LAUREL & HARDY
THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION
THE MAGIC BEHIND
by Randy Skredvedt
STAN AND OLLIE
by SImon Louvish
LAUREL & HARDY
COLLECTION – VOL. 1
LAUREL & HARDY
COLLECTION – VOL. 2
FROM THE FORTIES
by Scott MacGillivray
WHAT'S ON STAN'S DESK? — PART TWO
Continuing with our series of articles on "What's On Stan's Desk?", we look at three more items. Two of them are once again pictured in the photo above (his manual typewriter and ship's clock—partly hidden by the typewriter). The third item is a gift Stan may have received from producers he met with in London who pitched him an idea for a feature film.
"…the typewriter has gone on the bum, got to get it overhauled or a new one." When Stan typed that to close a letter to close friend and former "Our Relations" co-star Betty Healy on October 1, 1956, his trusty old typewriter was in dire need of replacement. Shortly after writing that letter, Stan opted for a new typewriter to replace his well-worn old one.
Stan's choice was a light gray Olympia model SM-4. Olympia's SM models from West Germany are generally regarded as some of the best manual typewriters ever engineered. The solid, well-constructed machines are perfect for those who truly want to type, type, and type to their heart's content. These meet the requirements of the most demanding typist!
Back in 1998, someone came to a Sons of the Desert tent meeting in Los Angeles with what he said was Stan's actual typewriter, only it was a light green model. He was offering the typewriter to the highest bidder. Since no color photographs of Stan's typewriter were known to exist, his claim was deemed genuine. Until now. The recent find of a home movie that features Stan at his desk definitively answers the question: WHAT COLOR WAS STAN'S TYPEWRITER? Click on the link for the full story.
When Stan Laurel divorced his first wife, Ruth Laurel in 1937, it said that he OK'd her taking everything—the house, the car, the dog—everything. Everything except his prized boat. Stan loved to fish, and after bagging a record swordfish, became a member of the presigious Catalina Tuna Club. He sold his boat during the War, but hung onto a reminder—his ships bell clock, which would chime and remind him of pleasant days spent sailing and relaxing on the Pacific.
Stan's ships bell clock was manufactured by the Seth Thomas company around 1930 in Thomaston, Connecticut. It features a silvered brass 3-3/4 inch dial with spade hands and etched black Arabic numerals. This clock case is often referred to as the 'Helmsman' because of its ship's wheel design. However, the correct name given this clock by Seth Thomas was the 'Mayflower.'
Stan's actual Seth Thomas ships bell clock has been found and is now back on his beloved boat THE IDA MAY, which is being lovingly restored by two very dedicated Stan Laurel admirers.
Laurel and Hardy arrived in England on February 10, 1947 and were interviewed for Pathé Newsreel as they disembarked from their ship. The comedy duo mentioned that they planned to make a film while they were there based on the Robin Hood legend, with Ollie as 'Friar Hardy' and Stan as 'Little John Laurel."
This plaque, featuring a bust of Robin Hood mounted onto a piece of wood from Sherwood Forest was a gift of the film's producers to Stan and something he kept in his Santa Monica apartment—perhaps part memory of his youth when he may have been enamored by tales of Robin Hood and his Merry Men and part souivenir of a role he may have wished he had played.
In the next installment of "What's On Stan's Desk?", we'll take a look at Stan's perpetual calendar, his vintage "Stan Laurel Productions" stamper and Apartment key.
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