Friday, May 23, 2014

Selectric I ribbons available

I thought I'd post this here in case typospherians are interested:

Mike Holt ( has thousands of non-correcting IBM Selectric I carbon ribbons that have been stored in a temperature-controlled environment. He is closing his business and wants to sell these, preferably in cartons of 144 ribbons, but in smaller quantities if necessary. I got a carton and they're very nice, new old stock.

These carbon ribbons will work not only on Selectrics, but on many manual typewriters, producing crisp black text. You must make sure that the typewriter advances the ribbon quickly enough to avoid overlap of characters. I have used these ribbons successfully on Olympia SM series, Hermes 3000, Groma Kolibri, Olympia SG1, and others.

If you are interested, please contact Mr. Holt directly.


Bryan said...

I was able to purchase some Selectric II ribbons as well. Not sure if he has any left but might be worth asking if interested.


Dan Johnson said...

I bought a case of the Selectric I ribbons from Mike after paying him a visit about a month ago. Those carbon-film ribbons fit just fine on standard, manual typewriter spools, and I have been replacing conventional fabric ribbons with these along the way.

I have yet to find a typewriter in which they do not work well! The type is slightly lighter than a fully-inked cloth ribbon, but it is consistent and as crisp as the typewriter's typebars allow. Although I have not yet devised a "jig" to make this loading process easier, I have found some "tricks" and made a tool that fits into a battery-powered drill that facilitate this. Let me know if you're interested, and I'll post some details.

Although carbon-film ribbons are single-use, the film is extremely thin, so there is a lot of it on a single spool. Also, once you have finished a spool on the "black" setting, you get an entire spool's worth additional typing by switching to the "red" setting. (Some typewriters also have a "middle" setting that should give you a third pass over the film.)

Meanwhile, I have over 50 typewriters to "feed", and these carbon film ribbons should take care of them for quite some time!

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