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Friday, 4 May 2012

100 Typewriters for Exhibition

I have spent the last three days putting together a detailed inventory of the 100 typewriters from my collection (actually, 107 counting those for public use) which will go into the exhibition at the Canberra Museum and Gallery from July 14 to September 16.
This is by no means a selection of my 100 best typewriters. By necessity, the exhibition is divided into 10 sections of 10 typewriters. One of these is devoted to the centenary of Corona, another to toy typewriters, another to examples of models used by well-known writers (in one case, the actual typewriter used by a great author).
Ten categories needed to be somehow cobbled together, and taken into consideration in the criteria for selection were the need for wide public appeal, including whatever Australian connections I could muster, a range of colours to offset the predominant black (hence, for example, the yellow Adler Tippa S over the superior earlier Adler Tippa, which came mainly in grey), and a range of brands.
At the top of the list is a replica typewriter, made by a local craftsman. I cannot afford a real Sholes & Glidden, and this is here to show the public what the first machine to be called a typewriter looked like, and how it compares for size etc. Of course, no claim is made as to it being the real thing.
I am still "toying" with a couple of changes. I have left out a Dial Marx toy typewriter, and wonder whether the Tom Thumb and Lilliput are too alike to justify including both. Nonetheless, I have a preference for full keyboard toy typewriters. Also, I have included a nice burgundy Corona Silent over a lovely black same-vintage Canadian-made Corona Sterling with a bright red frontspiece and a silver crown.
For many of the details contained in this list, I am deeply indebted to the websites of Georg Sommeregger (typewriters.ch), Richard Polt (The Classic Typewriter Page), Alan Seaver (Machines of Loving Grace), Will Davis (Portable Typewriter Reference Site), Paul Robert (Virtual Typewriter Museum) and Wim Van Rompuy (typewriter.be).
Any corrections or other suggestions regarding this list below would be welcomed. The list is (typewriters in each section are placed in no particular order):
 1 - EVOLUTION OF THE TYPEWRITER:
THE START
(These are all late 19th century designs: from 1873 to 1893)
1. Sholes & Glidden prototype replica
First year of production: 1874
Produced by: E.Remington & Sons, Ilion, New York
Inventor: Team led by Christopher Latham Sholes and including Carlos Glidden, Samuel Willard Soulé, James Densmore, Walter Jay Barron and Matthias Schwalbach.
Note: This same-size replica was made by Canberra craftsman Dr Keith Houston, using original patents.
2. Remington 2
First year of production: 1878
Produced by: Remington Standard Typewriter Manufacturing Company of Ilion, New York, for Wyckoff, Seamans and Benedict
Inventors: William McKendree Jenne, Jefferson Moody Clough and Bryon Alden Brooks, from the Sholes original.
Note: This was the typewriter which introduced upper and lower case type with a carriage shift device. It is sometimes called the “first real typewriter”.
3. New Yost
First year of line’s production: 1889
Produced by: Yost Writing Machine Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Inventors: Alexander Davidson, Andrew Wilton Steiger and Jacob Felbel.
Note: Developed by George Washington Newton Yöst
4Caligraph
First year of line’s production: 1881
Produced by: American Writing Machine Company, New York
Inventors: George Washington Newton Yöst and Franz Xaver Wagner
Note: This was the first machine to offer competition to the Remington typewriters, and from this emerged speed typing contests and touch typing
5. Hammond No 2 (Ideal - round keyboard)
First year of line’s production: 1881
Produced by: Hammond Typewriter Company, New York
Inventor: James Bartlett Hammond and Edward J.Manning
Note: Along with the Crandall, introduced the single type element, in this case a type shuttle.
6. Hammond No 2 (later model – square keyboard)
First year of line’s production: 1881
Produced by: Hammond Typewriter Company, New York
Inventor: James Bartlett Hammond and Edward J.Manning
Note: Later developed into the Varityper, a right-margin proportional spacing machine used to typeset newspaper and magazines
7. Oliver No 5
First year of line’s production: 1893
Produced by: Oliver Typewriter Company, Woodstock, Illinois, and later Chicago.
Inventor: Thomas Oliver
Note: Arguably the first “visible” writing machine.
8. Smith Premier No 10 (double keyboard)
First year of line’s production: 1890
First produced by: Smith Premier Typewriter Company, Syracuse, New York
Inventor: Alexander Timothy Brown
Value: This last model Smith Premier produced under the umbrella of the trust, the Union Writing Machine Company, incorporated both a double keyboard and a frontstrike type action.
9Royal Bar-Lock
First year of line’s production: 1888
First produced by: Columbia Typewriter Manufacturing Company, New York, for The Type Writer Company Limited, London
Inventor: Charles Spiro
Note: Early attempt to produce “visible” writing from one of the greatest of typewriter inventors.
10Empire
First year of line’s production:  1895.
First produced by: Williams Manufacturing Company, Plattsburg, New York, and Imperial Writing Machine Company, Montreal, Canada
Inventor: Wellington Parker Kidder
Note: First thrust-action typewriter, introduced a hugely successful line, notably by Adler
2 – TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES
 INTO THE 20TH CENTURY
(1893-1993)
1. Sun Standard No 2
First year of production: 1901
Produced by: Sun Typewriter Company, New York
Inventor: Lee Spear Burridge
Note: Experimental inking device, one of the outstanding examples of the work of this great inventor.
2. Mignon
First year of line’s production: 1904
First produced by: Allgemeine Electrizitäts Gesellschaft
Inventors: Louis Sell and Friedrich Heinrich Philipp Franz von Hefner-Alteneck
Note: Most successful full-sized index typewriter
3Imperial Model B
First year of production: 1915
Produced by:  Imperial Typewriter Company, Leicester, England
Inventor: Hidalgo Moya
Note: Later work by another of the great inventors. Early British portable. This has a detachable typebasket and keyboard.
4. Underwood 5
First year of line’s production: 1893
Produced by: Underwood Typewriter Company, New York and Hartford, Connecticut.
Inventors: Franz Xaver Wagner and Herman Lewis Wagner
Note: Most popular standard-size typewriter ever, high point of the most successful line of frontstrike typewriters.
5. Royal 10
First year of production: 1910
Produced by: Royal Typewriter Company, New York
Inventors: Edward Bernard Hess and Lewis Cary Myers
Note: The major 20th century challenger to the Underwood 5 among standard-size typewriters
6. Fox No 24
First year of line’s production: 1906
Produced by: Fox Typewriter Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Inventors: William R. Fox and Glenn J.Barrett
Note: One of the fastest typing machines ever made.
7. Klein Adler 2
First year of line’s production: 1900
Produced by: Adlerwerke, Frankfurt (formerly Henry Kleyer AG)
Inventor: Wellington Parker Kidder
Note: One of Europe’s first portables.
8. Royal Standard 1
First year of production: 1906
Produced by: Royal Typewriter Company, New York
Inventors: Edward Bernard Hess and Lewis Cary Myers
Note: A brilliant “flatbed” design came before its time
9. Blickensderfer 8
First year of line’s production: 1893
Produced by: Blickensderfer Manufacturing Company, Stamford, Connecticut
Inventor: George Canfield Blickensderfer
Note: The ultimate achievement among Blickensderfer’s small, radical portables
10. Canon Typemate 10
First year of line’s production: 1991
Produced by: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha, Tokyo.
Inventor: Hidero Matsumoto
Note: Marketed as “redefining the word ‘portable’” and as “space age”.
3 - RARE, BEAUTIFUL  AND UNUSUAL TYPEWRITERS
1Rooy
First year of production: 1950
First produced by: Etablissement Rooy Société Anonyme, Paris, France
Inventor: Joseph Louis Adhémar Borel
Note: The “Holy Grail” of typewriters, a portable which fitted into a briefcase
2. Royal Quiet De Luxe (gold-plated)
First year of production: 1952
Produced by: Royal Typewriter Company, New York
Designer: Henry Dreyfuss
Note: The “James Bond Goldfinger” typewriter, same model used by Ian Fleming; special limited edition for Royal’s 50th anniversary Golden Jubilee.
3Underwood 4 (USB typewriter)
First year of production:  1926
First produced by: Underwood Typewriter Company, Hartford, Connecticut
Inventor: Alfred Gustav Franz Kurowski
Note: Converting old typewriters to be used as computer keyboards through a USB connection developed by Jack Zylkin  
4. Olivetti Valentine
First year of production: 1969 (launched on Valentine’s Day)
First produced by: Hispano Olivetti SpA, Barcelona
Designer: Ettore Sottsass and Perry A. King
Note: Most sought-after portable typewriter today. On permanent display at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Finest typewriter example of “Pop Art”.
5Barr
First year of production: 1926
First produced by: Barr-Morse Corporation, Ithaca, New York
Inventor: John Henry Barr
Note: Technically one of the more advanced portables ever made, from a small, independent company
6. Olivetti ICO MP1
First year of production: 1933
First produced by: Ingegneria Camillo Olivetti, Ivrea, Turin, Italy
Designers: Riccardo Levi and Aldo Magnelli
Note: Arguably the most beautiful typewriter ever made
7. Schmitt Express
First year of production: 1951
First produced by: Schmitt KG, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Designer: Unknown
Note: Rare Bakelite typewriter
8. Smith Premier (“Croc Dundee”)
First year of line’s production: 1921
First produced by: Remington Typewriter Company, New York
Inventor: John Henry Barr
Note:  Very rare rebranded Remington portable in unusual “crocodile skin” paintwork
9. Underwood Deluxe Quiet Tab
First year of production: 1956
Produced by: Underwood Typewriter Company, Hartford, Connecticut
Designer: Paul Artem Braginetz
Note: Design speaks for itself. This model was used by Australian writer Ruth Park
10. Royal Eldorado
First year of line’s production: 1954
First produced by: Royal-McBee Nederlands NV, Holland
Designers: Van Halder and van den Berg?
Note: Design originally for Halberg Machinefabriek of Holland, which was taken over by Royal.
4 - WORLD'S SMALLEST TYPEWRITERS
1. Bennett
First year of production: 1910
Produced by: Bennett Typewriter Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Inventor: Charles Almon Bennett
Note: Smallest full keyboard typewriter (with the Junior, below)
2. Junior
First year of production: 1907
First produced by: Junior Typewriter Company, New York
Inventor: Charles Almon Bennett
Note: Predecessor of the Bennett
3Winsor Special De Luxe (Junior Model 56)
First year of production: 1956
Produced by: Industrias Mecanográficas, Valencia, Spain
Inventor: Jorge Francés García
Note: Rare independently-produced typewriter
4. Groma Kolibri
First year of production: 1955
Produced by: Volkseigenen Betrieb Mechanik Groma, Markersdorf, Chemnitz, Germany
Inventors: Leopold Ferdinand Pascher and Karl Ronneberger
Note: Star of the award-winning German language movie, Lives of Others
5. Gossen Tippa
First year of production: 1950
First produced by: Paul Gossen & Co K-G Fabrik Elektrischer Messgeräte, Erlangen, Germany
Inventor: Erwin Pfaffenberger
Note: The “office in a briefcase”.
6Bijou
First year of production: 1910
Produced by: Seidel & Naumann, Dresden, Germany
Inventors: Franklin (Frank) Sebastian Rose, Otto Petermann and Marshman Williams Hazen
Note: An illegal German duplicate of the Standard Folding-Corona 3. Bijou was an export version of the Erika.
7Perkeo
First year of production: 1914
First produced by: Maschinenfabrik Carl Engler GmbH, Vienna, Austria; then Clemens Müller AG, Dresden, Germany
Inventors: Franklin (Frank) Sebastian Rose, Otto Petermann and Marshman Williams Hazen
Note: This is another German ‘take’ on the Standard Folding-Corona 3
8Diamant
First year of production: 1919
First produced by: Diamant Schreibmaschinenfabrik, Frankfurt, Germany
Inventor: Jakob Heil
Note: A classic example of the work of a great Austrian-German design and mechanical engineer.
9Stoewer Elite
First year of production: 1912
First produced by: Nähmaschinen-und Fahrräder-Fabrik Bernhard Stoewer AG, Stettin, Germany
Inventor: Paul Grützmann
Note: Innovative design by another of Germany’s great typewriter inventors.
10. Noiseless
First year of production: 1921
First produced by: Noiseless Typewriter Company, Middletown, Connecticut
Inventor: Wellington Parker Kidder
Note: The ultimate production achievement of arguably the greatest typewriter inventor of them all
5  - TOY TYPEWRITERS
1Simplex
First year of production: 1893
First produced by: Simplex Typewriter Company, Manhattan, New York
Inventor: Analdo Myrtle English
Note: One of the most enduring and yet basic of all typewriters, a leader among index machines.
2. Simplex No 5
First year of production: 1897
First produced by: Simplex Typewriter Company, Manhattan, New York
Inventors: Philip Becker and William Thompson, based on English’s original
Note: The tiny Simplex begins to grow,
3. Simplex No 1
First year of production: 1902
First produced by: Simplex Typewriter Company, Manhattan, New York
Inventors: Phillip Becker and William Thompson (and later Samuel Alexander Thompson)
Note: This typewriter was a Christmas present for Raymond Koessler, aged nine, in 1913. Raymond died of the Spanish flu in 1917. The exhibit includes Raymond’s letters and stories. As toys, Simplex typewriters were made for more than 40 years.
4Tom Thumb
First year of production: 1936
First produced by: Western Stamping Company, Jackson, Michigan
Inventor: James E.Thomson
Note: Tom Thumb typewriters were made in various guises over a period of 40 years,
5Kamkap (aka Revere)
First year of production: 1957?
First produced by: Petite Typewriters, Nottingham, England
Inventor: Edward Victor Byers
Note: A scaled down version of the Byron standard-sized typewriter
6. Lilliput
First year of production: early 1950s?
First produced by: Petite Typewriters, Nottingham, England
Inventor: James E.Thomson
Note: In the 1950s, Petite Typewriters, as one of the few surviving makers of toy typewriters, entered into an agreement with the Western Stamping Company to make Tom Thumb typewriters for the American market and used the design for its own machines.
7. GSN Junior
First year of production: 1929
First produced by: Schmid Brothers, Stein-Nuremberg, Germany.
Inventor: Max Schmid
Note: One of the sought-after toy typewriters
8Unique Portable
First year of production: 1946
First produced by: Unique Art Manufacturing Company, Newark, New Jersey
Inventor: Samuel Irving Berger
9. Petite Excel
First year of production: 1995
First produced by: Made in China for Britains Petite Ltd, Nottingham, England
Inventor: Martin J, Richard
Note: An outstanding example of modern-day toy typewriters
10.  American Flyer
First year of production: 1934
First produced by: American Flyer Manufacturing Company, Chicago.
Inventor: Thomas Raymond Arden
Note: At age 16, Arden was in 1906 described in Australian newspapers as a boy genius and a “Rival to Edison”.
6 – DEPRESSION ERA and STUDENT TYPEWRITERS
1. Gundka Frolio 5
First year of production: 1924
First produced by: Gundka (Greppert & Chalice) Werke GmbH, Brandenburg, Germany
Inventor: Paul Muchajer
Note: The rights to this successful, if unusual, design were later taken over by Optima, which made the Bambino in Bakelite.
2Petite Talking Typewriter
First year of production: 1981
First produced by: Dobson Park Industries Ltd for Byron International, Nottingham, England.
Inventors: Edward Victor Byers, Robert Denby and Anthony Elliott
Note: It types! It talks!
3. Alba A4
First year of production: 1955?
First produced by: Antares SPA, Milan, Italy
Inventor: Carlo Grassi?
Note: The toy that grew into a real typewriter!
4. Remie Scout
First year of production: 1932
First produced by: Remington-Rand Typewriter Company
Inventor: John Henry Barr
Note: Cut-down Remington portable that uses an elegant san-serif typeface called Art Gothic.
5Bing No 2
First year of production: 1927
First produced by: Bing-Werke, Vorm. Gebrüder Bing AG,  Nuremberg
Inventor: Ludwig Reischl
Note: Described as "teaching aid typewriter", it was produced especially for export to North America. The Bing Brothers company, founded by Ignaz and Adolf Bing, was world famous for making toys. It also made the Orga Privat typewriter.
6. Royal Signet
First year of production: 1932
First produced by: Royal Typewriter Company, Hartford Connecticut
Inventors: Edward Bernard Hess and Lewis Cary Myers
Note:  Cut-back back, capitals-only Royal portable
7. (Remington) Bantam
First year of production: 1938
First produced by: Remington-Rand Typewriter Company for its division, General Shaver Corporation
Original inventor: John Henry Barr
Note: The keys are colour-coded to teach touch typing. It types in sans-serif capital letters only, plus fullstop, comma and question mark. This was the cheapest of all Remington portables, selling for $10.95 ($12.45 with carrying case).
8Monarch Pioneer
First year of line’s production: 1932
First produced by: Monarch Typewriter Company, New York (NOT Remington)
Inventor: John Henry Barr
Note: This is grouped by Richard Polt in his Remington portables history as among the Remie Scout-Depression era typewriters. The designated maker, however, is quite interesting.
9. Corona Silent (Animal Keyboard)
First year of production: 1935
First produced by: L.C.Smith and Corona Typewriter Incorporated, Syracuse, New York
Designers: Henry Allen Avery and Joseph Peter Barkdoll
Note: This extremely rare model, launched at Christmas 1935, came with a box of nine rings (one thumb was ringless), and was a “fun way” for youngsters to learn to type. With the Depression, not many of these expensive gifts sold, hence their rarity today.
10. Brother Super DeLuxe 1450
First year of production: 1984
First produced by: Brother Industries, Horita, Mizuho Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Original designer: Akio Kondo
Note: By far the most successful typewriter company in the last half of the 20th century, even outstripping Olivetti.  Between 1961 and 1980, Brother sold 10 million typewriters!
7 -  PRESENT-DAY and
 GREAT TYPING TYPEWRITERS
      1 Olympia Traveller C
First year of production: 1995
First produced by: Elite Industrial Group, Shenzhen, China
Designer: Vid Bratasevec
Note: The last reputable “internationally recognised brand” typewriter to be made to an independent design.
2 Barbie
First year of line’s production: 1988
This model produced by: Mehano Društvo s Ograničenom Odgovornošću, Izola, Slovenia
Designers of this model: Marko Piasni, Giudo Pezzolato, Andrej Pisani, Joze Brezec, Franc Branko Cerkrenik and Andrej Mahnic
Note: There is a close business relationship between Mehano in Slovenia and Elite in China, resulting in shared designs. In its “adult” form, the Barbie is the Olympia Traveller C.
3. Alpina
First year of line’s production: 1951
First produced by: Alpina Buromaschinenwerke-Vertrieb Bovensiepen AG, Kaufbeuren, Germany
Inventor: Otto Rudolf Bovensiepen
Note: Regarded as the best engineered typewriter ever made, from a precision instrument designer. The company, now run by Rudolf Bovensiepen’s son Burkard, makes BMW Alpina fast cars.
4. Torpedo 18
First year of this model’s production: 1955
First produced by: Torpedo Büromaschinen Werke AG, Rödelheim, Frankfurt am Main.
Designer: Andreas Salzberger
Note: Portable typewriter guru Will Davis once stated, “I can type faster on this particular machine, error-free, than any other in my collection. Beautiful looks and wonderfully snappy key action.” Also marketed as the Bluebird.
5. Voss Series 24
First year of production: 1948
First produced by: Wuppertaler Schreibmaschinenfabrik Voss GmbH, Wuppertal, Germany
Designer: Reinhard Wohlfahrt
Note: Ranks up there near the Alpina for engineering perfection, and the Torpedo for “typeability”. A very popular machine with all serious typists.
6. Brosette
First year of production: 1953
First produced by: Metallwerk Max Brose GmbH, Coburg, Germany
Designers: Berthold Baumann and Fritz Kunze
Note: Another design and engineering masterpiece from the large number of small, independent “boutique” typewriter manufacturers which dotted Germany in the immediate post-World War II years.
7. Rheinmetall Model KsT
First year of production: 1931. This line 1945.
First produced by: Rheinmetall-Borsig Aktiengesellschaft, Sömmerda, Thuringia, Germany
Designer: Leopold Ferdinand Pascher (originally for Stoewer)
Note: Jack Tramiel, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and concentration camps (where his father died), joined the US Army, moved to New York and started importing Rheinmetall typewriter parts from Germany. These were assembled in Canada and relabelled Commodores. Tramiel later made the famous Commodore 64 personal computer.
8. Mercedes Superba
First year of production: 1936
First produced by: Mercedes Schreibmaschinen-und Büromaschinenfabrik, Zella-Mehlis, Thüringen,Germany
Designer: Robert Anschüts
Note: In 1913, Gustav Mez paid car maker Daimler 20,000 marks in a  “delimitation settlement so he could continue to use the name Mercedes on his typewriters.
9. Olympia Monica
First year of production: 1962
First produced by: Olympia Werke Aktiengesellschaft, Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Designer: Anton Demmel
Note: The Monica is based on the Olympia SM5 (SM=Schreibmaschine Mittelgroß, or medium-sized typewriter). Olympias made at the company’s new West German factory between 1951-66 are consistently ranked among the finest typing machines made at any time, anywhere.
10. Triumph Gabriele
First year of line’s production: 1957
First produced by: Triumph-Werke Nürnberg AG, Nuremberg. Germany
Designer: Martin Hebel?
Note: Yet another example of outstanding German engineering and design. This model is named after company owner Max Grundig's granddaughter, Gabriele. Variations include Perfekt and Norm.
8 -  TYPEWRITERS USED BY FAMOUS AUTHORS
1. Royal Quiet De Luxe (Model A)
Used by: Ernest Hemingway
First year of line’s production:  1935
First produced by: Royal Typewriter Company, Hartford, Connecticut
Designer: Lewis Cary Myers
Note: Hemingway used many typewriters in his journalism and writing careers, starting with a Corona 3, but in later life very much preferred Royals. This model can be seen in his former homes in Havana, Key West, Florida, and Ketchum, Idaho.
2. Corona 3
Owned by: Miles Franklin
First year of production: 1912
First produced by: Corona Typewriter Company, Groton, New York.
Inventors: Franklin (Frank) Sebastian Rose, Otto Petermann and Marshman Williams Hazen
Note: Franklin used this typewriter to write her Brent of Bin Bin stories. It was “rescued” from New York and forensically tested against her original typescripts.
3. Hermes 3000 (Media)
Used by: Larry McMurtry
First year of line’s production: 1958
First produced by: Paillard SA, Yverdon, Sainte-Croix, Switzerland
Inventor: Giuseppe Prezioso
Note: McMurtry thanked his Hermes 3000 upon receiving the Golden Globe for his screenplay of Brokeback Mountain. He said the typewriter was “surely one of the noblest instruments of European genius”. To avoid hassles at airport security, McMurtry has seven of these spread around various parts of the US
4. Royal Safari
Used by: Bob Dylan
First year of production: 1964
First produced by: Royal McBee Corporation, Port
Chester, New York
Designers: Charles J. Jaworski and Edward J. Johnson
Note: A famous series of photographs were taken by Douglas R.Gilbert as Dylan was typing the liner notes for his fourth album, Another Side of Bob Dylan, in his writing studio above the Café Espresso on Tinker Street, Woodstock, New York, in August 1964.
5Underwood Universal
Used by: Jack Kerouac
First year of line’s production: 1934
First produced by: Underwood-Elliott-Fisher Corporation, Hartford, Connecticut
Inventor: William Albert Dobson
Note: Kerouac wrote On the Road in three weeks in April 1951, at 100 words a minute, on one roll of teletype paper. Truman Capote said of On the Road, “That’s not writing, it’s typing.” Kerouac also typed typescripts for William S.Burroughs.
6. Olivetti Studio 44
Used by: Tennessee Williams
First year of production: 1952
First produced by: Ingegneria Camillo Olivetti, Ivrea, Turin, Italy
Designers: Marcello Nizzoli and Giuseppe Beccio
Note: Like Hemingway, Williams used many different typewriters, many of them not his own, but towards the end of his playwriting career his preferred model was the Studio 44.
7. Olympia SM7
Used by: Paul Auster
First year of production: 1960
First produced by: Olympia Werke Aktiengesellschaft, Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Designers: Peter Sieber and Arnold Schürer
Note: The Story of My Typewriter by Auster, with pictures by painter Sam Messer, is about the author's Olympia SM7, which Auster bought in 1972 from an old college friend who had owned it since 1962. Everything Auster has written since has been typed on it.
8. Bijou (Erika 10)
Used by: David Malouf
First year of line’s production: 1963
First produced by: VEB Schreibmaschinenwerk, Dresden, Germany (originally Seidel & Naumann, later VEB Kombinat Robotron)
Designer: Unknown
Note: Australian poet and author Malouf transfers his handwritten drafts on to an Erika typewriter just such as this. The name Erika comes from founder Karl Robert Bruno Naumann’s only granddaughter. Bijou is an export brand name.
9.  Optima (Consul Model 231.2)
Used by: Patrick White
First year of production: 1963
First produced by: Zbrojovka Narodni Ppodnik, Brno, Czechoslovakia
Designer: Wolfgang Prade
Note: White’s pale blue Optima (taking an East German brand name) is housed at the Mitchell Library, Sydney, and was this year displayed at the National Library, Canberra.
10. Remington 5
Used by: Agatha Christie
First year of production: 1935
First produced by: Remington-Rand Corporation, New York
Designers: John A. Zellers and Herbert E. Bridgwater
Note: The typewriter’s body is an example of the streamlined industrial design of the later Art Deco, or Art Moderne, period, a tasteful, striking example of typewriter streamlining.
9   - THE TRULY GREAT,  PROGRESSIVE PORTABLES
1. Blickensderfer 5
First year of production: 1893
First produced by: Blickensderfer Manufacturing Company, Stamford, Connecticut
Inventor: George Canfield Blickensderfer
Note: Arguably the greatest typewriter ever made, so far ahead of its time, time never caught up with it. Technically the first portable, although it came in a large oak case.
2. Standard Folding
First year of production: 1907
First produced by: Rose (Standard) Typewriter Company, New York
Inventor: Franklin (Frank) Sebastian Rose
Note: The first designated portable typewriter, made of aluminium and folding into a small case.
3. Underwood 3
First year of production: 1919
First produced by: Underwood Typewriter Company, Hartford, Connecticut
Inventor: Lee Spear Burridge
Note: A work of design genius in miniature engineering.
4. Remington Model 1
First year of production: 1920
First produced by: Remington Typewriter Company, Ilion, New York
Inventor: John Henry Barr
Note: The first portable to offer all standard features, such as a full four-bank keyboard. Folding typebasket.
5. Royal Model 0
First year of production: 1926
First produced by: Royal Typewriter Company, Hartford, Connecticut.
Inventors: Edward Bernard Hess and Lewis Cary Myers
Note: With a very different design to enter an already highly competitive portable marketplace, this led to a complete change of look and size for American portables.
6. Imperial Good Companion
First year of production: 1932
First produced by: Imperial Typewriter Company, Leicester, England
Inventor: Herbert Etheridge (for Torpedo of Germany)
Note: After the death of founder Hidalgo Moya, Imperial acquired the design for a more orthodox portable from Torpedo in Germany. Model named after J.B.Priestley book (Priestley received one of the first machines off the production line). Advertising line: “Buy an Imperial Good Companion and write like Priestley”.
7. Hermes Featherweight
First year of production: 1935
First produced by: Paillard SA, Yverdon, Sainte-Croix, Switzerland
Inventor: Giuseppe Prezioso
Note: Established the breakthrough for all future low-profile, slimline portables with a radical change of type action design. First front-mounted typebar mechanism.
8. Olivetti Lettera 22
First year of production: 1949
First produced by: Ingegneria Camillo Olivetti, Ivrea, Turin, Italy
Inventor: Marcello Nizzoli
Note: The ultimate portable typewriter. Awarded Compasso d’Oro Prize for design in 1954; in 1959 Illinois Institute of Technology named it the best design product of the previous 100 years, based on a survey of the world’s 100 leading design engineers. On permanent display at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
9. Olympia SF
First year of production: 1956
First produced by: Olympia Werke Aktiengesellschaft, Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Inventor: Anton Demmel
Note: SF = Schreibmaschine Flach (flat typewriter). Very small, very stylish, yet highly practical and a great typer: What else could one ask for?
10. Adler Tippa S
First year of line’s production: 1970
First produced by: Litton Industries for Triumph-Adler, Leiden, Holland
Designer: Toshihiko Sakow.
Note: The beginning of the end for this once wonderful little portable.
10 - CORONA’S CENTENARY
1. Corona 3 (Red Special)
First produced by: Corona Typewriter Company, Groton, New York
First year of production: 1912
Inventors: Franklin (Frank) Sebastian Rose, Otto Petermann and Marshman Williams Hazen
Note: The on-going popularity of the Corona 3 demanded “special” machines in bright colours.
2. Corona 4
First year of production: 1924
First produced by: Corona Typewriter Company, Groton, New York
Inventors: Otto Peterman, Edwin Leander Harmon, Alonzo B.Ely and Henry Allen Avery
Note: Corona meets the challenge of the Remington Model 1 portable.
3. Corona Silent
First year of production: 1934
First produced by: L.C.Smith and Corona Typewriters Incorporated, Syracuse, New York
Inventor: Henry Allen Avery
Note: In turn, Corona now meets the challenge of Royal’s first portable.
4. Smith-Corona 5TE Electric
First year of production: 1957
First produced by: Smith-Corona Incorporated, Syracuse, New York
Inventor: Joseph Peter Barkdoll
Note: The world’s first electric portable. One of the best typing machines ever made.
5. Smith-Corona Golden Shield Courier
First year of line’s production: 1960
First produced by: Smith-Corona Marchant Incorporated at the British Typewriter Company, West Bromwich, England
Inventor: Joseph Peter Barkdoll
Note: The early high point of SCM typewriters made in Britain between 1960-1981.
6. SCM Super G Ghia design
First year of production: 1970
First produced by: Smith-Corona Marchant Incorporated at the British Typewriter Company, West Bromwich, England
Inventors: Tom Tjaarda and Alejandro de Tomaso
Note: Designers and makers of stylish Italian sports cars turn their hand to typewriters in a bid to match Olivetti’s Valentine
7. Corona Zephyr
First year of production: 1938
First produced by: L.C. Smith and Corona Typewriters Incorporated, Syracuse, New York
Inventors: Henry Allen Avery, Joseph Peter Barkdoll and Lionel F. Evans
Note: America’s answer to the Hermes Featherweight-Baby, war interrupted production and the model was re-introduced more than 10 years later as the Skyriter.
8. Corona Music Keyboard
First year of production: 1941
First produced by: L.C.Smith and Corona Typewriters Incorporated, Syracuse, New York
Inventors: Henry Allen Avery and Joseph Peter Barkdoll
Note: One of more prominent of many attempts to adapt a typewriter for music sheet-writing. This model, like the Animal Keyboard variation, is extremely rare.
9. SCM Corsair
First year of production: 1962
First produced by: Smith-Corona Marchant Incorporated at the British Typewriter Company, West Bromwich, England
Inventors: Robert Metzner, Philip H.Stevens and David O.Chase
Note: This series of models marked the “last throw of the dice” for Corona with manual portable typewriters, with a plastic machine made in England to an American design. It was a long throw: the line lasted until 1981.
10. H.G.Palmer Sterling
First year of line’s production: 1959
Produced by: Smith-Corona Marchant Incorporated, Toronto, Canada
Inventor: Joseph Peter Barkdoll
Note: A late-model Smith-Corona 5 series typewriter produced under licence for a so-called “ubiquitous [Australian] electrical chain store” which collapsed in a financial scandal in 1960. Smith-Corona had similar deals with Sear Roebuck and J.C.Penney in the US. Sears models were marketed mostly as Towers.
EXTRAS (for public use)
Olivetti Lettera 32
First year of production: 1963
First produced by: Ingegneria Camillo Olivetti, Ivrea, Turin, Italy
Designers: Marcello Nizzoli and Adriano Menicali
Note: Very popular successor to the Lettera 22.
IMB Selectric III with Blickensderfer “Scientific” keyboard
First year of production: 1961
First produced by: International Business Machines Corporation at Lexington, Kentucky
Inventors: Horace Smart Beattie, John E. Hickerson, Ralph E. Page and James A. Weldenhammer, body design by Eliot Fette Noyes.
Note: This Selectric has been converted to a Blickensderfer keyboard by Peter Brill, of Perth, Western Australia, a former IBM and typewriter technician who in later life developed a love of Blick typewriters.

11 comments:

Richard P said...

Your categories like a great way to provide organization to the exhibit. I think it's going to be very popular and wish I could do something like this. (I have asked my public library whether they're interested ...)

Dwayne F. said...

I can't believe I missed this list! I was out on business travel at the time. This is a fabulous selection. I agree with your comment on the Olivetti MP1. It is stunningly beautiful in red.

Moroz said...

That red MP1 is really special! Red colour is rare but findable...but I never saw that mark on the front shield.
Can you post the serial number of that typewriter ?

Steve said...

Isn't Paul Auster's typewriter an Olympia SM9 rather than SM7?

Robert Messenger said...

Upon checking Steve, it seems you are correct. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hello Robert,

Heartiest greetings! I'm a relatively new collector and an avid reader of your blog :) I was wondering if you still had any available copies of the handbook that came along with the exhibition please? I would really be thrilled to own my own copy!

I would really love to purchase a copy! I've tried contacting you but perhaps my emails did not reach you. Will you please drop me an email at sentient85@yahoo.com? I'd be much looking forward to hearing from you!

Warmest Regards,
Claudia Tan

Robert Messenger said...

Hi Claudia. I did reply to your email on October 30. I have sent it again now, as it must have gone astray. Yes, copies are still available and I can post one to you in Singapore.

Florence said...

Dear Robert:
I found you, thanks God. My husband passed last August and he has two antique machines both in perfect conditions. I would like to know how much could cost them. One is a Optima 100/105 No. 5-3-701-004 it has a case and instruction manual and the other one, is a Groma Kolibri green with a leather case, this has a little bit humidity. Please answer to my mail florencedascoli@gmail.com

Florence said...

Dear Robert,
Thanks God I found this. My husband passed last August and he left 2 typewriters in good conditions and I do not know how much they can be selled for. 1) optima tipewriter 100/105, made in Germany, Nº 5-3-701-004 is creme in a black case, it has even instructions manual. 2) Groma Kilibri green in a brown leather case. Thanks for answer me at florencedascoli gmail

Farah Masri said...

dear robert,
im a student whos writing a paper on the mechanism of typewriters, and specifically the typewriter i found in an old antique shop. the IDEAL DZ33 Seidel and Naumann, serial number 506627. i cant seem to find any information on the web about this specific model, or any detailed information about Ideal typewriter models. please if you have any information that you can share with me, that would be highly appreciated, and very helpful. thank you for your time.looking forward to hearing from you on my email farah.elmasri1@gmail.com

Rick Perry said...

Howdy Robert,

Sorry to post off slightly topic but I couldn't find your email address anywhere... Probably for good reason. I'm trying to figure out the exact Underwood typewriter Jack Kerouac used. You said here it's a Universal. I've gathered some photos of they typewriter from the web http://imgur.com/a/CA6dO It has white keys and other features that might make it pre Universal/ Champion. Pardon my ignorance. I'm a filmmaker and just rapidly learning about typewriters! But I've not been able to figure out which model he used. Could you give me a shout? My email is rick.perry {AT} gmail.com. Thanks, Rick.