Adwoa and Richard facilitated my purchase of the Condor in the US, with Richard getting the chance to take a close look at it and compare it with his Baby Alpina before posting it onto me.
The Rexina arrived last night from a very helpful buyer in Cross Keys, outside Newport (and not far from Underwood) in Wales, where many moons ago I once played in a bruising rugby match.
Yet, as one can see from the two short videos on this post, the Rexina remains a mystery typewriter. With her ribbon spool cover on, she won't type. With the cover off, she types perfectly.
For the life of me, I can only see one difference between her and her brother the Condor: on the Condor, there are two metal prop bars on top of the segment, either side of the ribbon vibrator and printing point, upon which the front inner lips of the Condor's ribbon cover sit. With these missing (where they ever there?) on the Rexina, the ribbon cover sits too low for the typebars to clear its back edge. Thus a clunk-clunk-clunk of the typebars hitting the underneath of the ribbon cover instead the clickety-clack of them striking the paper on the platen!
I am guessing Rexina is not so much an identical twin sister as an older female sibling. Her serial number is 015106, whereas the Condor and the Baby Alpina are identical twins: the Condor's serial number is 373440 and the Baby Alpina's 373227 - indicating the Baby Alpina arrived just minutes earlier than the Condor.
Given this, was a design fault found in the earlier model Rexina which was rectified on the later model Condor, by the addition of the two bars?
In my efforts to unravel this mystery, I stripped both machines down and found there were other, albeit very minor, differences in the design. While doing this, I also discovered a ribbon vibrator spring missing, which I replaced (circled in red). This didn't overcome Rexina's problem. However, just looking at these images again now, I wonder if the absence of rubber rings on the frame of Rexina is the cause of her problem?
As an added mystery, the handbook which came with the Rexina shows a completely different ribbon cover, a flat cover with a collar, or raised lip, around the typebasket.
Indeed, this looks more like the one on the Alba four-bank that I bought from a French seller yesterday. Richard Polt had alerted Georg Sommeregger and I do this Etsy item because Richard knew Georg and I both had the Alba three-bank, a toy typewriter which looks and works like the real thing. The four-bank seems to be a more serious move toward a real typewriter.
But back to the Rexina-Condor. The Condor handbook shows the ribbon cover on this model as it actually is:
If anyone can suggest a way of overcoming Rexina's problem, other than somehow propping up the ribbon cover at the front, I'd like to hear from them. Has anyone else ever encountered anything like this?
By the way, I'm informed Rexina is derived from Old Persian origins. It's a derivative of the English name Rexanne. "Rexina is seldom used as a baby name for girls. It is not in the top 1000 names." Nor is it in the Top 1000 Typewriters, I might add!