I have decided that with all the typewriters in the house, most re-ribboned and ready to go, I should try out a few. So, I wrote a letter to my grandmother yesterday, and today I decided to write to my aunt. I first grabbed again for our white Olympia DeLuxe, and decided instead to try out a different machine: the Cole Steel. The first thing I noticed was how different a feel it was to type on the two machines! As such, I hereby will begin writing reviews of what it is like to type on our various machines! Hopefully it will help any of you who are in the market for a working typewriter for which you can send loved ones letters! (Remember how to address and stamp an envelope?)
As I fed the paper into the top of the platen, the paper caught easily and fed around into view without sliding or creating issues. The margins are easily worked back and forth without needing to understand any tricks. There appears to be no carriage release lever or tab key (or at least not ones I could find), so it was a pain to space all the way over to enter the date onto the page for a left justification. Three line spacing options are available. Since 2 spaces seemed sufficient yesterday, that is what I started with. At the end of entering the date, the bell sounded on cue. The carriage return level was easy to press and spaced out the lines as expected. All up to then is ok. Then I started typing out Dear . . . oye! My left pinky is still wondering why I would put her in a position to yield to the strength of the other fingers simply because she couldn't push down an "a" strongly enough to make a deep enough mark. It was difficult to know whether my space bar made the proper spacing between letters, and whereas yesterday I had minor typos, already in the first line of my letter I was having to start again. The "y" stuck, but that can be attributed to a cleaning problem. I can simply type no more on this machine today, and will instead try again a different day perhaps when I am a bit more used to the typewriter.
Overall assessment: the keyboard feel was so strange that I couldn't get more than one sentence on the paper. Will try again and re-review a different day.
Thank you very much to Doug Freeman on May 28, 2021, for the tip on how to find the carriage release. He writes "It’s ingeniously combined with the paper release lever on the right-hand side of the carriage—push the lever to release the paper feed rollers, pull the lever to release the carriage!" He said that the tip may have originally come from this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efoi7NdwxF8