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1978 IBM Electronic Selectric Composer Serial # 30-5102780 1978 IBM Electronic Selectric Composer typewriter, Serial # 30-5102780 Erik Bruchez's 1978 IBM Electronic Selectric Composer typewriter. 2023-03-17 From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Erik Bruchez: 1978 IBM Electronic Selectric Composer Serial # 30-5102780 I had a chance to buy this IBM Electronic Selectric Composer (different from the earlier electromechanical IBM Selectric Composer) as "non-working". This adds to my small collection of machines in the same family:

- Memory Typewriter
- Memory Typewriter 100
- Mac Card/A

All of those use similar electronics that essentially control an almost-standard Selectric machine where the keyboard and the printer are decoupled.

This machine was shipped to me. Unfortunately, some switches broke during shipping. That's hopefully fixable and not fatal. I haven't yet thoroughly checked the machine for hidden damage, but I hope this is all there is, except for broken paper table hinges.

The difference between this and the IBM Memory Typewriter or Mag Card are:

- no internal tape loop or external magnetic tape drive for storage
- proportional spacing and ability to justify text
- no correcting feature/correcting tape!

If anyone has some of the special type elements that work with the Composer (either model), let me know! This machine only came with one, with code PR-11-M:

- Press Roman
- 11 pt (the red arrow means 11/12 pt size)
- Medium

This machine features a huge "storage" capacitor. I suspected that it might be to keep the memory of the machine alive if there is a brief power cut, or if the user shuts down the machine by mistake. This appears to be correct based on a comment I found on a YouTube video. I suppose that the capacitor is not necessary to the proper operation of the machine. Also, it is supposed to contain a ton of PCBs.

The power supply has a "May 24 1978" stamp, so presumably 1978 is close to the production date of this machine.

Weight (with hood and platen knobs): 59 lbs (26.7 kg)

2023-03-12: Did some initial cleaning. Disconnecting the capacitor and planar, I tested that the motor runs. So that's some good news!

2023-03-17: I took out the capacitor from its housing to find markings. It is a Mallory-branded 5200 ĀµF/200 VDC capacitor. It looks in good shape but I probably won't use it as it's 45 years-old.

1978 IBM Electronic Selectric Composer #30-5102780

Status: My Collection
Hunter: Erik Bruchez (ebruchez)
Created: 03-08-2023 at 08:05PM
Last Edit: 03-17-2023 at 08:49PM


Description:

I had a chance to buy this IBM Electronic Selectric Composer (different from the earlier electromechanical IBM Selectric Composer) as "non-working". This adds to my small collection of machines in the same family:

- Memory Typewriter
- Memory Typewriter 100
- Mac Card/A

All of those use similar electronics that essentially control an almost-standard Selectric machine where the keyboard and the printer are decoupled.

This machine was shipped to me. Unfortunately, some switches broke during shipping. That's hopefully fixable and not fatal. I haven't yet thoroughly checked the machine for hidden damage, but I hope this is all there is, except for broken paper table hinges.

The difference between this and the IBM Memory Typewriter or Mag Card are:

- no internal tape loop or external magnetic tape drive for storage
- proportional spacing and ability to justify text
- no correcting feature/correcting tape!

If anyone has some of the special type elements that work with the Composer (either model), let me know! This machine only came with one, with code PR-11-M:

- Press Roman
- 11 pt (the red arrow means 11/12 pt size)
- Medium

This machine features a huge "storage" capacitor. I suspected that it might be to keep the memory of the machine alive if there is a brief power cut, or if the user shuts down the machine by mistake. This appears to be correct based on a comment I found on a YouTube video. I suppose that the capacitor is not necessary to the proper operation of the machine. Also, it is supposed to contain a ton of PCBs.

The power supply has a "May 24 1978" stamp, so presumably 1978 is close to the production date of this machine.

Weight (with hood and platen knobs): 59 lbs (26.7 kg)

2023-03-12: Did some initial cleaning. Disconnecting the capacitor and planar, I tested that the motor runs. So that's some good news!

2023-03-17: I took out the capacitor from its housing to find markings. It is a Mallory-branded 5200 ĀµF/200 VDC capacitor. It looks in good shape but I probably won't use it as it's 45 years-old.

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Hunter: Erik Bruchez (ebruchez)

Erik Bruchez's Typewriter Galleries [ My Collection ] [ My Sightings ]

Status: Typewriter Hunter
Points: 9660

I started collecting my first pre-WW2 standard typewriters in 2017. Since then I have added a few machines to my collection, which now ranges from the 1890s to the 1980s. As of 2020, I have more big standard (desktop) typewriters than portables, and a few standard electrics.



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