Unboxing the Remington Monarch

So as I said earlier, I decided to go buy a typewriter.  Just for the tactile feedback and the increased concentration it forces you to have.  I go a little ADHD when I write on a computer, and although that’s OK at some levels I think I’d like the discipline that comes with knowing you can’t cut-and-paste.  And besides, it was only $87.  And I had had a couple of beers.

So, I went and bought a 45-year old typewriter on eBay.  Turns out there’s quite the thriving market in such things, although even the best examples are not fetching a huge amount.  However, I couldn’t go past this portable typewriter – it was in excellent condition and exactly what I was looking for.  I’ve now received it, and it is in beyond excellent condition.  Yes, I need to pick up my typing (it’s amazing how slack computers let you become), but the typewriter itself is as it was when it came off the production line 45 years ago.  And I do mean that without the slightest hint of ‘for it’s age’.

And since I wonder sincerely whether my Netbook (now 1 year old) will still be operating in any shape in 44 years time (remember, that’s 2053 for crying out loud!), I thought it would be nice to give the Monarch the unboxing treatment, as it is my ‘brand-new’ gadget.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… “unboxing the 1964 Remington Monarch.

Firstly, the eBayer who sold it to me knows their stuff had it very well packed:

I plan to introduce my children to the wonders of bubble wrap later. 

And you can see the size of it (it’s not diminutive, but it’s not impossibly heavy, as I remember my first typewriter was):

The carry case is the item that has had the most wear and tear over the years, and even it is in good condition:

With plenty of foam packaging, it was well-protected:

The Remington Monarch, with its travel protector and everything all there as well:

Everything inside the case is here, including some brushes for maintenance and the original (!) user’s guide:

The keys are in excellent condition, and after a little fiddling it was operational.  Not bad for a 45-year old machine:

And just for the record, here’s an example of its typing: 

Not bad – fortunately I do remember what it’s like to type on a typewriter.  It’s not always fun, and I will probably abandon it in favour of the computer again.  But for the moment it’s my gadget-of-the-week, and I think it does well in the longevity stakes. 

Blogged with the Flock Browser


  1. It is beautiful to type on, it really is. Now I feel guilty though – the seller tells me it was part of her husband’s collection of typewriters and he was hoping to get more for it than I paid :). It really is in immaculate condition, absolutely beautiful. Funny how we can get hyped up over the latest gadget-of-the-moment but this machine is older than me and it is my current favourite.

    Will need to buy me some Tipex though :). Computers make you lazy.

    I wonder if they still make that stuff.

    If you look on Facebook you’ll see a video I took of N giving his take (‘So… it’s like a computer, and a printer?’).

  2. Pingback: A stop at the antique shop | information insights

  3. Awesome post Michael, i just picked myself up a Remington Monarch today, and whilst i had a great time typing on it for the first few minutes, the next thing i knew, it had locked up, and wouldnt let me type, space or anything. If you could help me, that would be great, because i am so excited to type on it.


  4. Hmm. I actually have a second Remington Monarch (yes I know, get a life 🙂 ) that won’t advance the space bar.

    Will carriage return work? If not, check that the carriage isn’t locked – there’s a small silver slide-bar on the right hand side, just under the carriage/platen. Move that (from memory you pull it towards you to unlock it, but if it doesn’t move, slide it the other way) – if that’s the problem then space bar should start to work.

    This feature is used when you are transporting the typewriter so the carriage doesn’t slide about.

    If that’s not the issue, try the margin release lever? You would need to slide the margin stops (small silver sliding tabs on the top of the carriage – one to the left, one to the right) to include your page.

    Not sure how familiar you are with typewriter usage. After that, I’d check for missing springs or rusty bites – you’re gonna need sewing oil. Lots and lots of sewing oil :).

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks: Micheal.

  5. Hello,

    I live in Peru and I have a Monarch too. I wonder if you could send me a copy of the owner’s manual to my e-mail, because I couldn’t get one on-line.

    Thanks a lot,


  6. Can I join the long queue for a scan of the manual? I just bought my Monarch (two days ago, at a local market – not as quite as good nick as yours) and can’t work out how to clear and set the tabs. Searched the net but haven’t been able to find out how I’ve pressed and moved and adjusted to no avail. In love with it.
    best wishes

  7. Hi Michael,
    I know this is an old post, but I stumbled across it in my quest to find a PDF copy of a monarch manual.
    Just got a ‘new’ monarch to gift to a friend, and was hoping you had a copy of the pdf you could email?

Leave a Reply