Getting inside this machine is easy. There’s two screws located at the side that come off with ease, which will then allow you to lift the keyboard off the top and allow you access to pretty much all of the mechanical parts of the machine.As you can see it is a relatively simple mechanism. With each keypress force is applied to ta central rod that drives a gear that both pushes the type wheel forward, while driving a saw-like slider in turn turns a gear that rotates the type element.
Also when you press the key, the same metal tab that pushes the rod that powers the mechanism also slides into a set position that the stops the travel of saw-toothed slider at a particular point, which in turn holds the type wheel at the desired letter. You will no doubt notice the tabs on the next photo. It’s all a very simple design, and it is also sadly crap to operate. I did after all classify this machine in one of the top 10 worse typewriters for touch in a previous post.
And that’s really it for the bennett. I have to say it’s pretty impressive. This is a machine that is over 100 years old, and it still damn well types. It was marketed at people that would only need a typewriter for casual usage – say, for writing cheques or producing professional looking invoices. Mind you, it’s a lot better than trying to type on an index typewriter.
But only just. It’s cute and fun, and kinda sexy actually. And it has a couple of odd quirks when you type, which I will demonstrate in this video:-
The advertising material selling this machine doesn’t try and play this machine as being as capable as a desktop…. oh wait, yes it does. They also blatantly lie when they say it has a standard keyboard. But I guess if you couldn’t look at the picture displayed next to this an figure out that the advertisers were full of bulldust, you probably deserved to be relieved of your $us18.If you wish to know more about the Bennett typewriter, you should pop over to Greg’s ‘Anti-keychop’ page and have a bit of a look. His writeup on the Bennett can be found HERE.
Now…. Best take this machine to the workshop and get going on it. It types fine and has no problems getting into upper and lower case, but the platen is a bit slippery, and the machine still has a lot of dirt in it. I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to be the last you see of my Bennett.
P.S. 10 points for guessing the quote in the title for this blog post, which is a totally un related to this typewriter. Now if you pardon me, I need to get this typewriter out of my pants. I can’t sit down with it there, and it’s really hurting.