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Remington Portables


This is a long document, organized in chronological order. To go directly to the information about a particular topic or model, wait until the page finishes loading, and then click on an item in the following list.

© 2014 Richard Polt (polt@xavier.edu).
You may quote this page, including in eBay listings, if you credit The Classic Typewriter Page.

Model names

General information

The Remington portable typewriters of the twenties and thirties are a familiar sight in antique shops and flea markets across the U.S. (not to mention eBay). Many of them are charming and attractive, and there are few collectors who don't have at least one. However, it is difficult to find information about these machines. They were produced in bewildering variety, with a wide range of names and minor variations. (Remington's strategy for surviving the Depression seems to have been to flood the market with every conceivable variant of its two basic portable designs.)

What follows is an attempt to systematize what I know about portable typewriters made by Remington before World War II. This is research in progress: I invite everyone to e-mail me with further information about any of these typewriters, especially the less common ones, and I'll add it to this page. I would also love to get pictures of models I haven't pictured here, or of beautifully colored specimens.

Some Remington portables do not carry the Remington name. In the early 1900s, Remington gained control of the Smith Premier typewriter company and also introduced the Monarch frontstroke typewriter. These names were perpetuated through the 1930s, so that there are "Smith Premier" and "Monarch" versions of many Remington models. The Monarchs are labeled as made by the American Writing Machine Co. Other Remington models were labeled for sale by department stores such as Sears Roebuck (the Porto-Rite), Butler Brothers, or Macy's (the Macy's machines usually have a red star on a corner and the Macy's name on a decal in the back). Finally, Remington manufactured noiseless portables for Underwood.

Many models had versions that were manufactured or assembled abroad. In the listings for American models below, I mention known foreign name variants, and discuss the foreign versions in a separate section on foreign variants at the bottom of this page.

Apart from personal observations, my main sources for the information below are serial number data compiled by the Remington patent division in the 1950s (later made available to collectors by Remington executive David P. Sheridan); Thomas Russo's Mechanical Typewriters; Paul Lippman's American Typewriters; "Touch Method Instructor for Remington Typewriters," a pamphlet put out by Remington in the mid-thirties; and a "Remington Touch Method Typing Instruction Book" of 1940. These sources sometimes conflict with each other. I've taken the serial number data as most authoritative, but I know from comparing them to my own typewriters that they are not foolproof. Take everything below with a grain of salt!

The typewriters are listed in the chronological order of their introduction (which is not always the same as the order of the model numbers!). Portions of the name given in brackets do not appear on the typewriter itself. The starting and ending dates of the production are listed, along with serial number data and production numbers. In May 1942, all production of Remington typewriters ceased for the duration of the war, as factories were converted to military purposes.

About serial numbers

Look for the serial number by moving the carriage to the left and right and looking in the rear corners. Failing that, look in the upper right corner of the slotted comb from which the keyboard emerges.

I am too busy to look up serial numbers, so I cannot give you an exact date for your typewriter based on the serial number. However, for each model on this page I provide the serial number range and the dates of manufacture, which will give you a general idea.

You can use the serial number to determine the precise month of manufacture only if you have a semi-portable Remington Junior (1914-1921), #1 portable, #2 portable, or a Rem-Blick. These models, like all Remington typewriters made from August 1914 through August 1928, use a 2-letter, 5-numeral code. The first letter represents the model of the typewriter (J for the Junior, N for the #1 and #2, or K for the Rem-Blick). The second letter represents the month of manufacture, according to the following code:

P = January
M = February
L = March
K = April
X = May
S = June
V = July
E = August
D = September
C= October
Z= November
A = December

The first numeral is the last numeral of the year in which the typewriter was made (for example, "3" means 1923). The remaining four numerals probably indicate the typewriter's sequence in the machines manufactured that month. For example: KX80608 is the six hundred and eighth Rem-Blick made in the month of May, 1928.

Mechanisms

Two basic mechanisms are used in Remington portables.
  1. Geared typebar mechanism: this design relies on a simple linkage between type lever and typebar, which mesh together like gears. These are oblique-frontstroke typewriters: the typebars hit the platen at a spot between the front and the top of the platen.
  2. Noiseless mechanism: in "noiseless" portables, the typebar is prevented from slamming against the platen at full force; the momentum of a small weight brings it the last few millimeters to the front of the platen. It's not truly noiseless, but it is quieter than a conventional typebar typewriter.
Although Remington promotional literature boasts that both of these mechanisms were "engineered, developed, pioneered" by Remington, the geared linkage was actually introduced by Wellington P. Kidder in 1891 on his Franklin typewriter, and the noiseless technology was first used by the Noiseless Typewriter Company, which came out with the Noiseless Portable in 1921 and was bought in 1924 by Remington. The Noiseless Portable was invented by George G. Going, who went on to work for Remington.

Locking and unlocking the carriage

When you find a Remington portable, the carriage may appear to be frozen. It has been locked in place for carrying. Try to release the carriage by holding the carriage with your left hand and pulling out on the right platen knob with your right hand. If that doesn't work, there should be a small upright lever on the left end of the platen that will release the carriage if you pull it slightly to the left and then to the back. In order to relock the carriage, find a lever on the left end of the carriage which, when pulled forward, lets the carriage slide freely into the middle of the typewriter and "click" there; you may then need to push the right platen knob into the platen in order to lock the carriage. This may be necessary in order to fit the typewriter into its case.


Remington Junior (Apr. 1914-1921)

Serial numbers: 2-letter, 5-numeral code beginning with J
Number made: 10,000? (my rough guess)

Not a true portable but a "luggable" typewriter, this simplified writing machine had three banks of keys and shift keys only on the left. "It is smaller, it is lighter, it is designed for the simpler uses," says a 1915 ad. It was manufactured in the Smith Premier factory in Syracuse, N.Y. It is similar to the Century 10 typewriter, marketed around 1919-1921 by the American Writing Machine Company, which was controlled by Remington. Not to be confused with the later Remington Junior portable.

 

Remington Portable [#1] (Oct. 1920-Jan. 1925)

Serial numbers: 2-letter, 5-numeral code beginning with N
Number made: 600,000?

These little machines were marketed aggressively and were a great success. They were the first truly portable typewriters with four-bank keyboards, and in this category they had no competition until Royal and Underwood introduced four-bank portables in 1926. The "folding-typebar" mechanism raises the typebars to a 45-degree angle, the printing position, by means of a lever on the right side of the typewriter. The typebars must be lowered again when the typewriter is returned to its case. The carrying case is sometimes wood or metal covered in leather or imitation leather; usually (as on all subsequent Remington portables), it is wood covered in black cloth. In 1924 the price of the Remington Portable was $60. It was sold in France as the "Smith Premier Portative."

According to vol. I, no. 1 (August 2, 1926) of The Remport, a newsletter for sellers of Remington portables, "The Remington Portable was first exhibited at the New York Business Show in October, 1920. Its manufacture began shortly thereafter but for many months only a limited number of machines were available for delivery. ... the first dealership contracts of record were entered during September, 1921." (Thanks to Ed Neuert for providing this publication.) For almost a year, then, production was limited and experimental. This is why you should keep your eyes open for a very early #1, such as the one pictured above on the left. It appears at first glance to be just like the later #1 (on the right), but notice that it has no right shift key. In fact, the early #1 has many features which the company soon changed. The new features were phased in beginning around spring 1921, and then became standard on all Remington portables. Today it is quite difficult to find a specimen that has all the early features. What follows is my best guess about the order in which the early features were changed.

  1. The base of the very early carrying case has studs that pass through holes in the body of the typewriter, and the machine is attached to the base with cotter pins that pass through holes in the studs; there is also a lip that runs around the edges of the base. Later machines (starting January 1921 or earlier) are simply screwed to the base, and the base is flat.
  2. The early type guide is a rectangular piece of metal with one rectangular opening. This was changed to a more A-shaped piece of metal with two openings. Still later, the piece was widened slightly and the teeth that guide the type were made slightly smaller.
  3. The early shift lock is separate from the shift key, and has to be depressed after shifting; shift lock is connected to shift key on later machines.
  4. The paper table on earlier machines is curved; on later ones, flat and shaped differently (see pictures above).
  5. There is no right-hand carriage release lever on early machines.
  6. Early machines have only two screws visible at the very top of each side panel. Two more screws were then added, below the top screws and slightly towards the front of the machine. Still later, these screws were doubled. Apparently Remington kept trying to hold its machines together more and more tightly!
  7. Later machines include "rabbit ears" behind the paper table which can be extended for further support of the paper; early ones do not.
  8. The early machine has no automatic ribbon reverse. When the ribbon reverser was added, the construction of the ribbon guide was improved; it originally was held together with a cotter pin. (To inspect this detail, view the machine from the back and look at the devices that guide the ribbon on its way into or out of the spools.)
  9. On the early machines, the paper release lever is pulled forward to release the paper; later, it is pushed backward.
  10. According to Remington serial number records, a longer carriage was introduced with #NC10474 (October 1921).
  11. Early machines have a left shift key only. This is the most obvious sign of an early Remington Portable. Mine has no slot for a right shift key. However, I have also seen a Remington Portable from 1921 with a slot for a right shift key, but no key there. According to Remington serial number records, the right shift key was introduced in March, 1922 (#NL20211). Note: machines exported to Europe often had a shift key only on the left, even into the 1930s.
  12. The printing point on early machines is directly on top of the platen; the later design moves the printing point slightly toward the front of the platen. Accordingly, the early shift mechanism moves the carriage backwards horizontally; later mechanisms raise it up slightly as well as moving it backwards.
  13. The early ribbon vibrator is nickeled and roughly n-shaped on each side; the later ribbon vibrator is black and roughly U-shaped on each side.
  14. The variable line spacer (a lever on the left side that allows the platen to be turned to any position, instead of forcing it to move in fixed increments) is longer on later machines.
  15. The manual ribbon reverser/spool turner on both machines is a shaft that protrudes from the sides. This shaft originally ended in a flat, disc-shaped knob; the later knob is bigger, an elongated cylinder rather than a disc.
  16. The line gauge or aligning scale -- a triangular piece of metal that indicates the bottom of the current line -- is directly above the printing point on early machines, and was later moved to the right. On early machines, the shape of the aligning scale can vary: the opening can be either a plain triangle, or a sort of upside-down, fat T.
  17. The platen knob is thinner on early machines.
  18. On early machines, the paper is advanced with a pinch-lever mechanism; later machines have a vertical lever which both returns the carriage and advances the paper. This is a big improvement. (One machine from August 1924 has been found which still has a pinch lever, but I think by this time most had a vertical lever.)
  19. Early ribbon spools are locked into place with a catch attached to the axle; later machines have no such catch, but the spool is held onto the axle by a tab attached to the ribbon guide.
  20. The paper release lever on the right side of the carriage is flat on early machines; it is a bent rod later -- an odd development, because the later design looks more primitive.
  21. The early line spacing selector is a bent piece of sheet metal; later it is a knob.
  22. The early space bar is a little narrower.

An unusual color variant of the #1 is black on top and gold on the sides. Before colored enamel paints were available, this was as radical a departure from basic black as you could get. Decals may or may not be present. (Pictured: #NM11229, made Feb. 1921.)

Another machine to look out for is the Remington Portable #1 DeLuxe. It has an ivory-tone finish and comes in a brown leather case. Available in very limited numbers around 1924, it sold for $75. (Pictured: NZ30670, made Nov. 1923, courtesy of Jim Dax.)

NZ14279Z, with a German keyboard, has an unexplained Z at the end of the serial number.

 

Remington [Portable #2] (Feb. 1925-Dec. 1928)

Serial numbers: 2-letter, 5-numeral code beginning with N (Feb. 1925-August 1928); V100000-V131518 (September-December 1928)
Number made: 300,000?

I have also had reports of #2 portables numbered V139673, V150477, V158799, V171120,  and V188693. (All are in Europe; I suspect the official Remington serial records cited above cover only the US-sold machines.)

Normally the model number is not marked on these machines -- although I have heard a report of one specimen marked "Remington 2," and have seen one specimen with French keyboard marked "Rem 2" on the paper table.

The differences between a #1 and a #2 are not difficult to find when you know what to look for:
  1. The panel that raises and supports the typebars is thinner on the #1, and you can easily see under it; the #2 panel is wider, and you cannot easily see under it. This makes the machine sturdier and protects the works from dust.
  2. The #2 has typebar guards -- hooked pieces of metal that curve around the leftmost and rightmost typebars.
  3. The carriage on the #1 is just wide enough to accept an 8-1/2 inch sheet of paper; the #2 carriage is wide enough to accept a 9-1/2 inch business envelope.
  4. The #1 is normally black, with a red circular decal on the left top showing an understroke Remington 2 and the traditional Remington slogan, "To Save Time is to Lengthen Life"; #2 comes in various colors and color combinations (collect 'em all!) and usually simply reads "Remington" on its paper table. (However, early #2's may have the same decal as the #1.)

No. 2 portables were produced both in basic black and in a number of appealing color combinations; the copywriters had a field day inventing names for them (thanks to Steve Maloney for the ad). British name variant: Smith Premier. French name variant: Contin. (Contin was a French typewriter manufacturer that apparently purchased some Remingtons to sell under the Contin name.)

Download a user's manual for this machine here.

 

Rem-Blick (Dec. 1927-Sept.? 1928)

Serial numbers: 2-letter, 5-numeral code beginning with K
Number made: 6000?

This typewriter was a clone of the Blickensderfer #5, which came on the market around 1895. Remington bought the Blickensderfer tools and dies from the Roberts Typewriter Company in 1926. (Roberts had bought Blick out in 1919 but only made the Blick 90, a typebar machine designed by Lyman Roberts and licensed to Blickensderfer for manufacture.) Most Rem-Blicks had a QWERTY keyboard, but a few specimens resurrected Blickensderfer's favored "Scientific" keyboard (with DHIATENSOR on the bottom row). A less-common name variant, apparently used in Britain, is Baby Rem. An even rarer name variant is S.P.-Blick (S.P. for "Smith Premier"). The Rem-Blick was advertised by Sears in 1929 under its own name, for $22.50, and in 1930 under the name "The Blick," for $19.75. The earliest specimen known to me dates from February 1928, but Remington records state that the machine was first manufactured in December 1927. The latest known specimen dates from September 1928. June 1928 was apparently the peak of production; it is the only month in which I know that over 1000 machines were made.

 

Remington [Portable #3] (Dec. 1928-June 1938)

Serial numbers: V131519-V431105; VPPA-VPPDDHH (all-letters code used only in January 1929)
Number made: approximately 300,000. Most were made before 1932.

When the company figured out that its portables could type without raising the typebars to a 45-degree angle, the #3 was introduced. This is much like the #2 except that there is no rising panel or side lever. The typebars rest at an angle of only 15 degrees or so, and are surrounded by a metal lip marked "Remington" (or, rarely, "Remington 3"). This typewriter introduced the paragraph key -- a key that automatically advances the carriage five spaces (labeled "Self Starter" on some models and specimens). The machine comes in various attractive colors and color combinations, such as this blue/turquoise specimen. Its original price was $60. British name variants: Remington Home Portable, Smith Premier Home Portable, Smith Premier Chum Portable. I have had a report of one #3 which types in capitals only (V341853, November 1930). The December, 1933 American Boy-Youth Companion advertises a "Remington Special Portable" for $19.95 that also looks like a caps-only #3. See the information above about the #2 for details on some #2 portables that have serial numbers within the supposed #3 range.

 

Remington Compact Portable (July 1930-Feb. 1938)

Serial numbers: C20426-C65873
Number made: 45,448

The Compact Portable is essentially a #2. The serial numbers of these machines begin with a C. The typewriter often has a nickeled strip running above the keyboard, and the panel that raises the typebars is textured. Many of these typewriters were sold through department stores such as Sears. They may or may not be marked "Compact." Name variant: Monarch. British name variant: Smith Premier Compact Portable (may not have nickeled strip).

 

Remington Noiseless Portable (Aug. 1931-Oct. 1941)

Serial numbers: N10000?-N127879.
Number made: probably 117,880. (Most were made before 1938. Only one, the very last, was made in all of 1941!)

This was one of the most successful models, commercially and aesthetically. Its distinctive design feature is the rounded panel above the keyboard, accented with a horizontal ridge that makes a tasteful V at its very front. N13500-N127879 are the serial numbers in Remington's official records, but the earliest machine reported to me is N10085; it seems plausible that serials started at N10000. Earlier specimens are marked "Remington Noiseless Portable" below the spacebar, whereas later ones are marked this way on the paper table and say "Remington" below the spacebar. Earlier ones also have black plastic keys, like the model 7, whereas later ones have glass-topped keys. Late RNPs may have full-sized carriage return levers and touch regulators to the right of the keyboard. Usually the RNP is black, but with a good deal of luck it can be found in two-tone green, maroon, or two-tone blue. These fancy colored machines may come in deluxe, leather-covered cases with compartments for stationery and supplies. One sometimes sees RNPs on which the back spacer and margin release keys protrude through the plate behind the keyboard; this allows for two more character keys to be added to the keyboard. Such machines, in my experience, turn up in Europe. Probably Remington made them for export, so that they could handle accents and other characters for European languages. The original price of the RNP was $92.50, but during the first few months of production the price went down to $69.50. In 1935 it cost $67.50. Name variants: Monarch, Smith Premier Noiseless. Thanks to Charles Gu and mytypewriter.com for the pictures.

 

Remington Noiseless Model Seven (Nov. 1931-March 1941)

Serial numbers: H10000-H63756
Number made: 53,757

The Model Seven, the big brother of the Noiseless Portable, has a full-sized paper table, a tabulator, black plastic keytops, and a carriage return lever that is long and horizontal rather than short and vertical. My first typewriter was one of these, and I still enjoy using it. Its original price was $105, reduced to $72 by 1935. The price in 1940 was $70.75 cash or $75.75 in installments. Triple line spacing was introduced with H25728 (July 1933). Some earlier specimens have bigger feet than later ones, so they stand about 1 cm taller. Early machines also differ from later ones in some other small ways: for instance, the early machines have smaller, more rounded spacebars, and a simpler scale/cardholder in front of the platen. They may also come in cases that include a leather strap to hold the typewriter in place. There are at least two decal schemes: the one shown above, with "Remington 7 Noiseless" on the paper table, and another scheme with "Remington Noiseless" on the paper table and "Model Seven" on the front of the machine. A rare color variant is two-tone green. (I once saw a #7 covered in alligator skin! Almost surely an aftermarket refinement. It was found in Las Vegas -- of course.) Name variants: Monarch, Monarch 71, Smith Premier 71.

The Seven was revived after the war (1945-49), with wrinkle paint and other small stylistic changes; the postwar serial numbers, H64000-H193575 according to Remington records, are not included in the total made as listed above. Some postwar Model Sevens were also assembled in France from US-made parts; their serial numbers go even higher than those listed in the Remington records. The latest machine known to me is H198804 (tan paint, UK keyboard).

 

Remington [Portable #4] (Nov. 1931-Jan. 1934)

Serial numbers: V500000-V502881
Number made: 2,882. Almost all were made from Nov. 1931 to Jan. 1932.

This is like the #3, but has a true tabulator instead of a paragraph (five-space) key. It cost $65, $5 more than the #3. Pictured: V502012, courtesy of Chris and Gary Josey.

 

Porto-Rite (1931?-April 1934)

Serial numbers: SR5000?-SR16405. (Remington records start with SR14972, but the lowest serial number I have seen is SR5145.)
Number made: 11,500?

These Remingtons were marketed by Sears Roebuck; their serial numbers begin with "SR." Most Porto-Rites are identical to the #2, but some are identical to the #3. They come both in black and in colors. Normally they are marked "Porto-Rite," but I know of one specimen marked "Remington," looking exactly like a two-tone green #2, despite its "SR" serial number. (The catalogue of the Dietz typewriter collection at the Milwaukee Public Museum shows a Porto-Rite that may not be a Remington product at all. Sears may have sold several different makes under the name.)

 

Underwood Noiseless 77 (Feb. 1932-March 1940) and Underwood Noiseless Portable (1937?-March 1942)

Serial numbers: 543150-969800?, 2969801?-2969934, 1040000?-1040296 (Noiseless 77), P1000000?-P1410028 (Portable). Serial numbers of the 77 include a "Q" at the beginning starting with Q968395.
Number made: 427,081? (Noiseless 77), 410,029? (Portable)

Although they're called Underwoods, these machines are identical twins of the Remington Noiseless Model Seven and Remington Noiseless Portable, respectively. A former Underwood employee has reported that they were made in the Remington factory by arrangement with Underwood. Serial number records are confusing and incomplete. I won't bore you with the details; the numbers above are the best sense I can make of the available records, but they seem surprisingly high to me (these machines are common, but not that common). Some Underwood Noiseless 77 machines were outfitted with at least two variants of the Dvorak keyboard in 1933, presumably as part of Dr. August Dvorak's efficiency experiments. Rare color variants of the 77 are maroon and two-tone green. The 77 was revived in 1946-48 (serials 1502099-163900); these machines are not included in my production totals above. Later 77's are finished in wrinkle paint.

 

Butler Brothers (Feb. 1932?-Nov. 1933)

Serial numbers: BB1000?-BB4103
Number made: 3104? (see below)

This model was sold by the Butler Bros. department store, much as the Porto-Rite was sold by Sears. It seems to have been nearly identical to the #2 portable except for its "BB" serial number and a tabulator. Collector Jim Dax reports that BB2084 is just like a two-tone green #2; I have also seen BB3292, which is also like a two-tone green #2, with a black paper table and a tab key. Phil Garr's BB2203 looks like a black #2 with a tab key (see picture above), as does BB2301. None of these serial numbers are included in the range given by Remington (BB3500-BB4103). It it is a plausible guess that serial numbers would begin with BB1000. A Butler Brothers catalogue advertisement kindly provided for me by Thomas A. Russo pictures a Remington that looks like a #1 and says that it is available in black, blue, red, red and white, and green and white; a druggists' model is also available, with characters used in writing prescriptions.

 

Remie Scout Model (April 1932-Nov. 1934)

Serial numbers: S10006-S26600 (both single and double case); S26661-S34731 (single case); S60000-S75588 (double case)
Number made: roughly 16,000 single-case, 24,000 double-case. (It is not clear how the double-case serial numbers are divided between versions (a) and (b) as described below.)

It's a confusing task to sort out the varieties of this portable with the cute and perky name. In essence it is much like the portable #2, but it lacks some major conveniences of the #2, such as adjustable margins. It comes in four versions:

Name variants: Monarch, Monarch Pioneer, Pioneer, Remington Pioneer (not to be confused with other types of Pioneer!), Higbee Portable (type c above). Canadian name variants: Canadian Pioneer, Canadian Scout, Remington Scout. Some caps-only Scouts were sold by Macy's: one type (b) made in September 1933 is labeled on the back "Made for R.H.Macy & Co. Inc. New York by Remington Rand"; another, made in February, 1934, is labeled "Macy's Portable" and has a red star on the top, to the left of the typebars.

For more research on the Remie Scouts, visit this page by Alan Seaver.

 

Remington Portable Model 5T (Aug. 1932-Apr. 1939)

Serial numbers: V525000-V552237
Number made: 27,238

The model 5T has a true tabulator instead of the five-space or paragraph key found on its near-twin, the model 5. It cost no more than the regular model 5: $65. Name variant: Monarch. (The specimen pictured above was made in Canada.)

 

Remington Portable Model 5 [boxy] (Oct. 1932-Aug. 1939)

Serial numbers: V10030-V10151, V600000-V607103, V625000-V759529
Number made: 141,755. Most were made before 1938.

This typewriter is similar to the #3, but looks more solid and has a broader, boxier shape. Remington literature describes the 5 as "the world's best seller," and it was certainly an enduring member of the Remington line. Its original price was $65. Name variants: Remington Monarch, Monarch 5, Smith Premier Portable Model 35. Sold in France as the "Rem 35." This typewriter is occasionally found with a rounded paper table marked "Remington 5," as on the streamlined #5. In another unusual variant, the top plate of the body (between the keyboard and the keys) is painted blue. V10030-V10151 were made "without side guides and paragraph key, to retail the same as the regular Model 5, but sold to Dealers at $1.25 less." Of these 122 machines, two were made in August 1935, 119 in September, and one in October. A strange little experiment.

 

Remington Noiseless 8 (Oct. 1932-May 1941)

Serial numbers: E11100-E38598
Number made: 27,499. Most were made before 1939.

This curious typewriter is virtually identical to the noiseless #7, mechanically. The design looks like a #7 with angular, faceted surfaces. The #8 is much beefier than the #7 and has an extra-wide carriage, accepting paper 11.25" wide. Remington called it the "desk model," and said it was for "the typewriter user for whom a portable is too small and a large machine too expensive." But it is still light enough to be carried, and comes in a case with handle. For this reason, and because it is essentially a portable mechanism in an office-sized body, I include it on this page. Its price was originally $105, reduced to $79.50 by 1935. In 1940 the cash price was still $79.50; installment price was $84.50. According to Remington records, triple line spacing was introduced with E17631 (Feb. 1933), but E12835 (Oct. 1932) in a collector's hands already has this feature. A touch regulator was introduced with E37745 (Apr. 1938). Name variants: Monarch Noiseless 8, Smith Premier No. 8, Smith Premier Noiseless 81. For more information about this machine, follow this link.

 

Remington Junior (Jan. 1933-March 1940)

Serial numbers: S150300-S283163. ("SD" machines, in the same series, include a backspacer.)
Number made: 132,863

This machine (not to be confused with the Remington Junior of 1914) is almost identical to the #3. In fact, some Juniors simply read "Remington," and look almost exactly like the #3. However, the Junior is a simpler machine. Remington advertising literature tells us: "Stripped of some of the conveniences of higher priced models, it retains all that are essential to first-class typing. Especially suitable for the use of children and students, for social correspondence and home work." The "conveniences" that the Junior lacks but the #3 has include a two-color ribbon and a right-hand carriage release lever. Its price was $37.50 in some ads, $39.50 in others. According to Remington records, the "SD" version of the Junior, with a backspacer, was introduced in January 1938. However, a backspacer is present on at least some "S" (not "SD") machines, such as S212927 (German keyboard). Some Juniors are found with larger, rounded paper tables reading "Remington" in Art Deco lettering. Ernst Martin claims that a version of the Junior wrote in capital letters only, but I have not seen any evidence for this. Name variants: Monarch, Smith Premier Junior (pictured: S161376, with lowercase letters on the keys, courtesy of Flip Woltering). Monarch #S153594 has a sans-serif typeface more commonly found on the Remie Scout.

 

Remington Rand Model 1 (Feb. 1933-March 1941)

Serial numbers: P60000-P68715 (no tabulator; last made Aug. 1934), P10000-P59999, P100000-P145549 (with tabulator)
Number made: 8,716 (no tabulator), 95,550 (with tabulator)
This is much like the #7 and #8 noiseless machines, but its shape is somewhere in between the curviness of the #7 and the angularity of the #8. Remington documents call it the "noisy noiseless." Even though it looks very much like a noiseless machine, it doesn't have the small weights that press the noiseless typebars against the platen, and the typebars are allowed to hit the platen with enough force that they make a clackety-clack. This may actually have been an advantage in the market, as some consumers were disturbed by the quietness of the noiseless machines, and would pound the keys harder and harder, trying to get the familiar pecking noise! A 1932 patent by James H. Rand of Remington Rand explains: "In the operation of noiseless typewriting machines, there is a pronounced psychological effect on some operators, especially those who have previously operated noisy machines. This is due to the fact that in operating a noiseless machine the operator hears no noise, and the ‘touch’ on such machines is usually much lighter than in noisy machines. Therefore, the operator has the mental attitude that she is not writing or obtaining any result from the operation of the keys, or that she is not attaining her usual speed, due almost wholly to the entire absence of the usual clatter to which she is accustomed. It is difficult in some instances to overcome this purely mental attitude, or to convince the operator that she is in fact writing at possibly an even greater speed than she ordinarily attains on a noisy machine, and with the expenditure of less effort."

A 1937 Remington pamphlet describes this typewriter as "an all new writing machine featuring the Remington Speed Mechanism" -- but never explains what this mechanism is! Presumably it is simply the standard noiseless mechanism, which makes jamming unlikely and thus allows one to type fast.

With tabulator, this typewriter originally sold for $65; without, for $60 (in some ads) or $62.50 (in others). Specimens from 1938-1942 may include a touch regulator. Name variants: Monarch, Smith Premier Model 11. The Remington Rand Model 1 is referred to as the "Speed Portable" in Remington literature, but I have not seen machines with this name on them. The specimen above that is marked with a star is labeled "R.H. Macy & Co." on the back, and was sold at Macy's. Ron Babb has found an early Remington Rand Model 1 with a Dvorak keyboard.

 

Remington 9 (Feb. 1933-Feb. 1941)

Serial numbers: F10000-F16838 (and beyond? see below)
Number made: 6,839 (or more; see below). Most were made before 1938.

Described in Remington literature as "twin to the Model 8 but not noiseless -- a general 'all-purpose' typewriter." In other words, this is mechanically like the "noisy noiseless" Remington Rand #1, but it has the large size and angular design of the Noiseless 8. The "Remington" on its paper table is a decal, rather than embossed as on the #8. It sold for $92 originally, reduced to $72 by 1935. A touch regulator was introduced on F16713 (May 1938). A Swedish collector tells me he owns number F17489, which is 651 machines higher than recorded by Remington and would bring production to at least 7,490 machines. Nevertheless, this remains a difficult machine to find.

 

Remington Noiseless Junior (September 1933)

Serial numbers: B10000-B11400
Number made: 1,401

This model is similar to the Remington Noiseless Portable, but has its own distinctive styling: a smooth arc crossing the entire front of the typewriter, with no decorations. It has no backspacer, tabulator, left platen knob, or ribbon color selector. Its price was $57.50 -- significantly below the $69.50 of the Remington Noiseless Portable. Just a few were made before the model was mysteriously aborted. Remington records say: "Stock shipped to field Sept. 1933 ahead of time. Prices released 12/2/33. Nov. 15, 1935 instructed all offices to ship remaining machines to Who. Port. [Wholesale Portable?] Dept., N.Y.C. thus clearing field of all machines." Some Noiseless Juniors were labeled "Underwood," although these machines do not appear in the official Remington records. The specimens known to me have serial numbers 622556, 622656, 622789, and 622802. Finally, one mystery machine has been found with a Noiseless #7 mechanism and serial number, but a Noiseless Junior shell.

 

Remington 3B (July 1935-Dec. 1935)

Serial numbers: C100000-C105075
Number made: 5,076

A strange and lovely little beast with 45-degree typebars, a three-and-a-half-row keyboard, and minimal parts (no backspace key, no shift lock, no margin release key, no tabulator or paragraph key, no two-color ribbon). Its cost was $31.25. Even within this small number of machines, there are variations. Earlier ones come with a paperboard lid, black with silver stripes on the top and sides, marked "Remington" in red across the front (see picture, courtesy of John Schag); there is no latch on the base, which is cloth-covered wood. Later ones (such as the machine pictured on the left) come in a standard case (all cloth-covered wood) with latch. Very early specimens may be marked "Remington 3 Bank," showing the origin of the model designation (even though technically, it is a 3.5-bank keyboard); pictured is #C100072, courtesy of Gigi Clark. For more information, visit this page.

 

Remington 5 [streamlined] (Dec. 1935-Dec. 1940)

Serial numbers: V825000-V980468
Number made: 155,469. Most were made before 1939.

This typewriter is mechanically the same as the boxy Model 5, but its body looks quite different: it is an example of the streamlined industrial design of the later Art Deco, or Art Moderne, period. In general, typewriter manufacturers didn't go very far in this trend that was taking other office and kitchen appliances by storm. But the #5 is a tasteful, striking example of typewriter streamlining. The shape was probably created by noted designer Oscar Bruno Bach (to judge from references in a 1940 Time magazine on Bach and his 1957 New York Times obituary, provided to me by Ed Neuert). A company pamphlet says, "The modern attractive lines of this new Remington brings [sic] 20th Century style and grace to the world's most famous portable typewriter ... make it a desirable addition to any home surrounding. Note the big, massive sturdiness of this new Remington Self-starter portable, its graceful lines and glistening finish." The scale is red on most specimens, but black on some. An unusual variation has tan or black paint and a color-coded keyboard for teaching touch typing; another unusual paint treatment is dark and light maroon. It sold for $49.50 when introduced. Early specimens have the traditional "Remington" decal instead of the Deco lettering shown here. This machine is essentially the same as the later version with a touch regulator and the still later Remington Standard Model 5 and Deluxe Model 5. The Streamliner of 1941 is also quite similar to the streamlined #5. Name variants: Monarch 5, Remington Portable Super Model, Smith Premier Portable Model 35. British name variant: Remington Victor S Portable.

 

Remington 5 T-SS (March 1936-Aug. 1938)

Serial numbers: V800051-V806711
Number made: 6,661

This is like the streamlined #5 but includes a tabulator and a couple of other refinements, such as both upper and lower ruled tab bars on the rear of the machine. It is marked "Remington Portable Model 5T." Essentially, this machine is the 5T in a streamlined style (this may explain the designation "5T-SS"). The specimen on the left has a German keyboard (courtesy of Phil Garr). On the right is a European name variant, the Smith Premier Portable Model 35T (serial number V800428, courtesy of Flip Woltering.) The Remington Victor T portable (see foreign variants is the same machine with a different serial number range. Remington records include this statement on the T-SS serial number page: "'BT' prefix means foreign model sold to some extent in domestic field December, 1940."

 

Pioneer / Monarch Pioneer [3.5 row keyboard] (Oct. 1937-Jan. 1938)

Serial numbers: C106000-C123499
Number made: 17,500

The Pioneer name was apparently reserved for embarrassingly basic typewriters. The first type has a sheet-metal body painted in wrinkle paint, and a three-and-a-half-row keyboard that it shares with the Remington 3B, with shift key only on the left. These machines lack even a carriage return lever -- you have to turn the platen knob and pull the platen by the knob. Their price was $19.95, $21.45 with case.

 

Monarch [101] (Dec. 1937-Apr. 1942)

Serial numbers: A10000-A11077
Number made: 1,078

This rare model is a bulbous office-sized machine that uses the noiseless portable mechanism. Remington records say it was "also referred to as Model 5 1/2."

 

Pioneer / Monarch Pioneer [4A] (Apr. 1938-Dec. 1938)

Serial numbers: CA131000-CA133999
Number made: 3,000? (see note below)

This Pioneer has no shift key and types only in sans-serif capital letters. It is referred to as the "4A" model in Remington records. Its price was $15.95. Like the Bantam and the Cadet, it was sold by the General Shaver Corporation, a division of Remington Rand. (Remington records call the Bantam the "model 4," this version of the Pioneer the "4A," and the Cadet the "4B." They all had the same sheet-metal body.)

Note on serial numbers for the Bantam, Cadet and Pioneer 4A: according to Remington records, these three machines were "in same series" but each had a "different letter prefix." This creates some uncertainty about the number produced. The serial number data are as follows:

It seems reasonable to assume that even though these models were "in same series," Remington avoided overlapping their numbers, and thus skipped some numbers for the Cadet and the Bantam in order to leave those numbers open for other models. It also seems fair to assume that when Remington skipped some numbers, they would skip up to some nice, round number. (I have had a report of a Bantam numbered C130014, indicating that some machines were made before the first number listed in Remington records, C130039. C130000 seems like a reasonable starting point.) These assumptions yield the following guesses, listed in order of serial numbers: I am not sure this is right; I do not know what to make of those serial number sequences ending suspiciously with "998" and "999." But if my guesses are right, they yield production numbers of 36,194 (or more) for the Cadet, 19,176 for the Bantam, and 3,000 for the Pioneer 4A.

 

Pioneer [no front frame]

See Remie Scout.

 

Cadet [4B] (April 1938-Dec. 1940)

Serial numbers: CB125000-CB185999 (April 1938-February 1939); CB256000-CB262188 ("latter part of 1940," including December). I have also gotten a report of a Cadet numbered CB186059.
Number made: 36,194 (or more)? (see note)
A nearly minimal typewriter, with shift key only on the left. It has double-case letters, but only single-case number keys. It cost $19.75. Remington records refer to it as the model 4B. Like the Bantam and the 4A version of the Pioneer, it was sold by the General Shaver Corporation, a division of Remington Rand.

 

Bantam (May 1938-Dec. 1938)

Serial numbers: C130039-C158998 (according to Remington records; but I have had a report of a machine numbered C130014)
Number made: 19,176? (see note)
The keys of this child's typewriter are color-coded to teach touch typing. It types in sans-serif capital letters only, plus period, comma, and question mark. It is marked "A Rem-Rand Product." This was the cheapest of all Remington portables, selling for $10.95 ($12.45 with carrying case). Like other inexpensive Remington portables of this time, its has a sheet-metal body and it is painted in wrinkle paint. Like the Cadet and the 4A version of the Pioneer, the Bantam was sold by the General Shaver Corporation, a division of Remington Rand.

 

Remington Premier (May 1938-June 1940)

Serial numbers: P150000-P182548
Number made: 32,549 (Remington Model 1 and Premier combined)

This typewriter is essentially a Remington Rand Model 1 without a tabulator. It has the shape of the Remington Rand Model 1, but is finished in wrinkle paint instead of black enamel. It cost $57.50. Because the serial numbers are shared with the Remington Model 1, it is impossible to determine how many of each model were made.

 

Remington Model 1 (June 1938-Nov. 1940)

Serial numbers: PD150000-PD182548
Number made: 32,549 (this model and Premier combined)

Confusingly enough, this "Remington 1" is not at all the same as the true first Remington portable; and it is subtly different from the Remington Rand Model 1. While the Remington Rand Model 1 has a slightly faceted front, the Remington Model 1 has a smoothly curved front. It includes a touch regulator. Its keys may be either solid black plastic or black with metal rings. Its price in 1940 was $59.50 cash or $64.50 in installments. Because the serial numbers are shared with the Premier, it is impossible to determine how many of each model were made. 

 

Remette / Rem-ette (July 1938-Apr. 1942)

Serial numbers: CR130000-CR322223
Number made: 192,224

This homely writing machine uses the same geared typebar mechanism as the portable #3 and #5. Its body is sheet metal painted with gray or black wrinkle paint. It originally cost $29.75, and Remington records say it was introduced "to meet Corona Zephyr," another cheap machine. Some more cryptic comments from the Remington records: "Serial with CQ means quintuple keyboard; CR210125 first machine with ratchet release lever." (CQ254462 includes 3 dead keys for accents.) European name variant: Smith Premier Primette. Two special versions of the Remette were made for the 1939 World's Fair: (1) "World's Fair blue" paint with an orange stripe and the fair's logo in a corner; (2) black paint, no stripe, with the logo.

 

Remington 5 [streamlined with touch regulator] (July 1938-Feb. 1942)

Serial numbers: B25000-B99951
Number made: 74,952

This variant of the streamlined Model 5 includes a touch regulator on a semicircular dial directly above the keyboard which varies the force with which the typebars strike the platen. Its price in 1940 was $49.50 cash, or $54.50 in installments. It is normally finished in wrinkle paint, but the unusual specimen at right is marked "U.S. Navy" and painted in glossy light gray paint. (Paul Thekan writes, "These typewriters were used for copying Morse code from radio as well as voice traffic. The type is upper case only, no lower case, and the 'zero' key has a slash through the zero to denote it is a zero and not the letter O." The Army also used such typewriters.) This machine is closely related to the Remington Standard Model 5 and Deluxe Model 5. British name variant: Smith Premier 5.

 

Remington DeLuxe Junior (July 1938-July 1941?)

Serial numbers: SD268298-SD292828 (July 1938-August 1941, sequence shared with Envoy type 1)
Number made: 24,531 (including Envoy type 1)
Yet another variation on the basic geared-typebar design. It is based on the Remington Junior of 1933, but has a large, rounded paper table. It sometimes also a horizontal carriage return lever (as on the machine at left). This machine may also be called the Junior DeLuxe.

 

Envoy [type 1] (July 1938-August 1941)

Serial numbers: SD268298-SD292828 (sequence shared with DeLuxe Junior)
Number made: 24,531 (including DeLuxe Junior)
The Envoy name appeared on typewriters with two different body styles. The first type looks much like a DeLuxe Junior. Keys may be plastic (as shown) or have nickeled rings. Specimens known to me come from Brazil, France, New Zealand, and the UK. Probably this type of Envoy was sold abroad more than in the US. One specimen (#SD290772) is marked Remington on the paper table and Victory above the keyboard; it has both $ and £ characters.

See below for the second type of Envoy.

 

Smith Premier Portable Junior and Senior (Sept. 1939-June 1942)

Serial numbers: VJ280032-VJ287987 (Junior), VS759466-VS762334 (Senior)
Number made: 7,956 Junior (5,300 old style, 2,656 new style); 2,869 Senior

These machines are difficult to find; I suspect they were all or mostly exported, as was typical for typewriters labeled "Smith Premier."

There are two kinds of Smith Premier Junior. Remington records note: "New style Junior starts VJ285,332" (December 1941). Above left is the old style Junior, which looks much like the boxy #5 but lacks a left platen knob, ribbon color selector, and other details (VJ283348, from Brazil, courtesy of Huberto Closs). Above center is the new style Junior, which looks very similar to the Remette and Deluxe Remette, although it has an adjustable paper guide (VJ285638, with British keyboard, courtesy of Angela Prats).

Above right is machine VS760237, courtesy of Carl Raphael. This is in the Smith Premier Senior range, but is labeled simply "Remington Portable." The design uses a mixture of streamlined and boxy body panels, a horizontal carriage return lever, and a touch regulator.  The keyboard on this specimen includes both the dollar sign and the pound sterling sign. There is a distinctive decal on the left top of the machine, but it is very worn down; Carl Raphael writes, "The size is identical to the old Remington 'To save time is to lengthen life' decal found on the old 1s and 2s, 1" in diameter.  The red outlines appear to be the identical 'spikes' found on those.  However, the white circle offset to the right inside indicate something different."

 

Remington Deluxe Noiseless (May 1938-April 1941)

Serial numbers: ND150000-ND188365
Number made: 38,366. Most were made before 1940.
This is essentially the noiseless Seven, but with a smaller paper table and a touch regulator to the right of the keyboard. The tip of the carriage return lever folds down. Usually this typewriter is finished in wrinkle paint, but as you can see, you just might find one in eye-popping red! Name variants: Monarch Deluxe Noiseless, Rmeington Noiseless Portable, Smith Premier Noiseless Portable. Also sold with the Underwood name. In 1940, this typewriter sold for $67.50 cash or $72.50 in installments.

 

DeLuxe Remette (April? 1940-Aug. 1941)

Serial numbers: C1117940-C1137176 (serials may also start with "CQ"; Remington records do not indicate why)
Number made: 19,237

The main features that set the DeLuxe Remette apart from the Remette are platen knobs on both left and right, a larger carriage return lever, and a larger paper table. Its price was $39.50.

 

Remington Standard Model 5 (June? 1940-May 1941)

Serial numbers: V1116940-V1136948
Number made: 20,009

This model still has the bulbous shape of the original streamlined model 5, but is painted in wrinkle paint and has a full-sized, horizontal carriage return lever rather than a small, upright one. It retailed for $33.50. Remington literature refers to it as the 1941 model, but almost all were made in 1940. Photo courtesy of Phil Garr.

 

DeLuxe Model 5 (Aug. 1940-July 1942, Sept. 1945-March 1949)

Serial numbers: B1119266-B1224923 (1940-42) (but see below); B1226299-B1698621, B1750100-B1755222 (1945-49)
Number made: 105,658 (+) before war; 477,446 after war

This fancier version of the Remington Standard Model 5 includes a touch regulator, so it is much like the model 5 with touch regulator introduced in 1938. A tabulator was added in May 1942. This typewriter may be marked only "Remington," or "Remington DeLuxe," or "De Luxe." Its price was $54.50. A correspondent has a prewar DeLuxe Model 5 with serial number B1112460, before the official starting point in the official Remington records (see above).

 

Deluxe Noiseless Portable "1941 Line" (July 1940-May 1942)

Serial numbers: N1113894-N1212399
Number made: 98,506? (see below)

This model is almost identical to the earlier DeLuxe Noiseless; one difference is the one-piece carriage return lever, as opposed to a folding tip on the older carriage return lever. It retailed for $69.50. It is sometimes labeled "DeLuxe Noiseless" on the front frame, sometimes labeled "Remington Noiseless Portable" on the paper table, with no apparent difference in the mechanism. (Pictures courtesy of Cuyler Brooks.) Name variant: Monarch Noiseless Portable. There is a surprising jump between the start of April 1942 and the start of May 1942 from N1188863 to N1211664. Were 22,801 machines really produced in one month? Up until then, only about 4000 typewriters per month were being produced. Possibly a group of serial numbers was skipped for some reason. But I do have a report of a machine numbered N1198225, suggesting that at least 9362 typewriters were produced in April 1942 -- significantly more than average. It is possible that production was ramped up that month in order to meet a backlog of orders or for some other reason. 

 

Quiet Model 1 (July? 1940-March 1942)

Serial numbers: P1114940-P1182248
Number made: 67,309
Another member of Remington's "1941 line," this wrinkle-painted noiseless machine closely resembles the Remington Model 1, updated with a forties look. Its price was $59.50.

 

Streamliner (Feb. 1941-March 1942)

Serial numbers: B100000-B121199
Number made: 21,200

Very similar to the early specimens of the streamlined #5, except that the scale is black rather than red, and the carriage return lever is full-sized and horizontal. Its price was $49.50. The name, of course, draws attention to the Deco styling. The word "STREAMLINER" leans forward, and even has horizontal speed lines flowing across it on some versions of the decal. One aerodynamic typewriter! (The name "Streamliner" was also used on postwar machines which weren't nearly as streamlined.)

 

Envoy [type 2] (September 1941-April 1942)

Serial numbers: S1,162,749-S1,224,731 (September 1941-April 1942, sequence shared with other standard portables)
Number made: impossible to determine
The second kind of Envoy is essentially a Remette with some extra features (horizontal carriage return lever, two platen knobs, color selector, etc.). It may be finished either in wrinkle paint or in glossy black paint. Specimens starting with SD276153 have a ribbon color selector. Thanks to Jim Dax for the picture. See above for the first type of Envoy.

 

Postwar portables

These Remingtons are not covered on this site -- but you can learn about them on this page created by Will Davis.

Foreign variants

Many American Remington models had counterparts that were made or assembled in other countries, with separate serial numbering systems.

Australia

Canada

France
Germany

United Kingdom

Serial number information on these machines is much less reliable and complete than information for American machines, but I have the following data from a 1973 British "typewriter age guide" and other sources:


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