My Love Affair With Remington Rand #5

Behold the beauty of the Remington Rand #5 typewriter. This lovely piece of machinery debuted in 1935, with a special self starter button (red, bottom right) which made for automatic indention. Hit it once for a five space tab, twice for ten. It was also the first model to adopt the graceful art deco lines, utilizing curves where past writing machines were boxy and cumbersome. In my opinion, it is the prettiest typewriter of them all.

Remi came from eBay, and I  must say I couldn’t be happier with this purchase. It’s a gorgeous machine. It looks practically brand new, and IT WORKS! When it arrived on my doorstep, I hurriedly and carefully removed it from the box, flicked open the case and rolled a fresh peice of paper in to test it out. The ribbon, sadly, is aging and there just isn’t any juicy ink. That said, the ol’ clackity clacker did produce a half a page of faded text for me. There is something magical about pushing those buttons and watching that striker fly up and pound it’s letter into the page. The sound of it, the visuals, the feel. This typewriter even has the smell of an old newsroom or an author’s dark library. It’s wonderful, and I love it.

Along with the typewriter, I bought this vintage dress. I bought these together so I could re-create the photograph in my banner- “Her Story Will Never Be Written” by Caroline Moore of Six Hours Photography – using myself as the model. I love that photo, and have been so grateful to Caroline for letting me exploit it to the ends of the earth and back. But I have always wished that the girl in the picture was ME!

Caroline kindly gave me permission to recreate her photo; she would have even lent me the dress, but she no longer has it. The typwriter was a very lucky find, probably easier though than the vintage dress! I searched high and low, on Etsy and beyond and finally found this. I will have to embellish it with lace to get the same look and feel. The puffy lacy sleeves were the most important part for me, I think they really make a difference in the composition of the photograph.

I will call my version “Her Story Will Be Written” in honor of my friend Junipero Suribachi, who has made it possible for me to do just that. More on that later. For now, enjoy this pretty typwriter, while I get busy sewing all that lace on my “new” dress.

As you type your comment, imagine the sound the Remington makes, the careful speed one must type to keep from jamming the machine. Imagine that so many of the classic novels we have all read were invented and typed out on such a machine. It’s mind-bending, really. No delete button. No editing as you go! I think I’ll stick to the Mac for my novels, but maybe I’ll let Remi help me write a Children’s Book or two!


One Response

  1. Cool typewriter and nifty dress. I understand you want the lace for the photo, but I love the simplicity of the dress as it is…..I love that you’re doing a retake though. You SHOULD be the model. Can’t wait to see pics!

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