It may look a little different in parts, but this Adler Model 32 is in reality a Triumph Norm. It was almost certainly made in Nuremberg, not Frankfurt.
Images: Arnold Betzwieser Collection. This was NOT the first Triumph portable - the Norm succeeded the Klein-Triumph (aka Modell 1, of 1928) in 1934. The paper plate, guides, bail, knobs and levers, switches, and the segment are identical with the Adler Modell 32, but the top plate differs in the front and with its protruding rim. Nor is the Norm above the Norm 6, which was introduced in 1936 and has the more familiar sloping top plate (see below):
That seventh counter slot did magically materialise!
Zinester Nat caught a more relaxed me at the Zine Fair on Sunday.
An equally heartfelt thank you to Bill MacLaine, Natalie Tan, Rob Bowker and Gary McGill, all of whom helped guide me over the line!
The Adler Model 32 was made as a result of "close co-operation" between Adler and Triumph following the Great Depression of 1929-1930. The extent of that "co-operation" is not yet known, at least by me, but it would seem highly likely - indeed, almost certain - that the Adler frontstroke portable, and the standard of the same period, were actually made by Triumph in Nuremberg, not by Adler in Frankfurt. What is known is that Adler continued to make thrust-action typewriters (notably the Favorit portable) in Frankfurt.
Adler 30 (1930)
Adler Favorit (1935)
It is also not entirely certain when the Adler Modell 32 was first made - accepted wisdom says 1932 - and whether it came out before or after the Triumph Norm. Whatever, it is a Triumph, not Adler, design. We do know that the Triumph Norm, upon which the Adler Modell 32 is so directly based, came about as a result of a complete re-development of the 1928 Klein-Triumph (aka Modell 1):
Features of the Klein-Triumph were kept on the Norm (that is, "standard"), such as the paper plate and guides and the platen lever and knobs, but the segment, vibrator and printing point were re-designed.
The thinking appears to have been that both Adler and Triumph needed to introduce design changes in order to recapture market share. There is no doubt Adler had been very badly hit by the Depression. From more than 22,600 ordered typewriters in 1929, Adler sales fell to below 6000 in 1932. The Adlers 31 and 32 clearly indicate the Frankfurt company had decided it needed to venture into the frontstroke market, while continuing to rely heavily on its thrust-action machines. Meanwhile, in Nuremberg, Triumph had suffered similar financial setbacks. It was not until 1935-36 that Triumph was able to rebuild its workforce back to the pre-Depression levels of 1700.
Arnold Betzwieser's Norm
In Frankfurt, Adler had sought "economic solutions" and "rationalisation opportunities" from the very onset of the Depression. When it struck a "co-operation" deal with Triumph, one almost immediate upshot was the Adler 31 standard of 1931, which was "nothing but a Triumph 10".
1931 Adler 31
Spot the difference: 1930 Triumph 10, Alan Seaver Collection.
Twenty-seven years after Triumph and Adler had reached their Depression-beating "co-operation" arrangement, the close relationship between the two typewriter makers came back to haunt them. At the end of 1957, Fürth-based radio and television set manufacturer Max Grundig purchased Triumph share capital and the Nuremberg factories and used that company to buy a cross-shareholding in Adler’s Frankfurt plants. The two companies officially became one, soon to be owned by Litton Industries.