1953 Empire Aristocrat #AM174241
Status: My Collection
Hunter: Gary Wann (Ruyton)
Created: 09-17-2018 at 09:26AM
Last Edit: 12-21-2018 at 09:51AM
Empire Aristocrat purchased from an online auction site. Overall condition was above average, but the keys were pretty much solid and required some careful lubrication to free them up. The ribbon vibrator was a little bent so it required some very gentle reshaping to allow it to move more freely. The interior of the machine was dirty, but not unusually so.
This really is a portable device, being physically small and rugged with its stamped metal case/cover. Restoration of the Aristocrat is still work in progress as it's not as smooth to use as I would like and the type slugs need cleaning.
Hopefully the machine will ease up more with use and the typeface will improve after cleaning.
Update: I've done quite a bit of work on this machine now with the help of the Hermes Baby/Rocket manual available for purchase here on the TWDB. I spent ages trying to setup the On Motion and On Feet but it was frustratingly difficult due to the tiny adjustments that made a lot of difference, not helped by the tiny platen that demands that you have the settings just right. However, I finally got this sorted and the type is now consistent and fairly sharp. I also finally bit the bullet and overhauled the rear feed roller set which had awful flats. I tried smoothing these out but elliptical rollers just don't make for a smooth feed. I cut the old rubber off and replaced the 3-part roller with silicone tubing. The machine has now got to the point where it is a pleasure to use and considering I almost resigned it to the 'display only' shelf, I'm very happy that I persevered. The platen is very hard and I tried skinning it with heatshrink, but the platen was then just too tight to fit in this small machine. I always use a backing sheet and have experimented with a 100-micron acetate backing sheet which does seem to deaden the sound a little and feeds OK.
A lovely and very portable typewriter.
Hunter: Gary Wann (Ruyton)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
Retired Air Traffic Controller. Got my first typewriter from Santa when I was about 8 years old and woke my parents up at 3am as I just had to try it out when I woke up! Have had an old Imperial 58 in the family for longer than I can remember. A computer geek, but I just love the mechanics of typewriters and have started to collect a few more to keep the Imperial company!
RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Empire Aristocrat on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Empire Serial Number page and the Empire Aristocrat By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.