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Monday, 31 October 2011

Erika Model 10 portable typewriter

Will Davis's The Portable Typewriter Reference Site tells me, "The Erika line restarted after the war ... under the auspices of VEB Schreibmaschinenwerk Dresden, and was also restyled for 1950.  This Erika 10 is an example of the new body style.  These machines would prove to be the longest-lived design of East German portable, being redesigned in plastic bodies in 1963, and lasting in production through 1989." See

Not sure about the green spacebar on my Erika. A replacement, perhaps? Run out of brown stock? Should I leave it the way it is?

As for the Facit TP1 from yesterday ...

ADWOA: Hi. Not sure I know exactly what shade "Viking grey" is, but I couldn't agree more about the usual colour of the Facits. As with the Olivetti Dora-Underwood 310, I don't get the drab grey. But this one seems more a light fawn than a grey to me. A mild. pleasant colour. Apparently Facits really brightened up when Bjorn designed the later plastics. I have a contact looking for a bright yellow Facit electric semi-portable.
For a long while I couldn't work out what the shield was for, until I read the manual - of course! Yes, this little package had everything intact and hardly ever, if ever, used: the shield, the dust cover, the manual etc. So it was a little treasure chest.
It seems the company which became Facit and took over the Halda name kept making typewriters as Haldas until 1957-58, when they became Facits.
RICHARD: Yes, the shield was in the case with the dust cover, manual etc, all pretty much as new except for a few carbon paper smudges (impossible to shift!). Exactly what the shield was for had been well d truly baffled for a while.
GEORG: Seems we're on the same wavelength once more!


Rob Bowker said...

That green space bar could be the equivalent of a mis-printed rare stamp. It makes it all the more desirable. Given the rigours of the assembly line, you'd expect uniformity in the building of writing machines. Little anomalies celebrate the 'human' factor. Then again, it may just be a replacement for one broken. I'd wondered about the subtler anomaly of the dollar key on my recently rescued Underwood Noiseless 77. Surely a simple mistake in the factory, who knows? By the way, while you were 'off the air' you might have missed this post of Richard's. If not, apologies.

notagain said...

Pretty cool machine! Welcome back Robert! Can't wait to see what you will come up with next.

Richard P said...

I love the Erika 10's sturdy, bulbous styling and high-quality design and materials. Good typewriter.

Rob's link isn't working for me, but maybe he's referring to my post on various kinds of Erikas, including the Arabic one I have?

Duffy Moon said...

I like the looks of that way better than my own, plastic-bodied Erika 41 (

Thanks for sharing this.

Adwoa said...

The green space bar certainly took me by surprise too! But I agree with Rob that you should leave it as it is; adds to the story and personality of the typewriter.

Erika 10s are rare here, although I did see one at Retro Technica last year. I like the design and styling of these so much that I am baffled the next generation turned out to be so overwhelmingly boxy and plastic. I suppose one could ask that of all the typewriter makers, though :)

maschinengeschrieben said...

What a great "little" write-up! I must admit, I was afraid of Erikas so far, despite my good experiences with the Optima Elite.

Ted said...

Warmest welcome, and I hope the "dark times" are past for you, Robert! We've been eagerly anticipating your return, and you've brought us 2 fine typewriters which I, for one, have had little to no experience with.

If your mission is getting your readers curious, you've succeeded mightily! (:

Cameron said...

Dear Robert,
This Erika has one of the most interesting designs I have yet seen. Very distinctive, artistic shape!

I truly hope that you have come through the dark times back into lighter ones -- your recent posts have been a delight.

All best wishes for your well-being,