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SCM Galaxy 12

September 12, 2005

Driving along this Sunday in my ‘67 VW, I came upon a trash pile with interesting stuff in it.

Slowing down, what did I see, but a really nice-looking portable typewriter.  (Shown here in its case, on the hood of my car)

Upon later examination, it’s in amazing – practically new – condition.  It still has the original packing, the case key on the little red string, the manual, warranty card, and coupon for “Learn Touch Typing” on five LP records with printed guide.  The shipping tape held the platen cover in place. 

‘Spoze if I sent in the coupon, Smith Corona would send me the LP’s?  Do you suppose they even remember they once made typewriters?  I can’t find much evidence they even exist.

The machine works perfectly.  This was a deluxe model, with “Jewelled escapement,” power-spacing, 2-color ribbon, and lots more.  Having many years experience on manual typewriters (in the days when “personal computer” was an oxymoron) I found it wonderful to sit down and type out a couple pages.  I don’t know what I’ll use it for but it’s nice to have – and it’s the same color as my car!

The red and chrome sticker inside the case reads; “5-year warranty on all parts”.  (Judging from the style I’d say it’s 30 years old.)  The letter “M” in SCM stands for “Marchant”, a company which made calculating machines that were once very important in business, and even in the Manhatten Project.  They later merged with Smith-Corona to form the “Smith-Corona Marchant” company.

Categories: Artifacts
  1. WeeDram
    September 13, 2005 at 06:06 | #1

    What?  You were driving the VW?  Tell more!  I don’t think you’ve brought us up-to-date on that saga.

    Anyway, that’s a nice find.  I need a new fridge with a bottom freezer, so keep your eyes open for me.

  2. September 13, 2005 at 07:47 | #2

    Very cool.  Was just reading about a “resurgence” in the use of typewriters by “young folk these days” (for whom they are a retro treat).

    Meh.  Give me the ability to cut and paste—without scissors and, um, paste—any day.

  3. September 13, 2005 at 14:09 | #3

    ahhh, to be honest, there are times when low tech rules! I learned to type on a typewriter, and never had to worry about viruses on it. Except when I sneezed.

  4. September 14, 2005 at 15:13 | #4

    What a find! The only VW with on-board typewriter I bet :-)

    If only to know the life story of that piece of equipment and why it wasn’t used… have fun with it but I give you 8 months and you’ll be selling it on Ebay at a profit!

  5. September 14, 2005 at 21:42 | #5

    WeeDram – the VW is still not running correctly.  There is some kind of ignition problem and at the time I was working on it.  But hope springs eternal.

    Doris – I’m unlikely to sell it.  First, it isn’t worth anything (you can verify this on eBay).  And second, I have a weakness for clever mechanical contraptions.  I’m likely to set it up by the phone to write notes and address envelopes.

    Besides – it’s the same color as my car!  Oh, I already said that.  ;-P

  6. December 23, 2005 at 12:23 | #6

    Greetings DOF!
    I just picked up a Smith-Corona identical to the one you found. Mine is older and without the manual. I can’t figure out how to unlock the carriage…can you help?


  7. December 23, 2005 at 12:31 | #7

    Hi, Wayne!  The carriage-release levers are behind the platen knobs – pull them forward and the carriage should release.  Also, there is a small lever – just plain metal with no plastic – in front of and slightly below the right-hand platen knob, which may be related to carriage locking.

    Also check the margin settings – sliders along the top of the platen roller. 

    I have the manual.  Either today or tomorrow, I’ll put it up on my Flickr account so you can download it.

  8. December 23, 2005 at 23:29 | #8

    Here ya go, Wayne… the owner’s manual is on my Flickr account at Flicker~DecrepitOldFool and the name of the photo set is “Typewriter manual”.

  9. Don E. Jones
    September 26, 2006 at 17:56 | #9


    I found a typewriter almost exactly like yours, except my says classic 10 on the front.  But looking at your picture it is exactly the same, save the different color.  I love these typewriters.  I am currently working on a short story about an old typewriter for my children.  I am using the typewriter to write the story.  I found spools for it at Office Depot for 3.50 a piece.  The typewriter only cost me 5.99 at Good Will.  I cleaned it up and it works great!  If you ever want to sell yours let me know.

  10. Don E. Jones
    September 26, 2006 at 18:21 | #10

    I used to own a 63 VW Bug when I was stationed at Ft. Carson, Co.  What a fun car! It was green with cool flames on the front. My didn’t come with a matching typewriter though. Missed that one.  Have you found the spellcheck button yet? My 9 yr old asked me if it had one.  I’m only 39, is that old? That question sure made me feel old. Too funny. When I told my wife about your typewriter find, my daughters asked what an LP was.  That’s a trip down 8 track lane. Peace and Love and all that to everyone.

  11. September 26, 2006 at 19:58 | #11

    Don, when you get the story written, let me know where it is and I’ll link to it. Naah, 39 isn’t old.  Neither is 49, so I keep telling myself.  My grown children are not necessarily in agreement.

  12. October 9, 2006 at 20:09 | #12

    One of the pleasures of blogging is that readers sometimes respond in wonderful ways.  Some commenters have provided expertise to questions I have asked, or posted funny or thought-provoking replies.  Occasionally a reader will email me with a technical question about VWs, and I try to answer the question in a new post for VW folk to read. I have received heartfelt letters from people who were touched in some way by a post on my weblog. 

    Don Jones (see comments above) actually wrote a short story about his typewriter and sent it to me.  How about that?

    Just in time for Halloween, though, his typewriter is haunted:
    Don Jones: “The Typewriter”.  Enjoy.

    Notice the story is on his new WordPress Blog, My Short Stories – congratulations Don!

  13. jonesy
    October 10, 2006 at 23:54 | #13

    I did finally get a blog site to go to. Here it is
    I hope you enjoy.  I write to learn and for my children’s entertainment.  I’ll understand if it’s not your thing.


  14. jonesy
    October 10, 2006 at 23:57 | #14


    sorry about that.


  15. annette
    February 5, 2008 at 16:49 | #15

    I love you!!!!!

    I just got a freecyled Smith Corona Galaxy 12 and was hoping to find a manual somewhere.  You made my day.

  16. September 25, 2009 at 23:55 | #16

    I need a manual for my Smith corona galaxie delux Serial number 6T2y-233562-612v-918116.  Want to down load if possible.  Shirley :question:

  17. September 26, 2009 at 11:09 | #17

    Hi Shirley!  You can download the manual from the link in comment #8 above.  For each page, click “All sizes” and then “Download the large size”.

    Enjoy your typewriter!

  18. Jackson
    January 18, 2010 at 20:15 | #18

    You’re not the only one who loves the Galaxy 12. The band Elk just released a song inspired by this legendary typewriter. You can hear the demo version here, but the finished version on their LP (track three in this stream) is even better.

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