Silver Reed EX-42 EX-43N EX-44 Instruction Guide

It’s disappointing to note that, at a top speed of 12 characters-per-second, Silver Reed EX series (EX-42. 43N, EX-44) compact electronic typewriters are slower than most of their (early 1980s) contemporaries.

But speed isn’t everything (unless you’re a touch-typist with a competitive streak) and as I said when I bought a Silver Reed EX-42 electronic typewriter in October last year, these EX-series typewriters have an attractive simplicity, a very good build-quality (hence they’re quite heavy), a gorgeous keyboard, and a classic wedge shape—as featured on the cover of the Operating Manual (a copy of which I finally tracked down).

The only downside to owning one of these early Silver Reed wedges is the scarcity of their ribbon cassettes and print wheels. I managed to pick up a few ribbons cheaply on a recent trip to the U.K., which is where I also got the operating manual.

The brevity of the operating manual reinforces how simple this series of typewriters are, with the EX-42 being the simplest of the three.

The operating manual tells me that the EX-44 and the EX-43N have a paper table/fold-down plastic lid, and an eraser table, that the EX-42 doesn’t have.

EX-44 (above)


The EX-42 is also missing a KBI and KBII keyboard selector switch, 15 pitch selection and a 15 pitch line on the margin/pitch scale.

But who needs 15 pitch when the EX-42 is so big on character?

(Incidentally, these print wheels were sourced from IBM) The 15 pitch Gothic Mini print wheel I also bought recently during my U.K. trip (the one with the Selectric-style spring clip) works perfectly well when the EX-42 is set to 12 pitch:

According to the operating manual: “For the machines to USA/Canada function keys are indicated with the names of the functions instead of the arrow marks.” Not sure why someone thought that was necessary.

Electronic Typewriter Instruction Guides

The following guide is freely shared. A small donation, however, will make it easier for me to continue to add to this archive. Thank you!


10 thoughts on “Silver Reed EX-42 EX-43N EX-44 Instruction Guide

  1. I owned an EX-44 30+ years ago. Key reason for buying it was the optional computer interface box which coupled up to my BBC computer


  2. Thanks Kathy. Yes and you can still get the ribbons if you look out for ’em – quite often obtained with a cheaply-priced typewriter that uses them. I have a hoard myself 😉


  3. HI, you did used to be able to get fabric ribbons for these, back in the 1980’s they cost about £7, my dad bought me one because I went through a lot of film correctable cassettes. Ive just bought an ex32 on ebay, mint condition and its divine! I had the ex42 when it first came out in the 80’s.


  4. Sure do. Most of them TA-Adler Royal and Canon, also quite a few Brothers, also Panasonic, Sharp, Smith Corona, Silver Reed (2), Olivetti, Nakajima, Diablo (1), Robotron, oh and a few IBM Wheelwriter ones that are too big to fit inside the caddies. 😉


  5. I’ve never given any thought to owning an electric typewriter before, with something vague at the back of my mind about cartridges being the problem. As they are plastic, though, they should last a hundred years or more. So, my question is, is it possible to re-ink them when dry? If so, I might well get interested, as they can give a lovely type, as yours does here.


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