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1966 Sears Medalist Electric 12 Serial # SM6V-119176 1966 Sears Medalist Electric 12 typewriter, Serial # SM6V-119176 Steven Blake's 1966 Sears Medalist Electric 12 typewriter. 2022-09-06 From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Steven Blake: 1966 Sears Medalist Electric 12 Serial # SM6V-119176 “Faster, easier, clearer than ever before – that’s how you’ll type on Sears smart looking Medalist Electric!” – 1967 Sears Fall/Winter Catalog

Sears Roebuck & Company was once known as a place you could buy anything from clothing for the whole family, to a battery or set of tires for your car, and in the early days, even a complete house kit. And of course, Sears sold typewriters for decades too. The typewriters the department store giant offered through its retail stores and catalogs were manufactured to Sears’ exacting specifications by private-label partners like Royal, Brother, or as in the case of this Medalist Electric 12, Smith-Corona.

Positioned at the top of Sears’ typewriter offerings, the Medalist model was based on SCM’s popular 6-series line of portable electrics, but Sears ordered some custom features for its own variation, including:

1. An articulated ribbon cover that lifts straight up, swings back, and then out of the way, providing unobstructed access to the type basket and ribbon.
2. A dedicated key that indents 5 spaces for ease in formatting new paragraphs.
3. A 3-segment space bar including a repeating key and a half-space key to assist with making corrections/insertions.
4. An automatic paper injector (“…page spins into position under the paper holder…”).
5. A Power Ribbon option that lets the user to toggle between up to four colors by combining a fast advance/reverse ribbon mechanism with a more traditional color selector and a proprietary black/red/green/blue ribbon.

One downside: Sears ditched SCM’s two-piece aluminum bottom shell – which allows easy access to the machine’s internals for service or cleaning – in favor of a less user-friendly die-cast aluminum jacket. But cosmetics aside, once you start typing, there is no doubt that under this typewriter’s skin beats the heart of a well-made Smith-Corona.

Based on Sears’ catalog listings, this “Sears Best” Medalist Electric 12 was likely manufactured in 1967, and retailed then for a whopping $191.88, which included a $5.00 premium for its Presidential Pica typeface (Standard Pica, Elite and Italic were also available). That’s almost $1,500 in 2022 dollars and would make it competitive on price – if not utility – with a contemporary MacBook.

One last thought about this machine…SCM’s Presidential Pica is certainly a handsome typeface; though the features that distinguish it from Standard Pica are somewhat nuanced. To my eye, Presidential Pica offers a slightly heavier weight or “shade.” And some of the letters appear a bit more horizontally elongated when compared to their Standard Pica peers (I’ve included samples of both from the SCM typestyle catalog below, courtesy of Rev. Munk). Would it be wrong to call Presidential Pica classier in appearance than Pica No. 1? Perhaps Sears was correct in labeling Presidential Pica the “prestige” typeface choice in its 1967 Fall/Winter catalog.

***UPDATE: I have added a photo of the four-color ribbon feature operating instructions from the Owner's Manual.

1966 Sears Medalist Electric 12 #SM6V-119176

Status: My Collection
Hunter: Steven Blake (FloydGondolli)
Created: 02-16-2022 at 09:20PM
Last Edit: 09-06-2022 at 06:58PM


Description:

“Faster, easier, clearer than ever before – that’s how you’ll type on Sears smart looking Medalist Electric!” – 1967 Sears Fall/Winter Catalog

Sears Roebuck & Company was once known as a place you could buy anything from clothing for the whole family, to a battery or set of tires for your car, and in the early days, even a complete house kit. And of course, Sears sold typewriters for decades too. The typewriters the department store giant offered through its retail stores and catalogs were manufactured to Sears’ exacting specifications by private-label partners like Royal, Brother, or as in the case of this Medalist Electric 12, Smith-Corona.

Positioned at the top of Sears’ typewriter offerings, the Medalist model was based on SCM’s popular 6-series line of portable electrics, but Sears ordered some custom features for its own variation, including:

1. An articulated ribbon cover that lifts straight up, swings back, and then out of the way, providing unobstructed access to the type basket and ribbon.
2. A dedicated key that indents 5 spaces for ease in formatting new paragraphs.
3. A 3-segment space bar including a repeating key and a half-space key to assist with making corrections/insertions.
4. An automatic paper injector (“…page spins into position under the paper holder…”).
5. A Power Ribbon option that lets the user to toggle between up to four colors by combining a fast advance/reverse ribbon mechanism with a more traditional color selector and a proprietary black/red/green/blue ribbon.

One downside: Sears ditched SCM’s two-piece aluminum bottom shell – which allows easy access to the machine’s internals for service or cleaning – in favor of a less user-friendly die-cast aluminum jacket. But cosmetics aside, once you start typing, there is no doubt that under this typewriter’s skin beats the heart of a well-made Smith-Corona.

Based on Sears’ catalog listings, this “Sears Best” Medalist Electric 12 was likely manufactured in 1967, and retailed then for a whopping $191.88, which included a $5.00 premium for its Presidential Pica typeface (Standard Pica, Elite and Italic were also available). That’s almost $1,500 in 2022 dollars and would make it competitive on price – if not utility – with a contemporary MacBook.

One last thought about this machine…SCM’s Presidential Pica is certainly a handsome typeface; though the features that distinguish it from Standard Pica are somewhat nuanced. To my eye, Presidential Pica offers a slightly heavier weight or “shade.” And some of the letters appear a bit more horizontally elongated when compared to their Standard Pica peers (I’ve included samples of both from the SCM typestyle catalog below, courtesy of Rev. Munk). Would it be wrong to call Presidential Pica classier in appearance than Pica No. 1? Perhaps Sears was correct in labeling Presidential Pica the “prestige” typeface choice in its 1967 Fall/Winter catalog.

***UPDATE: I have added a photo of the four-color ribbon feature operating instructions from the Owner's Manual.

Typeface Specimen:

Photos:




















Hunter: Steven Blake (FloydGondolli)

Steven Blake's Typewriter Galleries [ My Collection ] [ My Sightings ]

Status: Typewriter Hunter
Points: 492

Lawyer and recently acknowledged typewriter addict. It all started with an IBM Personal Typewriter, followed by a Smith-Corona Galaxie Deluxe, an Adler Universal 20, and then, well, you know the rest.



RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Sears Medalist Electric 12 on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Sears Serial Number page and the Sears Medalist Electric 12 By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.