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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Typ-Fix from Switzerland: Just the Thing for a Filthy Platen

This was on the platen of a shiny black Hermes 2000 which arrived from England the other day. At first glance I thought the Hermes had a blue platen, which I thought looked rather incongruous, though it was a pleasant shade of pale blue.
It was a sheet of soft material, coated blue on one side, 8 ¼ inches wide by 11 ½ inches long.
Written on the other side were the details (in German). When I realised what it was, I considered whether I should send it to Scott Kernaghan in Brisbane - surely a "Typ-Fix" would be the perfect thing for a Filthy Platen? Would clean it up no end. (Scott does seem to have a blood-stained platen at the moment.)
But then I tried it out on my favourite writing machine, the Bijou (just back from the Nile) and allowed myself to think it softened the blows of my heavy-handed two-fingered typing. A typing placebo, perhaps?
Maybe I was convinced by what I could make out (with the help of son Danny) of the claims on the "Typ-Fix" - Georg, Florian and Adwoa will have my guts for platen rubber if I have got this horribly wrong:
(Protected by law)
Gives nice, clean writing,
protects the roller,
preserves the type,
conserves the ribbon, 50% savings,
causes a slight, elastic stop [on the platen presumably?]
prolongs the life of the machine
Prevents paper folding (hulls) [hulls?]
Having bumped into the hulls, I didn't attempt the last two lines, sorry ... I offer my typecast instead:


Bill M said...

Neat stuff Robert. Adwoa had a post about it last year too. I have been searching for it, but here in the States I doubt I will ever find any of it.

It sounds like the perfect fix for a hard platen as well as a good protector of a good platen.

Richard P said...

Interesting. I suppose you have to line up the end of your paper with the end of the Typ-Fix.

I would have guessed that "Rumpfen" meant wrinkles, but I don't see that in the dictionary. The last line says that it prevents typebars from punching holes in the paper.

shordzi said...

Glad you discovered this. I use mine a lot. Swiss collectors cannot sleep without it.
I is basically something to put on the platen when the rubber is not elastic enough any more to deal with the blows from the type-slugs. It doesn't really substitute a genuine platen-makeover, but can ease or palliate the effects of an old platen.
I will immediately start looking for mine.

"Rumpfen" must be a Swiss-German word. Native speakers around?

KB said...

"Rumpfen" means indeed wrinkles or creases.

Adwoa said...

Glad you found some! Indeed, typ-fix is quite useful for typewriters of a certain age...

Scott Kernaghan said...


You know, I had a sheet or two of this back in the early 80's. My mother used to call it 'special backing sheet'. My grandfather gave her some with some of the machines that floated through our house while they were being 'serviced'.

You know, I had pretty much given up on this stuff and more or less forgotten about it.

Scott Kernaghan said...

Oh, and it's only my Hermes 3000 (at this stage) covered in blood (wink).