1937 Monarch Pioneer
Up for sale is an uncommon Monarch (Remington) Pioneer which was made amidst the Great Depression in 1937. Only roughly 17,500 of this model was ever produced. Just as other budget depression-era typewriters are, this machine is missing features. However, the Pioneer is almost embarrassingly stripped of a lot of features that even other depression-era machines did not dare to cut. On the surface level, it has no carriage return lever, instead the user must manually scroll to the next line by using the platen knob and push the carriage over by the end. There is no shift lock key, and only a single shift key on the left. It appears that this machine is missing typebars, however this was by design in order to be able to cut down on the characters while not having to heavily modify machinery at the factory to change the typebasket design from other standard full-size/full-cost Remington portables. The carrying case is also extremely basic, and does not have any latches to keep the machine completely secured inside.
All of these feature reductions meant that the typewriter was priced at $21.45 with the carrying case- about $408 in 2021 adjusted for inflation.
This particular machine is in remarkably good condition, although the case is very much worn and shows its age. The fabric on the outside of the case as well as the leather handle show the most wear. The case still does its job and latches fine, and luckily it has done an amazing job of preserving the typewriter over the years. The typewriter itself is in near mint shape overall, and is fully functional. This is certainly a more collectible machine, and is not really a typewriter that is all that practical to use heavily or for anything more than writing letters or other small writing tasks every now and then. While the typewriter may be technically capable, I would absolutely not recommend writing anything like a novel on it. The original metal spools will need to be re-thread when the time comes for a new ribbon, since universal ribbons do not fit this machine. Only a single color ribbon can be used since this machine of course lacks a ribbon color selector.
If you can appreciate this machine's history and are more of a collector- or someone looking for an interesting conversation piece, then this is a great machine for you. This typewriter would also make for a great addition to any typewriter collection.