04 March 2012

The Smith-Corona Silent: The Super 5...Super Typewriters

You have seen this before in my post about my Smith-Coronas and Coronas. Obviously, I am a Smith-Corona fan after finding out they are the best portable typewriters. I have most model types, all except the "flattop" models and the Corona Four. Given the price I paid for the Corona 3, although it is an excellent working typewriter and well worth the cost, I do have limited finances and have to wait a while before buying anything above lowly priced. That would explain my interest in broken typewriters.

But, I have a need. My mother, who also likes typewriters, has tried my typewriters and really liked my Smith-Corona Silent. This is not something she'd express lightly. Now, it is my duty to obtain a good Super 5 series typewriter for her...no matter the cost. Obviously, they do not generally cost a lot.

This line is of the highest quality. It is unlike all the others. I greatly want to try an Olympia SM3 or related model which also has parallel key action (the top of the key stays level even when depressed). The SM7, a good typewriter, does not have this feature and it is a good typewriter although not as good as the Super 5 (but the carriage of the Olympia is great). But it would be odd if Olympia did make such a superior typewriter and then abandon it, so I suspect it is not as good as the Super 5.

If it were not for my laziness in cleaning the typeheads, this typewriter would be the best to use for almost all occasions. I have to get a brush and scrub them I guess.

The only deficiency of this line is that it is not particularly visually attractive. The design I suspect was designed not just to fit in with the times (it was released right at the end of 1949, and this particular example is one of those first models), and also to be protected from environmental damage. The glossy smooth finishes and metal key rings of the previous models look great but perhaps require more care than a portable device should have.

I have the receipt for this. It is a typed letter containing the details of the sale (these were expensive back then). It contains personal information so I am not sure it would be proper to scan that and make it publicly available.

Well, I have to find the typewriter for my mother. If she is reading this blog, it is not me but somebody else... Pay no attention to the blogger behind the Internet.

Smith-Corona Silent, 1949

Smith-Corona Silent, 1949, open


  1. Very informative post. I passed several of these on Ebay. I never heard much about them. Now one is on my want list.

  2. I never liked the styling either. I was seeing these here for awhile but they seem to have dried up. Find something you like and stick with it - I'm with you on that.

  3. if you hurry you can get this one:

  4. I have 1 of those it's almost brand new how much I can sell it for

    1. The value varies according to demand. If you send me pictures and a type sample, I can give you what I would think you could get for it.

      If you are willing to ship to Pennsylvania, and it is in good condition and works, I may be interested in it.

      Judging a typewriter's condition requires knowledge of typewriters. They are somewhat complex mechanical tools with many independent parts.

      You can email me at gaelicwolfling@gmail.com if you want to discuss it with me.

  5. Would you say this model is better than the Corona no. 3?

    1. For typing? Yes. The Super 5 series is perhaps the best portable typewriter design ever.