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Sunday, 3 March 2013

Which Typewriter? 1973 British Consumers Report on Portable Typewriters


I was super excited when John Lambert, of New Haven, Connecticut, sent me the Which? list for 1973 - because I had only just acquired an Adler Gabriele 25. And if ever I totally agree with a Which? ranking, this is it.

John, by the way, has kindly given us access to four extremely interesting British Consumers' Association Reports on Portable Typewriters - from the December 1962, June 1968, August 1973 and December 1979 editions of Which? magazine. John bought all four editions with the idea of sharing the information with other typewriter lovers.

Top Portable Typewriters of 1973
Best Buy:
Adler Gabriele 25
Good Value For Money:
(Very Portable)
Adler Tippa S
Olympia Traveller De Luxe
(Fairly Portable with Tabulator)
Brother De Luxe 1510
Olympia Report
Other typewriters reviewed:
Brother De Luxe 900
(Among many other model names)
Erika 42 (Robotron)
Facit 1620
Imperial 220 (Litton - Silver-Seiko)
(Among many other model names)
(Scott Kernaghan Collection)
Olivetti Lettera 32
Olivetti Valentine
Olympia SM9
Remington Ten-Forty
(Among many other model names)
Remington Envoy III
(Among many other model names)
Smith-Corona Classic 12
Smith-Corona Viceroy De Luxe
(Among many other model names)
Underwood 315 (Olivetti Dora)
(Among many other model names)
Imperial 300
Olivetti Lettera 36


Scott Kernaghan said...

I've just finished with a Gabby - which I have been using as 'test subject A'. I always thought it was a bit of a rough typewriter, till I started to get it working properly - when I discovered it actually is a very nice machine.

Richard P said...

Go Gabby!

This is very valuable stuff, thanks. I'm a little surprised that the SM9 didn't come out higher, but it does get good marks -- as do most of the machines, actually.

Ton S. (I dream lo-tech) said...

A great resource, many thanks for sharing this with us. I never thought much about the Gabriele, now I am taking a closer look. I was expecting the Lettera 32 to figure into the "best buys" list.. I find it really interesting that the Valentine got a decent score for "quality of typing;" it would easily flunk that if the typosphere were to score it. And to think that typers in '74 were looking for a utilitarian machine.

Ton S. (I dream lo-tech) said...

Re: Valentine. I meant "ease of use."

TonysVision said...

Fine. Just as I become determined to slam the door on this typewriter obsession, along comes another "must have". But who can resist a machine you can nickname "Gabby"? I am happy at least to see that I've been clever enough to have acquired one of the typewriters from the list - the Olympia Report. The Gabrielle amazingly produces a result that seems as even as that electric. But there is something to be said for the quirkiness of some older manuals. My cute little red Corona 4, for example, despite careful adjustments, insists on drop caps. Thanks for another wonderful post.

Bill M said...

I am not surprised that the Adlers come out on top. My Adler J4 and J4 typewriters are some of the fastest, smoothest and clear (font) typewriters I have.

I would like to know which Adler Gabriele models equate to the J models.

I was surprised after reading Cameron's blog where he liked or left the impression the Adler was like or better than an Olympia. So I compared mine with my SM7. I cannot out type my Adlers, but I can frequently do it with my SM7.

Carriage return, you will not find a lighter faster and smoother (even from Facit) carriage return than Adler. Even the ones I have yet to clean beat all my machines.

I guess in 1073 the SM9 was made in Japan. It looks like a Japanese housing. Perhaps a German one would fare better.

Thanks for the post.

Bill M said...

My Adler J4 and J5 typewriters.


Bill M said...

1973 - 1974

shordzi said...

I very much like the Gabriele (I occasionally do call her Gaby), both Triumph and Adler, which are identical as far as I know. The grey plastic outfit is a typical case of you should not judge a book by its cover. Type-action is smooth, and to me Gabriele became a friend before reaching the end of the first page. Some Gabrieles have a very nice typeface, too.