Sunday 18 November 2012

The Typewriter Collection No. 12- Smith-Corona Silent Super, circa 1956(?)

I went to the Melbourne Pen Show this morning, but as I was getting ready to leave, a courier showed up with this beauty...on a Sunday!

At the pen show, I picked up a Lamy Safari, in its classic yellow case. While there. I met a young man who was tapping away at a 1926 Underwood portable. We chit-chatted typewriters and I tried to repair the Shift-Lock key on his machine, but without tools (and more importantly, knowledge), I was unable to get it to work as it should. I did, however, write down the deetails of the two typewriter repairers that I know and passed them along to him.

But I really couldn't wait to get home to use this new typewriter.

Not overly crazy about the colour, but as soon as my wife said it was dove-grey, I grew to like it. Now, if I can just give a good clean to bring it up looking spotless.

Bottom row, middle. The 'n' key sits a little lower than the others, but I've experienced no issues as far as typing goes.

A couple of stains here and there, but nothing disastrous. No other Smith-Corona details on the back.

The obligatory profile shot. This is another low-slung design by Smith-Corona. Still some DNA left over from the 1940s Clippers and Sterling models.

I haven't really put it through its paces, but so far, I'm happy with it. I don't think it even needs a service. Everything appears to be running as smoothly as a fifty-six year-old typewriter can.
If it can handle the long haul of writing page after page, then it's a keeper.

Thanks for reading!

P.S.- Thanks also to those of you who replied to my post about these models. I probably should have asked the question BEFORE I bought it. But I suppose Karma let me cash in a few chips.


  1. Beautiful machine! I think this would have to be my favorite colour scheme.

    That C&P with the Underwood 3 bank is on the portable forum, and seems quite nice. Have they changed Malvern town hall much?

    You've done well with your purchase.

  2. Very beautiful typewriter. Congratulations! I do not know if I'd like a Lamy Safari or another typewriter better.

  3. Ya, if you didn't have a Super-5 before, You really need one if you love the act of typing. Sounds like you got a good one. I have a '55 Silent with math keys in the same color (but worse paint condition) that was one of my First 5, the core of my corral. I read somewhere that the color is called "Desert Sand", but I can't remember where.

  4. @ Scott, I am tempted to take it apart and paint it another colour. I'm just worried that I won't be able to put it back together again once I'm done. That's assuming I can remove the old colour properly to begin with. Speaking of painting, I think all that's been done to Malvern Town Hall in recent years is a fresh coat of white. I don't tend to hang around Malvern.

    @ Bill, the Safari's a nice enough pen. I got it with a 1.1 nib, but it doesn't write with the same thickness of line that my Lamy Joy (with the same nib) does. Maybe it needs running in.

    @ Ted, yep, I'm loving this machine. Very nice to write on.

  5. Still trying - but failing - to steer clear of post-war typewriters. Who knows, you might just have tipped me towards one of these. Not too common on eBayUK though.

  6. I have a '56 Silent Super exactly like this, serial # 318571, slightly newer than yours but probably made in the same year.

    Although I would not hesitate to re-paint certain typewriters, I strongly suggest that you keep this one the way it is. The color scheme is very historical in its way.

    This particular make and model of typewriter is one of the very best to type on, in my opinion. Nearly as good as Olympias! ;-)

  7. @ Rob, this is nice to write with. Very snappy. I would almost say that if you only buy one post-War typewriter, then it's a toss-up between one of these and an Olympia SM 2 or 3.

    @ Cameron, you are right! Despite the rather drab shade of grey, it IS representative of this model, and if I apply the same principle to this typewriter as I do with wristwatches, then it's a better idea to leave it be in its original colour. Thanks for the advice!