1928 Remington Porto-Rite #SR12759
Status: My Collection
Hunter: Dan Johnson (rdj)
Created: 06-06-2017 at 02:59PM
Last Edit: 10-19-2018 at 09:34AM
Sadly, this pretty typewriter arrived with a busted drawband (which I can fix) and with essentially no padding inside its case, resulting in a left carriage knob smashed to smithereens. Otherwise, it's in (thankfully) pretty good shape! It even has both small ribbon spools.
I haven't fixed it up yet, so there's no typing sample, but it has the potential to produce one. I couldn't resist the color scheme, and the basket lift-into-business-mode design feature was too cool to ignore. (There are a bazillion springs beneath the elevating basket.)
Is this a 1928 or a 1930-31?
The serial numbers on these Porto-Rites are problematic. The TWDB serial number range for this model is SR14972 (1932) to SR16405 (1934). The only other ones in the TWDB (so far) are in the 5000 range.
Richard Polt describes (see the link in this gallery) this model as quoted below, indicating they may have been produced from 1930-1934. He describes the Porto-Rite as being identical to a #2. Consulting the TWDB serial number listing for #2 portables, my serial number (despite the SR prefix) falls in the 1928 timeframe, however, the 5xxx serial numbers do not fit within the #2 sequence.
So, I'm unsure how to date this one.
Let's try interpolation.
15100-14972 = 128 from May-Dec 1932
16253-15100 = 1153 from Jan-Dec 1933
16405-16253 = 152 from Jan-Nov 1933 (also a short year due to a strike)
My serial number is 12759 which puts it 2213 ahead of the earliest one listed, 14972 in May 1932. Let's say they produced 500 per year prior to 1932, that would make mine 4 years earlier than the first listed, or in 1928.
That is two ways of estimating the manufacturing year for this typewriter, and both reach the same conclusion, however, Dr. Polt estimates the start of manufacture around 1930, presumably based on other evidence.
For now, I'll leave it at 1928 until other evidence surfaces to the contrary.
Richard Polt says:
"Porto-Rite (1930?-April 1934)
"Serial numbers: SR5000?-SR16405. (See below)
"Number made: 11,500?
"These Remingtons were marketed by Sears Roebuck; their serial numbers begin with "SR." Remington records start with SR14972, but the lowest serial number I have seen is SR5145. The Porto-Rite was sold as early as 1930 for $51.50 (cash) or $55 (installments). Most Porto-Rites are identical to the #2, but some are identical to the #3. They come both in black and in colors. Normally they are marked "Porto-Rite," but I know of one specimen marked "Remington," looking exactly like a two-tone green #2, despite its "SR" serial number. (The catalogue of the Dietz typewriter collection at the Milwaukee Public Museum shows a Porto-Rite that may not be a Remington product at all. Sears may have sold several different makes under the name.)"
Hunter: Dan Johnson (rdj)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
I have always loved typewriters along with other kinds of well-engineered tools and devices such as slide rules, calculators (particular HP), radios, cameras (particularly Nikons), and microscopes. In addition to appreciating their intrinsic beauty and utility, they represent "things that need to be figured out to be understood". That's how I first learned about computers and programming in the 1970s, by figuring things out for myself. It's activity in which I never seem to tire of engaging.
Although communities have arisen around other collection interests, typewriters have the advantage that those who use them also typically enjoy communicating through words, whether those words are about the machines themselves or their lives, hopes, dreams, or expressions of beauty. There's much to be appreciated here.
RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Remington Porto-Rite on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Remington Serial Number page and the Remington Porto-Rite By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.