Friday, 4 October 2013

The Typewriter Collection No.15- Smith-Corona Galaxie II, circa 1960-something

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into a thrift store...

How many of these corroded case latches have you seen in your time?

Nice colour combo.

Obligatory profile shot. Looks quite compact from this angle and it oozes classic '60s design, but I can't place its exact year. Could be 1964, could be 1968, could be later.  
Dig that rubber insert on the return lever, man! 

The ribbon cover slid forward. Clever.

Jewelled escapement. This confuses me a little, given my wristwatch background. I can't get my head around it. No matter. I'll get a gold Texta (Magic Marker) and colour in the lettering and maybe the crown, if my hand's steady enough on the day (doubtful).

Detail of the return lever 'blade' with the rubber insert. I'm surprised nobody thought of it before. Adds a little more grip if your finger(s) swipe it quickly during the fury of writing fast.  

This machine had a strip of tape plastered to the rear. I assume it was factory-placed, unless the previous owner did it his/her self to protect the paint-work. I took my time peeling this off, thinking that the logo would come off with it. 

I needn't have worried. It came off fine, and you can see the slight difference in colour.

And it even came with the instruction leaflet which explains how to remove the platen. Something to think about if I ever decide to get the rubber replaced, but I think I've got a few other typewriters that I'd like to tackle that job on first. One day, perhaps. 

And thus endeth this pictorial tour of my latest acquisition. 

Thanks again for reading!


  1. I think the Galaxie is cool in its own right. I know it's a solid typer and that could potentially mean that you intend to type more with it. Cheers.

  2. Late 60's sounds about right, with the padded return lever. Those are nice workhorse machines with eye-catching style. Good catch!

    I think the "hollow sound" comes mostly from the hollow-core platen, which you'll see if you pull the platen out (on SCM's, a super-easy operation)

  3. Great find! I agree, probably later '60s.

    The typeface is called "Congressional". Judging from the number of words on the page, Congressional Elite. Very distinctive!


    According to the ads I just compiled yesterday, it should date to 64, 65, or 66. :D

  5. Super-nice typeface! Congratulations.

    The carriage release levers on these are an Achilles' heel. The plastic gets weak and brittle after years of use.

  6. Congratulations on a very fine typewriter. If the Galaxie is anything like my Classic-12 the hollow is from the hollow platen. These machines have a hollow aluminum tube covered in rubber platen.

    The only place I know to get anywhere close to the year of manufacture is the TYPEWRITERS Yahoo! group. Jay Respler has quite a bit of accurate Smith-Corona information that others do not have.

    I had a Galaxie and a Sterling about the same age. Both were so very similar to my Classic-12 I gave them away.

  7. @ Ton, yes, it does type solid. Could become a go-to typewriter. But the lure of the Olympia SM models is strong.

    @ Ted, yep, I removed the platen and it's hollow. Then I began thinking about cramming it full of cotton wool to see if this might dampen down the sound a little. Might be worth a shot.

    @ Cameron, hey, good to hear from you, sir! This Congressional Elite font is quite distinctive indeed, and I think it's a 12 pt, based on the size.

    @ Nick Beland, '64, '65 or '66 sounds juuuust right. Cool. Wouldn't look out of place in the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (I'm talking Season Four, here). Thanks again for posting those Smith-Corona magazine ads. Serendipity lives!

    @ Richard, thanks! As for the carriage return lever, I'm contemplating making a replacement using (of all things!) a piece of orange plastic from a HP ink cartridge (cartridge number 564). Might work, might not.

    @ Bill M, the Classic 12 is very similar, I think. I was looking for one of those because of the quick-spacer key, but this Galaxie II came along and the price was right. Sturdy machines, these.

    @ textbodemer (Nick), will do, as soon as I finish the three assignments I have.

  8. That's exactly why i try to remember to check the type. The Galaxie I would normally pass by, but with that typeface? I'm buying it too. I would think possibly even early 70's. Jay would know.

    1. I've gotten into the habit of checking the type, but moreso to see if the platen will grip a sheet of paper and feed it through without slipping. I saw a gorgeous Halda standard model a couple of months ago, but the platen was so slippery that the paper wouldn't feed into it. As for Jay, I tried to look up his website, but IE cannot display the webpage, etc. Gotta stock up on some ribbons soon.

  9. It is never save to walk into a thrift store! But reading this well-written post, it was totally worth the try (and buy!).

  10. I love these Galaxie IIs. Even though they are a little loud, they are built solidly and mechanically precise. Rolling the paper in is a joy -- straight every time and catches nimbly without a fuss. On my Olympia SM4, it takes some force to turn the knob and catch the paper and then it sounds like a machine gun, but don't get me wrong, I love the SM4, too.

    One question: Where did you get the "1 (lowercase) 1/2 (uppercase)" keytop? Did it come on the machine when you bought it? Does the corresponding slug actually type 1 and 1/2? I've only ever seen the Galxie II with the bright red "1!" key, and I've been looking for a replacement for it simply because that lonely red beacon is out of place to me, design-wise. This machine doesn't need it. It also seems like the "red key" thing can only really work on an Oviletti.

    I've got a set of mathematical keytops and slugs that came with my Galaxie, but I haven't found a 1 1/2 one yet.

    Anyway, congrats on that find. And the typeface! Excellent. I've been looking for a Presidential (Pica, though) machine for a while now. Seems very hard to find. My SM4 has Congress Elite which is essentially the same (looks great), but I'd really like to find Pres Pica in a Galaxie.

    Did you try dampening your platen noise? Sounds like a good idea.

    Take care,

    1. @Mahlon, the typewriter arrived with these keys on it. I have not modified it in any way. As for the sound dampening, I packed the platen full of cotton wool. Made not a lick of difference! I thinking a out filling it with silicon or maybe some roof sealant, but I have to figure out if it'll dry fast enough. Maybe I'll do it in stages.