1951 IBM Model A Executive #20142
Status: My Collection
Created: 11-06-2019 at 10:26AM
Last Edit: 02-19-2021 at 11:58AM
This appears to be the first IBM Model A Executive on TWDB! It is in need of some TLC. The "Executive" models were the proportional ones, where each letter would take a number of "units": the "." would be one unit, for example, and the "W" might be 4 or 5. Those machines cost a lot in the days, perhaps around $5,000 in 2019 US dollars.
IBM went on to produce models B, C and D, in the end concurrently with the Selectric. Prior to the A, you had the Model 01 Executive as well, which was built on top of the Electromatic frame.
All these machines (but not the Selectric) are based on the invention of the "power roller", patented by J. F. Smathers in 1913 already. The history of how this was eventually brought to market and made a success is pretty neat.
This machine has the "Modern" typeface, one of the most common ones. But I think that it looks quite neat.
Initially, the machine worked to some extent: it typed but skipped, and the carriage return worked but the clutch had issues. The seller was kind enough to provide an IBM Model B to go along with it for parts, including a better power roller.
UPDATE 2019-12-08: After cleaning, lubrication, power cord (including grounding of the frame) and capacitor replacement, the machine works much better to the point where you can type entire pages. It still uses the carbon ribbon which was in the machine when I bought it.
UPDATE 2020-01-25: The machine now has new soundproofing, a replacement foot, and replacement tab "Clear"/"Set" buttons.
UPDATE 2021-02-17: The machine now has a new platen. I bet there aren't many Model A Executive out there which are both operational and have a new platen ;)
Hunter: Erik Bruchez (ebruchez)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
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 Model A Executive on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the IBM Serial Number page and the IBM Model A Executive By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.