I picked up this fantastic working Remington Portable typewriter a couple of months ago for a mere $10 at Downstairs At Felton Street Antiques in Waltham, Mass. The ribbon was pretty much shot, but I picked up a new 1/2″ ribbon at the typewriter shop (which also sells mint condition antique typewriters for $200-$600) when we went to Portsmouth a few months ago. I had to spool it onto the very specific-sized spools on the typewriter to get it to fit.
It works well enough to use, with plenty of the lovable quirks that you would hope for in a piece of antique machinery: the faster you type, the less even the letter spacing. The line spacing never is exactly the same between lines. The roller is a bit old and leaves black streaks on the paper. It goes to the trouble of having fraction keys, but to make a “1″ you have to type a lowercase ell, and to make an exclamation point, you have to type period backspace apostrophe.
On the top, there is an old Remington seal that says “To Save Time Is to Lengthen Life”. That sounded like Ben Franklin, but apparently it was Woodrow Wilson.
Also, at Mass Antiques Co-op next door, I picked up this Speedball Brayer, in a cool box. It’s perfectly usable and, at $8, it was cheaper than a new one. I might just use it on the press.