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© 2018 Richard Polt
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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. or Monarch Typewriter Co. Mark Adams writes,
"It seems a Walter Drey, perhaps also the same Walter Drey who was
the co-founder of Forbes, organized a Monarch Typewriter Company
as a selling agency for rebranded Remington typewriters during the
Great Depression. Drey's sole effort, it seems, was to recruit
sales agents who would market Remington typewriters, though not
bearing the Remington name."
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.
For a more month-by-month breakdown of serial numbers compiled by
Ted Munk, based primarily on the Sheridan serial number data,
visit the Remington page on The Typewriter
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
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.
Not a true portable but a "luggable" typewriter, this simplified
writing machine is not to be confused with the later
Remington Junior portable. This original Remington Junior
has three banks of keys, and two shift keys only on the left. "It
is smaller, it is lighter, it is designed for the simpler uses,"
says a 1915 ad. This model was not a market success, and its
production was complicated by the disruptions of the First World
War. We do not have firm data on production numbers.
Remington company serial records say, "The 3-Bank Rem. Jur. first
made April, 1914 at [the Smith Premier factory in] Syracuse [New
York]. Discontinued in 1921. After Remington Co. gave up sale it
was sold as the 'Century' [no. 10] by A.W.M. Co. [American Writing
Machine, which was controlled by Remington]." The Century, which
started production no later than June 1919, includes several major
modifications, such as ribbon spools located on top of the machine
instead of hidden in the back. Examples
of the Century can be seen on The Typewriter Database. I
think the ending date of 1921 for the Remington Junior provided by
Remington is actually the ending date for the remodeled Century,
which I consider to be a separate design. The Junior was probably
not made past early 1919.
The situation is complicated by a few Century typewriters that are essentially just Remington Juniors with a Century name decal. The serial number on one of them, JH40162, suggests manufacture as early as 1914, but H is not a known month code.
Name variant: Remington J (found
on an export in Australia).
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."
I thank Mark Adams for sharing his research on the model 1 portable; his NA00259 (December 1920) is currently the second earliest Remington portable known to me. The earliest is Tony Casillo's NA00190 (also Dec. 1920). Mark also owns an example with a very high monthly serial number, NA29481 (meaning the 9,481st machine made in December 1922). Mark writes, "My hunch is that factory output was set at around 9,999 machines per month and attained sometime in 1922." He estimates that total production probably reached 400,000, and I have adopted his estimate.
Mark Adams observes, "The earliest [known] machines date to
December 1920. The machine appearing in Typewriter Topics
in 1920 displays a letter containing a date, August 10, 1920,
which is around when tooling for the No. 1 was completed. The No.
1 was shown later in October at a trade show, so some machines
must have been made before December. As has been speculated on my
site, it may be that machines from Dec. 1920 and Jan. 1921 were
stamped from existing stock." 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.)
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.)
A further variation reported by Mark Adams is a drab olive green,
with green keytops. He adds: "The green paint was, in nearly all
instances, simply painted over the black finish, which is
noticeable from the undersides of these machines. The standard
decals were problematic, as the clear portions are not exactly
transparent against the green paint. Often, the decals are in the
wrong places, or not present at all. Some decals seem to date to
the 1930s, based on the typeface employed." An example is pictured
Mark reports that foreign-language keyboards were introduced no
later than July 1921 (NV11864 is Spanish).
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
NZ14279Z, with a German keyboard, has an unexplained Z at the end
of the serial number.
Mark Adams writes, "I have never observed a No. 1 or No. 2 that
was manufactured in January 1925, suggesting the factory paused
for retooling" as it was preparing to manufacture the model 2.
Serial numbers: 2-letter, 5-numeral code
beginning with N (Feb. 1925-August 1928); V100000-V131518
Number made: 400,000?
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
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 portable
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, used in Britain,
is Baby Rem. An even rarer name variant is S. P. Blick (for "Smith
Premier"), used in France and possibly elsewhere. The Rem-Blick
was advertised by Sears in 1929 under the Rem-Blick name for
$22.50, and in 1930 under the name "The Blick" for $19.75. The
earliest specimen known to me, KM80102, dates from February 1928,
but Remington records state that the machine was first
manufactured in December 1927. June 1928 was apparently the peak
of production; it is the only month in which I know that over 1000
machines were made (at least 1665). I know of only one machine
produced after September 1928: Baby Rem KD90003, which should date
from September 1929. It is possible that after September 1928,
Remington manufactured only a handful of Rem-Blicks per month, if
there was a special request or need. This was the factory's
practice with some other models as well.
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). Early Remington No. 3 portables may have a paper bail (a horizontal bar with rollers that hold the paper down), such as the red machine on the right above. Later ones have paper fingers, like all other Remington portables until the introduction of the All-New Remington Portable in 1949. The No. 3 came in various attractive colors and color combinations. 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.
These Remingtons were marketed by Sears Roebuck; their serial
numbers begin with "SR." Remington records start with SR14972, but
the lowest serial number I have seen is SR5145. The Porto-Rite was
sold as early as 1930 for $51.50 (cash) or $55 (installments).
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.)
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).
This was one of the most successful Remington portables, both 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.
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
$73.50 by 1935 (according to an original Remington tag in Peter
Weil's collection). 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 Noiseless, 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).
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. V502137, owned by Mark Adams, is marked "Monarch" on
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.
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.
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:
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.)
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.
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. Usually this typewriter has an embossed "Remington" name on its paper table, but the paper table may also have a "Remington Noiseless" decal. For more information about this machine, follow this link.
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
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.
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 622656, 622789, 622802, and 630099. Finally, one mystery machine has been found with a Noiseless #7 mechanism and serial number, but a Noiseless Junior shell.
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. While most 3B's are painted in glossy black paint, they are also found in non-shiny black. For more information, visit this page.
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.
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."
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. Mark
Adams writes, "The Monarch Pioneer does not have simply the same
keyboard as the 3B, but pretty much the same internal workings.
The Monarch Pioneer is a vastly reduced 3B, featurewise. On the
3B, the typebars rest in an elevated position; on the Monarch
Pioneer, a lower position. My guess is that the 3B, despite having
fewer features, was not a profitable machine, as it contained an
amount of material equivalent to the more expensive models. The
Monarch Pioneer is a lighter portable and likely a better design
for a budget machine, in terms of materials used."
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." It may also be found finished in
wrinkle paint, and (particularly for export) marked "Smith
This Pioneer has no shift key and types only in sans-serif capital letters; Remington advertising called it a "juvenile portable." 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 in the records are as follows:
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.
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.
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. A Canadian-made machine with a wrinkle-painted body shaped like that of the #3 is labeled Remette (on the paper table) Junior (on the front frame); its serial number is CCR13231.
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.
These machines are difficult to find; I suspect they were all or
mostly exported, as was typical for typewriters labeled "Smith
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). To its right 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).
The third machine from the left is 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; 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 indicates something different."
On the right is a Smith Premier Senior that is actually labeled as
such (VS761342, Thomas Fürtig collection). This one has a Spanish
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.
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 lacks several conveniences of fancier models: there is no tabulator or self-starter, no right margin stop or bell, no carriage lock, and no margin release button or lever (although you can lift up the rack directly). There is no scale, but only a red line to indicate the center of the platen. It types in only one color. This machine 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.
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). Machines starting with serial
number B1580000 (1948) have a two-tone gray body as shown on the
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.)
An oddity is an example with Canadian keyboard labeled
"Remington-Noiseless Typewriter" (with a hyphen) on the front
frame. 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.
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 shape of the return lever may vary, and I have seen one machine with no decal at all on the paper table. (The name "Streamliner" was also used on postwar machines which weren't nearly as streamlined.)
Many American Remington models had counterparts that were made
or assembled in other countries, with separate serial numbering