14 April 2012

Corona Standard: Flattop Wonder of the Great Depression




Corona Standard flattop typewriter

The serial number is 1C 128717 which as far as I can tell using available source means it was made in 1935. The "Standard" (as opposed to the "Sterling") was the basic model with no tabulator of the new flattop design. It has a "Floating Shift" (segment shift) and is the beginning of a great line of typewriters. While there are differences, especially in the carriage, the design of the flattop would be carried over into the Speedline line, which would go into the Super 5s, which would go into the first electric portable typewriters (next post will be about one of those), and the Galaxie bodied machines, until finally they stopped making manual models. The design of the typing mechanism is similar. It is segment shifting, parallel key action, and the same keyboard. The carriage is where most of the mechanical differences are and of course the body is greatly different from future designs.

The flattop model is the start of enclosing the portable typewriter in a body from the top. The Corona Four and Corona 3 and the Corona Zephyr did not have tops. The top of the flattop is very logical. It is flattop and it hinges (the first design did not hinge and was removable) like later designs until the Galaxie sliding system was made. From the sides, the flattop design looks like a miniatare standard. It has the same pattern (which due to very poor lighting and photography ability, this is not shown here) as standards. Clearly, the flattop design was inspired by the L. C. Smith standard sized typewriters. The merging of Corona and L. C. Smith (which happened in 1926, but the products retained most of the original design and labeling from before the merger, and it wasn't until after WWII did it clearly state "Smith-Corona" on all their typewriters).

Now, all I need is a Corona Four to complete my line up of Corona portable designs. It will be a while until I get that probably though. In the meantime though, I wonder what I will have to show off and use? I know what is coming next on this blog, a typewriter I wanted for a while yet couldn't find in working condition (and after getting one broken on eBay (which I returned), was reluctant to take chances again as they are quite heavy and more expensive to ship for returns). That is, until now.

1 comment:

  1. There is something very compelling, and attractive, about collecting all the examples of a brand. You have chosen one of my favorites, certainly, in the Smith-Corona line. I enjoy all of mine!

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