Harry Palmer’s Typewriter
Posted on January 27, 2015
Made in England by SMC (Smith-Corona-Marchant) between 1960 and 1963, these “Empire Corona” 4Y Skyriters (this one has a serial no: #4Y 638930) were rebadged for the H.G. Palmer Retail chain in Australia.
Rob Messenger did an excellent job in telling us all about the H G Palmer marque, so there’s nothing useful I can add.
I was disappointed to discover that the “H” in H.G. stands for Herbert and not Harry, which meant I couldn’t make reference to the Harry Palmer character, played in several movies by Michael Caine, and based on the unnamed main character from the spy novels of Len Deighton. Or could I…?
Did you know, that Len Deighton wrote his 1968 novel Bomber on an early word processor called the IBM MTST (Magnetic Tape Selectric Typewriter)?
Back to the typewriter-related H.G.Palmer …
As Rob tells us:
” …in the 1950s H.G. Palmer acquired the rights to sell relabelled Corona Skyriters in Australia, but when SMC took over the old Salter factory from British Typewriters in 1960, Corona was able to beat tariff restrictions and import Skyriters into Australia under its own name. The arrangement between H G Palmer and Corona was shortlived and thus “H.G. Palmer” labelled Coronas are not all that common.”
I “think” I like the look of this crudely engineered typewriter, at least from certain angles, but it’s not much fun to use.
The worst thing about it is a very ratchety carriage return, which a few drops of oil haven’t helped.
The jury’s still out, and I probably need more time to get accustomed to it, but I think I prefer the wooden feel of my plastic Hermes Baby – a typewriter which I only rated 6 out of 10.
Trust me Harry, you’re better of without one!
For those who are interested, here’s the instruction booklet: