I'm not sure which engineer it was, but someone thought that paper was a suitable soundproofing medium. It is, in fact, not.
I've swapped in the Silver-Reed "Fast-Spacer 750" (by Silver-Seiko, but made by Brother) and used it for a letter. It's entirely metal-bodied, so not as boomy as the Remington, but still rather jangly, as typers of this era tend to be. It also has -- or had -- a piece of black paperish material epoxied to the bottom inside panel. At one point in its life it had something dumped on it. I'm thinking instant oatmeal, from the color and texture. It was not pleasant to look at, peeping out from under the keys, and it certainly did nothing by way of much-needed soundproofing.
Today, while waiting for an operating system update to go horribly wrong, I shelled the typer, and ripped off as much of the nasty paper as I could. A piece of Kelly green polyester felt* and a tube of superglue later, and there's a fresh layer of sort-of-soundproofing inside.
The pictures don't do it justice: the green is subtle, but is a nice contrast to the red special-function keys, and the overall grey and silver color scheme of the typewriter. It still won't win any awards for silence, but I think it's better. At least, I tell myself it's better. It's certainly more attractive, and doesn't look like something chunky got sloshed through the works.
Speaking of quiet, I'm due for a little blog-cation myself. I'll be unplugging from the Series of Typewritten Tubes for about a week. I need to find a little peace, before I'm tempted to dump oatmeal over my own head. Keep the typosphere running, everybody, and I'll see you in a few days.
* It's nothing like felt at all, however, being made of recycled soda bottles. It's fairly stiff, and comes in a sheet large enough to cover the entire bottom of the machine with slight trimming. Those of you of the feminine persuasion would be wise to note that it also comes in a variety of patterns and prints, which would look pretty outstanding under the keys of the right machine. I've used regular "craft felt" for another typewriter re-lining project, and the improvement in looks is significant, and at least all my fumbling around didn't make it louder. The recycled stuff is a little easier to work with, though: it cuts a cleaner edge, and is rigid enough not to flop around as you're trying to stick it down. And this footnote has gone on way too long, which is another sign I need a break. I ramble.