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Smith Premier 1

First year of production:
Smith Premier Typewriter Company , Syracuse, NY , USA
Serial nr:

The Smith Premier full-keyboard upstrike typewriter was built by the L.C. Smith & Brothers gun factory in Syracuse, N.Y. The inventor was Alexander Brown, who was employed by Smith.

The Smith Premier Typewriter appeared in 1890 and stands out with its beautiful relief of cattails and flowers and the columns cast into the sides of the machine (pic 4). The insides were mechanically equally impressive. In stead of the levers used on earlier machines, Brown designed his machine with cranks and rods that could be easily adjusted for optimum control.

A second model appeared in 1895, without the ornately decorated sides. Starting with the SP3 in 1901, the machine had a total of 84 keys (the SP1 and 2 had 76) and was available in different carriage widths on the models 4, 5 and 6.

In 1908 Smith Premier launched the SP10, the only full-keyboard frontstrike typewriter ever built. The SP10 was the last of the 'real' Smith Premiers. After the demise of the company, the brand name was bought by the Remington Typewriter Company that continued to launch regular office machines and portables with the name Smith Premier for many years.

The Smith Premier was also the model for several unique products. One of these was the Lino-Typewriter, a machine that was in fact the SP1, but the keyboard lay-out of the Linotype composing machine. This machine served a niche market of Linotype operators in need of a typewriter.
Detail of the Siamese Smith Premier keyboard (photo: Pluethipol Prachumphol) 
The machine was also built for a total of 13 different languages, with special characters or keyboard lay-outs. The most fascinating of these is the Smith Premier Siamese typewriter, that used the full keyboard to present the more than 70 different letters in the Siamese alphabet. The entire history of this machine is presented on a separate website:

A special feature on the Smith Premier was the circular brush that was mounted below the type basket. Using a special crank, the brush could be screwed upwards, while brushing lint and clogged ink off the type.

Courtesy of: Robert collection