Where have all the Selectrics gone?

From: Tothwolf <tothwolf_at_concentric.net>
Date: Sat May 24 18:42:00 2003

On Sat, 24 May 2003, Mike Ross wrote:

> IBM made a bunch of printer terminals based around the Selectric
> typewriter - 1052, 2740, 2970 etc. Look in any old copy of BYTE, and
> you'll also find several vendors were selling 3rd party terminals based
> around IBM Selectrics, often converted for ASCII/RS-232c operation, as
> teletype alternatives.
> Where have they all gone? (I appreciate, from what I've heard, that many
> folks who used them in anger would reply 'I don't know, I don't care,
> good riddance!') Early DECwriters are not uncommon. Teletypes are
> (almost) ten a penny, ASR33s show up frequently enough on ebay, I have
> several.

Well, I have one sitting in storage. I'm not sure of the model though.

> But the only Selectric based unit I've *seen* in over ten years of
> collecting is a 2970 Reservation Termainal (see
> http://www.corestore.org/2970-1.jpg ) which I was offered a year or so
> ago. It needs a fair bit of TLC, and it's a print-only device; it can
> receive data from a host and print it, but not send anything back from
> the keyboard.

Mine also needs some work. I believe it is some kind of modified terminal,
and was used as a printer on a TRS80 Model 1. I also have the custom
interface box that connects the two.

> I'd love to get a bidirectional equivalent to use as an 'authentic'
> terminal for a 360 emulator I work with... any clues? Can anyone
> recommend a Selectric repair shop? No way I want to try to fettle
> something THIS mechanically-intimidating myself!

The original owner of my Selectric also gave me a service manual for the
Selectric line, but I don't think it exactly covers the unit I have. Most
likely, it covers most of the mech, but not the exact same configuration.
The part number of the manual is S241-5615-3 and lists these models on the

IBM "Selectric" Typewriter (7XX)
IBM "Selectric" II Typewriter (8XX)
IBM Correcting "Selectric" II Typewriter (8XX)
IBM 96 "Selectric" Typewriter (9XX)

Received on Sat May 24 2003 - 18:42:00 BST

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