29 March 2012

Smith-Corona Galaxie II and Changeable Type

Smith-Corona Galaxie II and Changeable Type Kits

Smith-Corona Galaxie II, blue platen

Look at that! I have a very hip typewriter with a blue platen, and more Changeable Type kits than most people ever get (I know...people complain on the Internet of not being able to find any).

The Galaxie II is the same, as far as I can tell, as the Super 5 typewriter I bought for my mother. They have a different body but they have everything in the same spot. But, note the blue platen (I used my phones flash for that) and the one Changeable Type key.

Now, those kits I would like to show off, but it is hard to actually type anything meaningful only to show them off. One day, I will probably do a sample of everything I have on a single paper. Swapping them out while typing is actually a pain. They are best used for text one knows will require a certain key.

The Super 5 series is a superior body...I do not know why they changed it. It doesn't seem to save any money, and the Galaxie body is weaker and more complex. The carriage release levers of the Super 5 are one piece and metal on both sides. The Galaxie body has the same mechanics, but the levers are hard plastic and attached to little metal stubs. The problem is that they are removable (for some reason) and they can break easy as they are levers. Using the carriage release without those levers is near impossible. This one arrived without either lever (so I was able to get a partial refund, great customer service). However, I removed one from a blue Galaxie Twelve. So I have one (the one on the right is the more useful one anyway) to use on this. The other went to fixing the brown Galaxie Twelve featured on this blog (which came with one broken).

Kits were often of four related keys, but you could also get single keys from Smith-Corona (I've seen the order form) and that is what all those little ones are. While some are missing the paper, they all contain a slug and a key except for one which is missing the key top.

All those kits I have cost me less than $50 total, yet, most people complain they can't find any.

You know what is interesting? I cannot find them either. I just find them when browsing random listings. None of them were listed in a way which could be found by searching for "Changeable Type" or other term like that. I just found them in browsing pages of listings for things like "Corona typewriter" or "Smith-Corona typewriter". That is the secret, and it will be very frustrating most of the time if you are looking for a set in particular.

Such is life.

Oh, this typewriter is probably one of the best typewriters I have used for the feel. It is a later model, has what I consider an inferior body, but the touch is great. Usually, quality goes down, but the mechanics stayed top notch and perhaps even improved a bit. I cannot think any manual portable typewriter of its era could be superior.

And it has a blue platen.


  1. Very nice. I have been searching for interchangeable type for over 10 years and have yet to find any. That blue platen is really great.

  2. me too - never found a changeable type kit at all - and I have two sets of speed keys! The Brother Echelon I gave Ryan Adney had changeable type too and stupid me I never tried it with the classic 12 I had at the same time.