|TypeTest: 1934 Woodstock No. 5 Standard
Carriage-shifted standard typewriter with key-set tabulator and three-position ribbon selector.
The Woodstock Standard as seen in this incarnation is a refinement of the original in a number of ways, but in that is only really a development thereof and is actually a very close relative. The basic essential design of the original Woodstock remains largely unaltered in its important aspects, and operation of this machine clearly reveals this nature.
The machine features the standard four-bank keyboard with shift and shift lock on both sides of the keyboard. Ribbon spools are covered to prevent dust-fouling.
|Line space mechanism operation is positive, and on the rugged side of "notchy." No trouble experienced with return of carriage, which is firm and positive. Machine suffers when compared to others that have paper bails; the paper holders tend to move outboard, which could perhaps be fixed but would never be an issue if a true paper bail were fitted (as it was on later models.)
One peculiar aspect of the Woodstock must be described to be understood and appreciated. Some may have noticed that these typewriters do not have, on their keyboards, any key that is labeled "Margin Release," "MR" or any such. On the Woodstock, this comparative function is performed by the "Line Lock Release" key, whose non-standard name indicates that the margin system on this machine differs from most. The system can be decribed as one that does not arrest carriage movement in any way when the typist is looking at the machine, but only when he is producing copy. In other words, typing to the end of a line will result in a bell sounding and the keys being locked, and return of the carriage spaces the platen as it is set to be spaced and results in arrest at the left margin. However, the typist is free, when manipulating the carriage, to move it anywhere desired, and the margin stops are ignored. The space bar also ignores the right margin stop. This allows the experienced typist to move the carriage wherever desired, and seems to assume that he knows where the margins are and whether he is outside of them; if he is outside, he intends to be and is relieved of the action of having to press a key with one hand and move the carriage with the other. This may seem trivial to the person who has not used a typewriter extensively, but to one who has, its use requires adjustment. It is easy to see that some typists would have appreciated this design feature, and that some would have disliked it.
On this machine, spacing the carriage four times after the right margin allows typing to be resumed; this varies on different models over the years.
The carriage shifting action of this machine is particularly short and extremely positive in feel; the carriage slams into the upper travel stop without bouncing, and although force required to shift is above the average, the action is consistent in feel with the overall operation of the machine in general and would be adjusted to quickly with intensive use.
Margin sets are operated while tilting the paper table forward, and are low enough that raising up in the seat is necessary for the typist when changing margin settings. Tabulator stops are set by keyboard but are cleared by clearing lever on machine rear.
|Two machines were employed in this test; my machine seen above, and also my father's machine seen here. Both are actually a short-lived stylistic variant produced only in 1934 and are quite close in serial number. However, while my machine is in as-purchased condition (which is well-kept but not recently serviced) the other machine was completely overhauled and rebuilt by Your Typewriter and Computer, located in North Olmsted Ohio. Craig, the owner, did a fine job on this machine, bringing it to original condition as regards operability. (Note: This machine had been rebuilt at some previous point in its life, by Woodstock itself, and bears a decal on its left side proving this.)
The actual typing verdict is surprising. This is one of the fastest typewriters in the entire collection. I myself was unable to outrun this machine; in every way, this is an excellent typewriter.
|The original test that appeared on this page, using only my machine, was not nearly as positive; one must remember that today, so far removed from the heyday of typewriter production, operation and maintenance, even a great-condition machine that has not been properly serviced in many years will not operate as brand-new or "original." In cleaned-up but unrebuilt condition, the machines are acceptable enough, but when returned to factory specifications (including chemical cleaning and oil bath) the Woodstock machines are nothing short of spectacular. One should remember that one particular contest was held in which 120 words per minute were maintained steadily on a Woodstock No. 5; it is no surprise at all to those who have had the pleasure of typing on a machine in top notch shape. This machine is highly recommended -- its only retrograde features being the lack of a paper bail, and for some the carriage shift. Both of these are easily forgotten when you are blazing along at full speed on a machine that refuses to jam or skip its escapement even once.|