Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Littlest Typewriter

Yet another machine I can take off of my wanted list, the Bennett Typewriter is a small little thing, compact and well designed for what it is. In its case, no one would believe you should you tell them that therein resides a typewriter. After all, the case is only 10.5 x 4 x 2.

But a typewriter it is, nonetheless. This machine in particular is fighting me, and refusing to type properly. I can get it to work decently well,  but it likes to sometimes choose different characters to print, and when shifting it doesn't care to type at all sometimes, the typewheel stopping just short of the paper.

At the same time that it is simplistic, it is also surprisingly thoughtful. A lever on the left side of the carriage can be set to 4 positions, 3 of which change where the left side margin is, and the fourth allows for no margin. It has a bell, of all things. And it has a decently designed line-spacer that has a solid feel to it. And of course, taking but two knobs out will allow the keyboard to be pulled straight off. A neccesity, since you have to do so to change the ribbon, but helpful for cleaning and oiling.

I beleive its often called the "Pocket Model", but I wouldn't imagine anyone has quite so large of pockets. And though my thoughts on its ability to actually type are rather negative, I will say that back in 1913, I suppose I can see certain professions having use of it. The wayward journalist who travels to places that don't permit much baggage; the lawyer who needs to print out some quick notes, quietly, somewhere in a courtroom, and others.

I'll keep tinkering with it, and try to get it to type with a somewhat silky-smoothness that I surmise it once had, over 100 years ago.