Saturday, June 9, 2018

Celebrating One Year in Michigan and A Four Color Ribbon

A very special thanks to the Right Reverend Ted Munk for his comment on my last post about the Sears Forecast 12, and the link to his manual, and also to Richard Polt for the posting his manual about this type of ribbon.  Both manuals convinced me to take a cartridge apart.

Both had posted manuals for a similar typewriter that used a four color ribbon. I could only get mine to unspool the black/red.  I gave up on the ribbon and made the post. I replied that mine only had the black/red half of the ribbon. Over the next few days I kept thinking of the 4 colors. Finally I decided to take the Blue/Green cartridge apart.  I found a bunched up twisted blue/green that could not get pulled through the exit slot.  Viola! I have a working 4 color ribbon.

The spools before I opened one.

This is an open spool. I do not have any images of when I opened the blue/green. I did that one morning before work.

After carefully removing the chrome winding disk the spool cover can be removed.

The bottom of the cartridge is the same as a bottom flange of a regular spool.

This shows the slots that feed/spool the ribbon. Notice how large the space is between the cover and bottom of the cartridge.  I think that is how the blue/green got tangled.

The splice is covered with silver paint. Notice the crinkling of the left part that is the lead to the blue black half. This was all bunched up inside the slot in the cartridge and some of the ribbon was actually wound reversed.  I'm thinking it came out from between the flange and cover and was not put back in correctly by a former owner of this typewriter.  The silver paint is to indicate the end of the color and to prevent getting ink on one's fingers when changing from one bi-color to the other.  The eyelet will trip the ribbon reverse mechanism like a normal ribbon so the chosen half keeps working.

Regular spools work fine. 

Any guess as to the date of manufacture?

Sears Forecast 12.  A bit of stand-up garage typing to create the typecast.

I chose the first typewriter I got after moving to Michigan.  This is an Olivetti Lettera 22 with Victoria Elite Typeface.  The typewriter was made in the 50's.  The Serial Number matches 1950 and 1954.

Hope to see some of our friends, and make some new ones on Typewriter Day.

And the Michigan Typochondriacs have a new web site:

Michigan Typochondriacs


  1. So it's been a year already!
    That ribbon is neat, I have never found one.

    1. Yes. One quick year. I have the ribbon stored for now.

  2. ha! I figured that cartridge might hold 4 colors. it's kind of funny how they did that just by adding a grommet to the middle to split the colors. fun! :D

    1. I knew you know more about these than I know. I kept thinking - what if? Both instruction manuals mention it and yet I could not originally or after reading the manuals get the other half of the ribbon out. Then I took the cartridge apart.

    2. I found the electrified version of this a few years ago with the same 4-color selector (but no ribbon) and the manuals, so I only knew about it from that. It's interesting to see the actual ribbon, though. (:

    3. also, I'd guess this manual version is likely the same age as my electric one, probably 1966

  3. Fifteen typewriters in one year! Oh la! That's an impressive bit of collecting Bill!

    1. Hoarding.

      I did not plan to buy a single one until we moved into a permanent house. Oh, well.