|Richard Polt has been a well known typewriter collector and researcher for many years, and built what many consider to be the first and finest collectors' website - "The Classic Typewriter Page." More recently, Richard took over production of the magazine "ETCetera" and the reviews of his effort have been, to a number, entirely positive. Our experience in the production of this website has been very similar - Richard is always ready to help with new material and new photos but also with new suggestions and ideas. Although probably too long in coming, and thoroughly inadequate to detail Richard's overall contribution to the hobby in general, here is our special page decicated to Richard and his collection.|
This three-bank German-made machine is actually a rare name variant of the Meteor, which can be seen in some further detail (with two examples shown) on the European Typewriter Project's website. The machine is quite normal for portables made in its day (which is to say pre-1925 or so) in that it's a three-bank, double-shift machine. One might say that this was "standard" for portables during that time frame - if one were not afraid of confusing terminology.
According to "Typewriter Topics," the machine seen here was a descendant of the Rapid in the sense that it was similar but of improved design; it was also a product of one of the originators of the Rapid, named Bernard Granville. Supposedly the machine was floated by two unsuccessful firms based in Rhode Island, following which it was floated again in London but this also failed. The first appearance was 1896.
Richard's example is clearly labeled as having been made by Mossberg & Granville Manufacturing Company, Providence, Rhode Island - the second of the two aforementioned firms.
The large silver keys, one each side, are the carriage return operators - similar in some ways to the lever of the old, original German-made Ideal.
|Smith Visible No. 6
Experienced collectors already smell a rat here, and what we are looking at is actually a rare enough machine that has been rebuilt, repainted and rebranded! This machine was originally a Victor No. 3, but well known rebuilder-reseller Harry A. Smith got hold of it and rebuilt it into a "Smith Visible No. 6." This is just one of a number of model numbers that Smith applied to rebuilt Victor machines, and it's a confusing task to figure out why he did this - remember that he also used this exact model number for a batch of rebuilt Harris Visible No. 4 machines, which were very different from the Victors such as is seen here. Richard should be proud of this exceptional machine; it's hard enough to find a Victor, but finding a Smith rebuild of it is incredible. This machine is serial number 7447.
|Monarch No. 2 serial number 437
Richard's Monarch 2 seems to muddy the waters just a bit; it has what was previously thought to be a slightly later decor, but yet it's the lowest serial-number machine on the net. Considering its appearance, we'll have to assume this to be original and work from there! Notable on this extremely early (ca. 1904) Monarch No. 2 are the lack of ribbon selector, and lack of tabulator - exactly as one might expect for a super-early machine of this kind.
This machine looks at first like a Smith Premier, but it isn't; in fact, it's totally unrelated although it's designed to be quite similar to operate. Carl Mares wrote in his legendary book that the Peerless was designed by one of the Smith brothers that was not involved with the Smith Premier Typewriter Company. Typewriter Topics indicates that the Peerless was born (designed?) in 1891, and Darryl Rehr indicates that it hit the market four years later but four MORE years later it was gone. Notable, again, for its visual similarity (particularly in the keyboard layout and execution) to the Smith Premier.
|Rapid No. 10
Do not confuse this machine, in any way, with the "Rapid" mentioned in the material concerning the Granville Automatic above. This machine is much later and totally unrelated. The Rapid No. 10, labeled as having been made by the Rapid Typewriter Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA is actually a Fox Visible and equates to the Fox Visible No. 23 model. No one seems to be sure of just why this separate company was established to sell this machine; what seems sure is that all of them are the same model, and were probably "sale priced" since the improved No. 24 had become the mainstay (these are the last No. 23 machines made.) Richard's example is in top condition.
|Victor No. 10
This machine has been displayed on our VICTOR pages for some time now, but we show it here for a specific reason; this is a machine which looks pretty common but is actually really hard to find. You only see this model available once in a great while and we only know of a few (perhaps six to ten - we have one, not nearly as good as Richard's in terms of decals) in the hands of collectors. Richard, as usual, did very well to get it!
Another machine -- this time a portable -- previously displayed on this site, but again worth seeing! This is the Swiss version of the Patria, and is a beautiful machine. Note the rounded shape to the top of the machine, near the type-bar rest which gives it a distinctive and classy look and certainly makes it look far less square than it would have without the feature. When Richard sent us the photo of the machine, it helped break the whole Euro-Portables story wide open and was a clue we'd been looking for.
|You can see all of Richard's machines at his Classic Typewriter Page; from there you can also get a link to the web page for ETCetera, which he edits. We're grateful to Richard for his many contributions to this site and his great effort with ETCetera - here's to many more years of the same!|