Electronic PCB Hercules Workshop
Vintage Electronics and Technology Repair

Featured Vintage Typewriter : Smith Corona Zephyr II

Smith Corona Zephyr II Typewriter (Front)Smith Corona Zephyr II Typewriter (Left)Smith Corona Zephyr II Typewriter (Right)Smith Corona Zephyr II Typewriter (Back)
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NAME : Zephyr II
MANUFACTURER / RELEASE : Smith Corona (1963)
DISPLAY / POWER : None, Manual Typewriter
MODEL # : (Portable Typewriter)

Smith Corona Logo


The Smith Corona Zephyr II is a Combined Portable Typewriter and Carrying Case. Manufactured in England and patented with the US Patent Office in 1963. This machine is a redesigned version of an earlier Smith Corona portable model from the late 1930's, the Zephyr. It shares some of the new features of other Smith Corona portables of the era that were not included on the original model.

Very interesting, below are the original patent documents I found when I did an online search at the US Patent Office with the patent numbers I found on the identification plate under the ribbon cover. They're in PDF format if you want to download them.

US Patent D197165
Combined Portable Typewriter
and Carrying Case
(US Patent D197165)
US Patent D197153
Portable Typewriter
Carrying Case
(US Patent D197153)


The combination of the typewriter and the carrying case is characterized by having a bottom enclosing carrying case base of smoothly tapered exterior surfaces substantially merging with the sides, front and back of the typewriter near the bottom thereby providing a circumferential offset away from the typewriter so as to receive the carrying case lid.

Combined Typewriter & Carrying Case
Figure 1: SCM Zephyr II
Combined Typewriter & Carrying Case
Portable Typewriter
Figure 2: SCM Zephyr II
Portable Typewriter


The Zephyr II uses a fixed character pitch of 10. The pitch or cpi is a measurement used by typewriters and printers for the number of characters that can be printed or typed horizontally in a one inch line.

For example, a 10 cpi pitch typewriter (like the Zephyr II) or printer can type or print ten Letters, Numbers or Spaces per inch on a single horizontal line. It also produces six lines of text one inch vertically.

Type Font / Pitch Sample
Figure 3: Type Font / Pitch Sample
(from a machine we're repairing)


If the typebars should jam together, depress the de-jam key (it's also the backspace key) and the typebars will separate automatically and return to their normal position. Typebars can jam if you strike between two keys or if you strike two or more keys at the same time.

For repeat spacing, hold down the power space key with normal pressure. The carriage will move forward automatically until the key is released.


These are some of the machines operating features such as the paper gauge, carriage release lever and paper release lever. The images were taken from a Smith Corona Portable Typewriter Manual from the 1970's and don't exactly depict the Zephyr II but they're close enough to be functionally correct.

Paper Release Lever

To centre, straighten or ease tension on the paper, pull the paper release lever forward. Push lever back before typing.

Figure 4.
Paper Release Lever

Paper Gauge

The paper gauge helps keep bottom margins uniform. Before inserting paper, turn the platen until the number indicating the length of paper shows on the gauge over SET. Insert paper, as you approach the end of the paper, the number over END indicates the inches remaining.

Figure 5.
Paper Gauge

Carriage Release Lever

To move the carriage to the right, simply push it along. To move the carriage to the left, pull the carriage release lever towards you and move the carriage to the desired position.

Figure 6.
Carriage Release Lever

Touch Selector Switch

Use the touch selector switch to regulate key tension. Set the selector switch to L for a light typing touch, M for a medium touch and H for a heavy touch.

Figure 7.
Touch Selector Switch


Reversing the direction of the ribbon feed is done automatically at the end of the ribbon. To reverse direction at anytime, move the manual reverse lever to the opposite position. The lever is located to the right of the left ribbon spool (Figure 8).

Manual Ribbon Reverse Lever

The Zephyr II uses a Smith Corona Corsair typewriter ribbon if you're looking for a replacement ribbon. If you have trouble locating a replacement at a reasonable price then you can use a universal typewriter replacement ribbon.

We have a very interesting post in our message forum on how to wind a new typewriter ribbon onto your old ribbon spools; Putting a new typewriter ribbon on old ribbon spools

Figure 8: Manual Ribbon Reverse Lever


Are you interested in owning one of these very nice vintage portable typewriters? We have a professionally reconditioned one available for sale in our online store right now. You can click the below hyper-link if interested.

Available in our Online Store : Smith Corona Zephyr II - Portable Typewriter (1963)

We mainly work on electronic typewriters these days but we do have other manual typewriters available for sale in our shop. The manual typewriters really seem to be more popular nowadays.

Have a great day,
Rob from Hercules Workshop

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