Shipping a Model 33 (RO) Teletype

From: Scott Stevens <>
Date: Fri Nov 12 20:33:18 2004

On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 15:40:19 -0800 (PST), you wrote:

>I've bought a model 33 off eBay. The seller doesn't
>really know how to ship one -- he's just got it in a
>box with styrofoam peanuts. I'm trying to give him
>some instructions on how to do it right. I recall
>there is a shipping screw that must be locked, but
>don't remember the details. Can anyone give me some
>instructions I can pass on to him? If anyone has
>shipped one of these, I'd like to know what worked and
>what didn't. I remember a few stories of machines
>damaged in transit showing up on the list.

I will just delurk here and make the comment that I am the person
shipping this teletype to him.

I've taken the carriage/printing mechanism out of the case. It is
amazing how loose it just sits in there, and I'm certainly glad Bill
raised the issue with me before it was shipped.

I have packed the carriage/printing mechanism in it's own smaller box,
with rigid foam around it. This will go into a bigger box that is
filled with peanuts (yes, there is a place for 'peanuts' in the
shipping universe), so it's a box-inside-box arrangement, with the
peanuts acting as padding. The bottom base plate of the case is cast
metal, and can 'ride' in a larger shipping carton. The more fragile
case top and misc loose parts (this is a printing only TTY, which
simplifies the design some) can go into the box with the case bottom
and lots of padding, fill, and some foam blocks to keep things

It's still up in the air wether the case parts and the box with the
teletype mechanism in it should go together in a single big box. I am
now confident that I can get the case and parts shipped without damage
in a big box with proper packing, but the mechanism may go in a
separate box (for the added cost of a two parcel shipment).


In defense of 'peanuts' as shipping fill- I have shipped dozens of
Dell Optiplexes in boxes surrounded with peanuts, using small rigid
boxes around the CPU box to hold it in place, and prevent it from
'floating down to the bottom of a mass of crushed styrofoam peanuts.
None of the systems have been damaged in shipping. Granted, modern
'PC' hardware is built (not as heavy, while at the same time designed
'cheap but strong') for the kind of shipping that is done everyday.

Old Classic Hardware, much of which was designed to sit in Glass Rooms
where mere mortals would never even have the opportunity to breathe
the same air, is big, and heavy, and meant to be shipped on the skids
that companies like IBM and DEC paid structural engineers to design
for that purpose. The Teletype in question comes from that era.


Is anybody out there putting any effort into historically documenting
how the old hardware was crated and shipped? I would imagine some day
there will be people collecting DEC/IBM/Sperry/ControlData Skids and
shipping crates (if not already) and studying what historical record
is left of how it was done.
Received on Fri Nov 12 2004 - 20:33:18 GMT

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