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From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Scott O:
1939 Hermes Baby Featherweight

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1939 Hermes Baby Featherweight
Serial #

Status: Sightings
Created: 10-08-2015 at 10:26AM
Last Edit: 10-14-2015 at 03:26PM

Hermes Serial Numbers
Hermes Typewriter Galleries
Hermes Baby Featherweight Typewriter Galleries


Now one of my Exes--

I didn't think I would want another Hermes Baby after my first experience but then I found this one and couldn't resist.

It has an International English keyboard, with signs for U.S. Dollars and Pounds Sterling. It also has two keys with symbols for writing in Latin- and Germanic languages: 1) Diaresis (umlaut) / Circonflex, and 2) Acute accent / Grave accent.

This machine was a mess when I bought it. The keys were all gummed up with old heavy grease, the carriage wasn't sliding smoothly, and the upper and lower case characters were out of alignment. The exterior paint was dirty and the interior felt was filthy. I doubt this machine had ever been serviced in the 76 years since it left the Paillard factory in Switzerland.

I had to take the entire machine apart to clean every inch of it by hand. The interior machine was cleaned in several passes with denatured alcohol and mineral spirits. The carriage slid smoothly once all the dirt and grime was removed. The stuck keys took several tried to clean before they were completely de-gunked. The hardest task was aligning the upper and lower case characters, which took at least five hours of tinkering over a two-day period before I was satisfied with the results.

I stripped all the felt from the interior of the body panels and replaced it with new felt. I don't normally take this step but the original felt had disintegrated and there was too much dirt for it to be worth cleaning. Dirt was easily removed from the exterior paint using dish soap and then a light coating of hand cleaner quickly removed before it started impacting the paint.

This Baby now types like a dream, far better than I imagined a Baby could type. It's easy to get a rhythm going and keep it going line after line. The platen is rock hard and it will need to be replaced, but I won't do that until I decide whether this will remain in my permanent collection.


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Scott O
Username: ScottO

Writer, collector and typewriter tinkerer based in the Seattle area, WA State, U.S.A.

1939 Hermes Baby Featherweight Photo Gallery

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