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Home » Hermes » Rocket » 1961 #5855791
1961 Hermes Rocket Serial # 5855791 1961 Hermes Rocket typewriter, Serial # 5855791 Mighty Jabba's 1961 Hermes Rocket typewriter. 2024-02-23 From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Mighty Jabba: 1961 Hermes Rocket Serial # 5855791 I got this Hermes Rocket on eBay about 8 months ago for a semi-decent price (for a Hermes) but it turned out to be in much worse shape than I had expected. The short version is that there was a lot of rust inside, including in the escapement, but I managed to get it working completely (yay!).

The rust was only barely visible from the outside, but it turned out that the two case screws on the left side were completely stuck in place. The escapement was stuck in the “open” position, so if you moved the carriage to the right, it would immediately zoom back to the left, and of course typing did not advance the carriage at all. Five or size of the type bars on the left side were completely immobilized, and many of the others were very slow and sticky.

After trying everything I could think of, I eventually decided that the only way I was going to be able to fix it was to drill out those rusty case screws. It was a little painful but in the end it did work and allowed me to remove the machine’s aluminum shell. There was quite a bit of rust on the inner frame, as well as in the escapement. In addition, I discovered that a couple of the small springs inside had partially disintegrated (I later replaced these from a junker Royal portable I had lying around).

I’ve “restored” quite a few machines by this point, but it’s mostly been things like cleaning out the segments and degreasing the moving parts. I’ve never had to deal with rust in the escapement before. I’m far from an expert in these matters, but in the end I decided to add some sewing machine oil and then worked the parts back and forth to get them moving. At first I thought they would never move freely since they were a challenge to move even with pliers. I had to open up my other earlier model Rocket to check how the escapement works, since I couldn’t tell which parts were supposed to be moving! The oil eventually did the trick, and after a lot more work I believe I have it functioning more or less 100%.

I did have to use hot glue to close the case where I drilled out the screws, which sounds absolutely terrible, but actually worked surprisingly well and isn’t even noticeable. The case basically fits perfectly fine without those screws, but hangs open slightly on the left side, so I just needed something to keep that closed (but that would be reversible in case I needed to get back inside).

I was a little worried about how it might be over the long term, but I just checked it after 6+ months of being on the shelf, and although two keys had grown sticky again, that was easily fixed and it is still typing like a champ.

1961 Hermes Rocket #5855791

Status: My Collection
Hunter: Mighty Jabba (MightyJabba)
Created: 02-23-2024 at 12:10AM
Last Edit: 02-23-2024 at 12:16AM


Description:

I got this Hermes Rocket on eBay about 8 months ago for a semi-decent price (for a Hermes) but it turned out to be in much worse shape than I had expected. The short version is that there was a lot of rust inside, including in the escapement, but I managed to get it working completely (yay!).

The rust was only barely visible from the outside, but it turned out that the two case screws on the left side were completely stuck in place. The escapement was stuck in the “open” position, so if you moved the carriage to the right, it would immediately zoom back to the left, and of course typing did not advance the carriage at all. Five or size of the type bars on the left side were completely immobilized, and many of the others were very slow and sticky.

After trying everything I could think of, I eventually decided that the only way I was going to be able to fix it was to drill out those rusty case screws. It was a little painful but in the end it did work and allowed me to remove the machine’s aluminum shell. There was quite a bit of rust on the inner frame, as well as in the escapement. In addition, I discovered that a couple of the small springs inside had partially disintegrated (I later replaced these from a junker Royal portable I had lying around).

I’ve “restored” quite a few machines by this point, but it’s mostly been things like cleaning out the segments and degreasing the moving parts. I’ve never had to deal with rust in the escapement before. I’m far from an expert in these matters, but in the end I decided to add some sewing machine oil and then worked the parts back and forth to get them moving. At first I thought they would never move freely since they were a challenge to move even with pliers. I had to open up my other earlier model Rocket to check how the escapement works, since I couldn’t tell which parts were supposed to be moving! The oil eventually did the trick, and after a lot more work I believe I have it functioning more or less 100%.

I did have to use hot glue to close the case where I drilled out the screws, which sounds absolutely terrible, but actually worked surprisingly well and isn’t even noticeable. The case basically fits perfectly fine without those screws, but hangs open slightly on the left side, so I just needed something to keep that closed (but that would be reversible in case I needed to get back inside).

I was a little worried about how it might be over the long term, but I just checked it after 6+ months of being on the shelf, and although two keys had grown sticky again, that was easily fixed and it is still typing like a champ.

Typeface Specimen:

Photos:










A shot of part of the insides, including one of the springs that had rusted away. I managed to clean off much of this rust and replace the spring.
A shot of part of the insides, including one of the springs that had rusted away. I managed to clean off much of this rust and replace the spring.

Hunter: Mighty Jabba (MightyJabba)

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RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Hermes Rocket on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Hermes Serial Number page and the Hermes Rocket By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.