, stripes, etc) with one difference: the keys include an ñ, for use in spanish--it was retailed in peru. do you happen to know anything about smith-corona's spread in south america? I'd love to know more about this kind of thing!

    1. Welcome.

      Many typewriter companies sold typewriters in other localities other than their native one.

      I've never seen a Spanish Smith-Corona typewriter that old before. They were made in the USA as far as I know so it was exported. Typewriters could be modified after they were made as well.

      Skyriters are great machines. I hope yours works well.

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