Purple Haze

It came today. It came today!

Giddy. I'm giddy.

Giddy. I’m giddy.

That. That, my friends, is a Remington Portable No. 3. IN TWO-TONE PURPLE.

You can’t see the purpleyness of it in that pic so here’s a better one.

This one is from 1930. The colour scheme is officially called Orchid.

This one is from 1930. The colour scheme is officially called Orchid.

And from the side, so you can see the lighter lavender:

Lovely and worn in exactly the right way. This machine has been used and loved.

Lovely and worn in exactly the right way. This machine has been used and loved.

The first time I ever saw the purple Remington Portable, I knew it would be on my must-have list. Purple is my very favourite colour. But they seem to be astonishingly hard to find – not surprising, since they’re 80+ years old, and not many were made with these colours. I thought I’d never find one for myself, to the point where I was considering powder coating another typewriter of mine purple instead. But it would never be a Remington. It’s very simply a thing of beauty.

Then this one came along. Like so many of my favourites, I found it by chance on eBay. I wasn’t even seriously looking at listings; we had just gotten home from a long weekend of camping and I was browsing, seeing which auctions were ending soonest. And this came up – 40 minutes to go, still priced at what I thought was a steal. I’d never seen one for sale before. My heart was actually pounding, but I had to act all casual and off-handedly mention to my very understanding, if possibly typewriter-weary husband that there was something I might bid on, if the price stayed reasonable. I think he was going to start to say maybe not, but when he saw the pic I clearly saw the resignation in his eyes. There was no question this one was going to be mine. And after an agonizing 40 minutes, when I placed my sneaky last-second bid with moments to go, I was the proud owner of this lovely machine.

The two weeks it took to arrive from Michigan felt like months. And then when I got home from work today, there was a large package propped up on my front step. “Is it the purple typewriter?” Kid 2 shouted. Both of them clamoured all over me while I opened the box, then the travel case. And seriously, we all gasped in unison. For the next 45 minutes, during which I was supposed to be making supper, we instead fiddled with it, got the carriage unlocked, moved the margin settings, and typed out a short note.

It works perfectly. It’s 83 years old and every single key strikes smoothly and without hesitation. It might be my best-working machine of them all (and this makes ten). I’m not sure if I’m ready to say I love it the very best – Pinkie Pie, my Royal Quiet De Luxe, my two cursives (Ivy the Olympia SM4, still a work in progress, and a Royal Aristocrat, which will get its own post soon) and another you-won’t-believe-it machine are all near and dear to my heart, but it’s a strong contender.

It’s the only one I’ve taken into my bed, though. I’m writing this blog post right before I turn in and it’s laying beside me in the spot where my husband should be. Not joking.

I feel like the only thing it’s missing is a purple ribbon to complete the colour scheme. So that’ll be my next eBay purchase, and then I really need to put my account to bed for awhile.

Unless an Olivetti Valentine comes up at a good price…

Want to learn more about my typewriters: Check them out here.

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~ by Nicole Bross on September 16, 2013.

I wrote, now you write.

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