Total Pageviews

Friday, 30 December 2011

The Brosette Portable Typewriter

At first glance, the Brosette is yet another of what appear to be extremely well-designed, well-built post-World War II German portable typewriters.

And in this case appearances do not deceive, as the Brosette is not just a beautiful looking little typewriter, but a delight to use as well.
It may not quite rank up there for typeability with the bigger Alpina, or for that matter the Voss, but it is certainly superior to the Cole Steel.
The mind begins to boggle when contemplating the post-war Germany portable typewriter industry. Why so many small brands, some sadly all too short-lived? And yet they are all so individual and unquestionably appealing in appearance.
First we looked at the Alpina, then the Express and the Cole Steel (aka ABC) – not to mention the Groma Kolibri. (The Voss, Gossen Tippa and Princess are yet to come in this series).
One might almost imagine late 1940s, early 1950s Germany, especially the West Side of the border, dotted with “boutique” typewriter factories.
But the Brosette, like the Cole Steel, was the result of a well-established pre-war company expanding into a new market as it struggled to get back on its feet after the war years.
Metallwerk Max Brose GmbH, of Coburg, northern Bavaria, West Germany, had its roots in a Berlin car parts factory which opened in 1908.
It was founded in 1919 when Max Brose (1884-1968) joined forces with chemist Ernst Juhling (died 1956).
It started making typewriters in 1953, with Berthold Baumann as head of the typewriter section and Fritz Kunze, who had trained as a letterpress printer and worked pre-war for the German Government, the chief engineer and designer of the Brosette portable.
Production ended in 1959. In just six years it is believed as many as 48,000 of these Brosette portables were made. The rights were then sold to an Indian company.
*I am indebted to Georg Sommeregger and Will Davis for information about the history of the Brose company.


Bill M said...

Very beautiful machine. I learned of another brand that I did not know existed.
Thank you.

Michael said...

I have owned two of these beauties, rather rarely seen about, and I still have one at home. It is my favorite typed actually. Great blog.