Nostalgic Precision

It feels funny typing on a machine this “modern”. This Smith-Corona SL 480 is very similar to the first typewriter I ever owned, but it will very likely be the last film ribbon typewriter I get. Though there is still a mechanical process as the the daisy wheel spins to the correct letter and impacts the ribbon, it does seem like there is a disconnect between pressing a key and the strike of the character to the paper. There is, in fact, a barely noticeable delay between the two.

Although this brand new ribbon had some flaws as evidenced in the first couple lines, it has since evened out to a clinical precision. That’s what I love about the fabric ribbon electrics: even though there is still a disconnect between pressing the key and the action of the machine, the fabric ribbon cannot make a consistent impression from character to character. Plus you have the visible movement of the type bars, whereas this machine is blindingly fast.

That said, the nostalgia is strong! So this is a keeper. But we’ll see how much use it gets.

Author: Gregory

2 thoughts on “Nostalgic Precision

  1. Well said post and crisp type, I’ve struggled with where or no to use electrics. Using manuals now since I left all my electrics behind when we moved from the US to Germany last year…different voltage. But I have a couple of thermal machines, that run on battery power. Might break out one of those and start typing.

    1. You really should! It’s fun for something different. So far, I have only used my thermals without film ribbon installed. The fact that you can type on paper without ink is magic, even though I understand the thermal process. Sort of.

      Thank you so much for the comment!

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