Oh, the perils of eBay. Not long ago, I fell to the tempation of a rather scarce specimen, a Deutsche Remington. (A little background: the Deutsche Remington is really a Torpedo. Remington partially owned Torpedo Buromaschinenwerke, and so in the European market some Torpedos were marketed as the Deutsche Remington. Remington had a habit of slapping different names on the same machine, possibly to obscure the actual numbers being manufactured. So far as I’m aware, this particular machine is one of the only ones to have turned up in the United States.)
We’ve all heard the tragedies of typewriters being destroyed in the mail. I’ve received postally-damaged typers myself a few times, though nothing too severe. I’ve even had a couple of what I call “miracle typewriters” that somehow arrived in perfect condition despite shockingly irresponsible packaging. Well, this one takes the cake. And oh, yeah, I got burned big-time.
Here is what the machine looked like before the seller shipped it:
(You like the barrel full of crushed Diet Rite cans? Classy, huh?)
And here’s what it looked like when I got it:
It was crammed into an undersized box, upside down, with no packing material. The seller obviously didn’t give a damn whether it arrived undamaged. It arrived with the right end of the carriage sticking out of a hole in the box. In one way, the typer being wedged in so tightly was a blessing because it likely saved the carriage from being ripped from the chassis. The aluminum front frame, however, is mangled. The space bar has been pushed in and shoved to the side. The shift key levers, which rest in guides attached to the frame, are bent.
I can probably reshape the frame into a semblance of its original self, and repair the mechanical damage, but it will never be the same. I’m afraid this may end up being a display-only typer.
That’s the way it is with eBay. Yous takes you chances.
Update: I’ve done the best I can with it for the time being and spiffed it up a bit. A brief writeup is now available on Machines of Loving Grace.
Further update: more prying, bending, degunking, and futzing with it after the Spawn Process went to bed last night resulted in making it mostly functional. The spacebar still doesn’t work quite right–it needs a hard whack to register, and only if it’s on the left side–the right shift key tends to stick in the down position, and the feed roller has an incapacitating flat. I’ve pulled out the platen and feed roller and am going to attempt a DIY recovering using automotive hoses before resorting to professional rerubbering.