1903 Fox 3 #6637
Status: My Collection
Created: 03-25-2020 at 10:30PM
Last Edit: 04-27-2020 at 11:10PM
Overall beautiful and restorable. Missing a few pieces: 1) motor escapement catch, which I am actually in the process of having made by a machinist friend on a water cutting machine with a CAD drawing, the special screw that holds it on still exists, why did the part vanish but the screw holding it on not? Somebody must've robbed a few parts but replaced the screws. Very thoughtful...
2)The spring for the carriage escapement, I might actually have one but who knows what the original's characteristics were, as in tension etc.
3) The cover plate for that escapement, which will not affect the function so otherwise I do not need it.
4) some linkage for the ribbon oscillator mechanism. I think that's what its for, I need the first two on this list for it to function enough to better tell exactly what they do. I think the typewriter will basically function without it. If not, and eventually anyway, if I can't find a replacement, I think I can have this stuff made like my motor catch.
5) a knob for an ancillary control. I'll come up with something.
If you are a Fox person, or have parts, or have a wrecked example that can be cannibalized, let me know. If you have the parts I need but can't sell them, if I could study yours enough to fabricate a replica, it would be tremendously appreciated. I really, really want to use this typewriter. Even in the state its in now, I can clearly see what they meant by the Light Running Fox. Though the carriage won't advance, the keylevers all work fine (except the H which needs to be reconnected, you can see in the pics) and everything is incredibly light. I mostly type on my Noiseless 10, which is relatively light (its heavy but in a different way, its hard to describe) and the Fox feels like something completely different. Being a blind machine, I see its primary use as a fast and brilliant writing tool for my book and other projects where a first draft doesn't need to be perfect. I'll have spelling and grammar mistakes and do a lot of cut-and-pasting (the old-fashioned way!) and if I need to make something pretty for correspondence etc, I use my Noiseless which makes beautiful printwork. I think the Fox's type is 12 to the inch, which is perfect for mass typings. I can't really tell what the Fox's type looks like, I'm anxious to get it working, it might be beautiful, like the rest of the machine, or it might be plain and basic, I don't know. I can't wait to tell.
The motor catch and probably the ribbon oscillator linkage are not extremely finely made, so at least in the case of the motor catch, do not need to be machined extremely precisely. Not like gears and other things. In fact, I think the original was just cut from a press. I read someplace that the Fox works had presses installed around 1900 that can do that work. As far as the linkage I am looking for, I haven't seen clearly what the parts look like or how they work with the machine. I will be able to tell better once the carriage is advancing.
I had forgot one piece, the strap for the carriage, but that will not be either expensive or scarce.
The platen rubber is as hard as marble and splitting on the left end, so it will interfere with typing. I will have the rubber replaced.
I have some questions about this that I haven't figured out yet, especially about Fox's sort of two-speed escapement, which is a mechanism that adjusts which point the carriage advances in relation to the swinging type bar. I haven't been able to find a control for it or tell how it works, or if the typewriter is even equipped with it. From what I can tell, the #3's predecessor was equipped with it, so I would assume mine is, but it is a relatively early Fox, maybe they hadn't had it yet. IIF YOU HAVE INFORMATION AS TO THE FUNCTION AND USE OF THE FOX "TWO-SPEED" ESCAPEMENT, please leave a comment or contact me.
On the whole this is a beautiful typewriter, and perfectly fills a niche in my modest collection for an antique. Otherwise, I have no interest in other blind-era, antique, or rare old machines. Even if I had the space, I have no desire to own something like a Caligraph or other weird, very old, or otherwise historical example. The Fox was a brilliant design, and I cant see any other typewriter from that period that would match it in not only its function as a writing machine but its beauty. This is an incredibly pretty typewriter. The striping, lettering, and graphics on my Fox are in very good condition, something that I am very, very happy about. I would love this thing if it was rattlecanned green but the condition of the paint and graphics is as good as I could ever hope for. Only the fox's head in the cross on the table is damaged, from being laid with the front side resting in the platen instead of flipped back. There is a person who makes reproduction graphics for virtually every "vintage" (I hate that term... and "patina" is a dirty word junk dealers use to inflate the value of a crusty old rusted thing!) typewriter made, though I only need that particular image, I'll put the rest of the set on my bicycle or something. The set that he has doesn't exactly match my particular example, the patterns in the side, some lettering, etc are a little different, but the fox's head on the paper table is the same. The typewriter is dirty and has some superficial corrosion on much of the machine's working parts, but as far as I can tell, will not be any problem, I'm going to have it to pieces and polish everything, and treated to inhibit corrosion. As I go in the rebuilding process I will clean the paintwork up to shine, until then the Fox stays dirty.
Hunter: Trevor London (NoiselessBastard)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
The status of my posted collection is changing as I progress on the machines. Also I do own several other typewriters I haven't listed, there is a Royal P, QDL, etc.
There are a few things I adore about typewriters, a couple being you don't have to plug it in and another and equally importa t one, TYPEWRITERS DONT HAVE AUTOCORRECT OR PREDICTIVE TEXT. I have to LOOK UP IN A BOOK when I can't spell something, which can't be bad for the poor old brain.
I'm a Fox, Noiseless enthusiast. I have always liked typewriters since I took a Royal apart when I was very young. I have been in possession of at least one typewriter every year since about 1989. Over the years I've successfully cleaned and oiled machines, I had a typewriter maintenance book so I knew how to do some things, but this was before the internet... The same story with another similarly obscure hobby, I collect Sturmey Archer paraphernalia, but the hard part without the internet was finding parts. I've always known what I was doing there, I learned from The Wizard, the Original Bikesmith, a great man called Val Kleitz of Seattle. I was laid off back in November and have had time to indulge in the typewritery, before November I had been working 56 to 70 hour 7-day weeks in a vegetable factory for a number of years. All that overtime I put in, it all came in very handy when I collected my unemployment. I'm enrolled in a vocational training program, was waiting for Summer quarter so I didnt have to look for work, and now the coronavirus has that on hold, so I don't have to work... I've been writing a book for years, and now I have time. I often spend 6 or more hours a day typing, sometimes from when I wake up until I go to bed. My typewriter desk is within reach of both my bed and my couch.
I was using a very worn out Royal 10 and the Remington Mark II in my galleries, so a few years ago I started looking for replacements. I found the Noiseless first. It basically needed only modest cleaning and lubrication, though at a point things started to go wrong. I was able to figure it out and fix it which gained a huge amount of typewriter repair confidence. Another factor in my sudden obsession with typewriters was when I bought the Fox. I've read every word on Fox, including a brilliant book available on the internet, I'm over the moon about that typewriter. I am certain I will be able to make it work. I can see what they meant with "Light Running Fox" and as much as I type, it'll be a great for my fingers. Typing for me is very therapeutic, and in moderation, has been very healthy. Its kept me from going spare during coronavirus but is becoming to become apparent that it might be on the obsessive side... So I've forced myself to limit typing to 4 hours a day. Seems to be working.
I am completely insane and my book is partially about insanity. I wear that badge with pride, too. It has been liberating to be in control of my sanity, and the last months, since November, have been the most productive of my life. I'd put the book on hold-- partly because the Royal 10 was complete and utter junk and wasn't worth dragging out, it was frustrating... I think if I knew then what I do now about typewriters I would've been able to fix it. But I didn't like it anyway. I dont like Royals, or Underwoods. That is to say that I like EVERY typewriter, but examples like a KMM or Underwood 5 are more boring. I have one of both and had a KMM years ago (which I destroyed) and they are great machines but I have a very small home, and I'm concentrating on weird typewriters. I have become interested in Noiseless typewriters because of all the internet stuff I've found on the unique design and history. I've been reading everything about typewriters, finding service manuals-- I have my copied Sturmey Archer manuals in binders and now I've got typewriter manuals! I don't have the Bible series yet, not yet. I haven't needed them, I've been able to figure it all out.
I'm ready to take on the Fox. Its a simple typewriter, compared to a KMM or something like that. A year ago I would be daft to attempt it, ive had nightmares after I spent a evening screwing up some poor typewriter. I should say that I did not wreck EVERY machine that I owned, but when I go to the great bichrome ribbon in the sky, I'll have to answer for all the machines I abused. I recently was digging in an old tool box and found a random typewriter part that must've been in there for 20 years. I know how to do it right, now. I've a great archivist and internet community to thank for making this easy for me.
2) Fox folding portable
3) Spanish keyboard Noiseless 7
4) Original Noiseless Portable
5) more Foxes
6) Spanish Keyboard Hermes
7) good typewriter of any type with italics
8) "Flatbed" Royal
9) another Oliver
10) One Each of every Noiseless model, starting with the pre-Remington years.
I am thinking about purchasing a clear-cabinet convict typewriter, it and a Selectric-- I think a Selectric II, I think those are marvellous and a work of art in engineering, the state of the art, the pinnacle in typewriter design. Apart from those two I am not at all interested in electric typewriters. Maybe a Burroughs electric.
I wanted to add: I mentioned my "good fortune" of being laid off back in November, and how things are going well. I feel entirely guilty, I know there are a lot of people suffering right now and I dont think this is even the beginning of coronavirus. I remind myself every day that I am very, very lucky. Things generally go to crap in my life, and I expect to have some sort of collapse of my good fortune, but the trick now is to get ready. Talking what they used to call "bollocks" right now I think... This is a website about typewriters. But I do want the world to know how much it kills me to know what's happening to good people when I've got it made for months. All I want to do is read, research, and write, and I think with coronavirus I've finally found my notch on the starwheel. I do have one feeling I can control, and that's to make the MOST of it, read research write as a hobby can do nothing but good if I can focus it in the fight direction. Typewriters and my book are on their targets. I've finally had a chance to work on this thing. It does kill me that I'm happy and in my element and my friends are suffering.
This is the most sophisticated form of social media i engage in, I don't do facebook and the like AT ALL. This all isn't going to be seen by only a few eyes, not thousands it I had a facebook. That's the way I want it.