|Corona / Smith-Corona portables|
|It's no secret that I'm particularly fond of this line of machines. The 1950's lineup is discussed on my "Collecting Typewriters" page, and here are some more!|
|At left -here's the oldest one I have, a CORONA 3 as produced by the Standard Typewriter Company. In 1914, the company became the Corona Typewriter Company after about two years of changes and instability. The machines remained in production in this form (with labeling changes) until about 1920. At right, post-1920 Corona 3 with two sets of shift keys.|
|The CORONA FOUR was introduced about 1924, and was an attempt to compete with larger portables such as REMINGTON had developed, with four rows of keys. In 1926, L.C. Smith & Bros. bought and merged Corona to form L. C. Smith & Corona Typewriters, Inc. The four row machine was renamed simply "CORONA" and the folding model "CORONA SPECIAL."|
|At right, the familiar flat-topped large CORONA variant, first introduced about 1934. This basket-shifted machine was the first infusion of new life into the CORONA line, and carried standard typewriter styling. By the end of the 1930's, the company had added new plants in Cortland and Geneva N.Y. and Aurora Ill. in addition to the original CORONA plant in Groton N.Y. and the L.C. SMITH plant in Syracuse N.Y.|
|At left, the CORONA JUNIOR introduced in 1934 as a cheaper machine which could sell during the depression. Largely the four-row CORONA portable, and sold in a couple of different variants for only a few years.|
|Here is a "Speedline" portable, a body variant first introduced in 1938; the flat topped design remained in production. The folding machine and the four-row early machne were both dropped in 1939. This streamlined variant went back into production after the war carrying the new SMITH-CORONA brand name, as did the ZEPHYR a few years later as the SKYRITER. Colors and specific models/options vary widely. Built through 1949, when replaced by "1950" models.|
|The SCM emblem was first used on a new body variant, the GALAXIE, in 1959. This is essentially the earlier SILENT-SUPER in a totally new body. Older looking body styles remained in production, however, until the mid 1960's; the STERLING at right in blue dates to about 1963. The STERLING is also mechanically the same as the SILENT-SUPER.|
|Left, the COUGAR DELUXE, descended from the ZEPHYR/SKYRITER. The SKYRITER was made in England by British Typewriters Ltd. (a subsidiary) after 1960 and further developed there, including fast spacer and tabulator.
You can find machines such as this one carrying various labels, such as CORSAIR, COUGAR and even SKYRITER. The Ghia-designed "SUPER G" is actually mechanically the same machine with a new body and case style. Also, the very late machines (as shown on my page about the last designs produced by the US makers) are the same again, but with a number of small design and engineering changes --- and a totally different look. These are found labeled SCM Smith-Corona Courier and Courier C/T.
|At right, GALAXIE 12 of the 1970's. SMITH-CORONA dropped manual typewriters in 1983, and closed its last plant in Cortland N.Y. in 1994, moving production of electronic typewriters to Mexico. Two bankruptcies followed, with the closing of its Singapore plant in 1996 and selling off of the new Mexico plant in 1997 coming out of the first, and the results of the second are still unclear; the company has a new owner, but its future is not yet assured.|
|At left, the Corona Zephyr, first introduced in 1938. Small flat machines were still new at the time, and this was Smith-Corona's response to the small Paillard-built HERMES machines.|
|Above, the patent drawing showing the type bar mechanism of the small Zephyr and later Skyriter machines. Key lever, in yellow, when pressed, pushes second element in red backward, hinging at (14.) This pulls forward on blue reach rod 18, which is hooked directly to the bottom of the (green) type bar, (15.) Note that with this machine, the typical "Piano Key" action was not attempted.|
|At right, a machine which represents the 1950 reincarnation of the Zephyr design, the Skyriter. This machine is actually labeled for distribution by Sears, Roebuck & Co. and is labeled as the Tower Chieftain II.|
|In 1957, Smith-Corona introduced the first electric portable typewriter, the Model 5TE. An advertising shot of this model is seen at left.|
|Here's the whole 1958 lineup of portables from Smith-Corona. Starting bottom right, the Clipper; to its left, the Sterling, which adds tabulator, and above that, the Silent-Super, with key set tabulator. Top center is the Electric Portable (the 5TE,) and the machine pictured in the zipper case is the Skyriter. Various small changes took place over the decade of the 1950's; for example, early on, the Clipper did not have a paper bail. You can check out my "Collecting Typewriters" page on my original AOL site to see all of the minute detail changes that took place over the 1950's.|
|1950 examples of SKYRITER and SILENT.|
|At right, post-war Smith-Corona Silent. This machine represents that postwar period in which pre-war designs were perpetuated while new designs were being developed.
The competition was not standing still; Royal and Remington had been hard at work, and were prepared to introduce new machines in the period 1947-1948. However, Remington's machine badly missed the mark, and Royal's was not an enormous improvement over its previous models. The charge to the future was then left to Smith-Corona, which responded admirably, and ultimately successfully.
|At Christmas, 1949, the new "1950 line" of Smith-Corona portables appeared. While much of the basic design was retained, the entire carriage was redesigned, as was the entire body. New colors and trim were fitted, along with new hard resin keytops. This revision of design helped Smith-Corona to begin a move toward the top of the field in portable typewriters. Models in the line included the small, flat Skyriter, as well as the Clipper, Sterling and (pictured at left) the Silent.|
|Within a few years, the SUPER appeared, which added a new key set tabulator. This was quickly renamed as the SILENT-SUPER, as seen at left. Even later, two more keys were added -- with the name staying the same. My brother Dave's TOWER PRESIDENT at right represents this design variant.|
|by Will Davis|