Will Davis has been known to get quite excited about them. Richard Amery doesn’t rate them at all (“awful machines to type with”). And Richard Polt says he has always wanted a “rhismical typewriter”. We’re talking about Nippos. Two in particular: the P-200 (aka the Argyle) and the Atlas (mentioned in an earlier post).
It was the P-200 which encouraged Will Davis to turn his attention back on Australia – and two additional Down Under pages duly appeared on his Portable Typewriter Reference Site. I won the P-200 through a bit of a fluke. The eBay listing, from a charity op-shop in Sydney, was actually for a small lot of kitsch bric-a-brac. Typewriters weren’t mentioned. But in the background of the listing photograph was a typewriter. In the foreground was a kneeling, naked Pacific Island lady holding a lampshade. But I was blinded to her. I think it was the typewriter’s shiny bits that caught my eye. I contacted the seller and told him he could keep his naked lady, but I wanted the typewriter. We did a deal, and for $25 I got my first Nippo. Richard Amery already owned one, and couldn’t work out for the life of him why Will and I were so “rhismical” about it.
Then late last year I won a second P-200, plus the second half of the Nippo range, the Atlas. Will Davis links this design to the Dutch Halberg and apparently there are variants of the model called the Del Mar, Graduate, Collegiate and, as of last month (and from Australia again) the Cherryland (see Will’s blog at http://davistypewriters.blogspot.com/2011/02/cherryland.html
PS: In Austraia, the Leyland P76 is regarded as our equivalent of the Ford Edsel. Anyone who knows their cars, as Richard Amery does, will know what that means. And I think Richard rates the P-200 as the P76 of typewriters! In other words, rubbish ...