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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Baby Typewriter's Birthday

Georg’s welcome input to the “Typewriters at the Olympic Games” history - about the newly-launched Hermes Baby standing out at the 1936 Berlin Olympics - reminded me that it was 78 years ago this week that the Baby-Featherweight was first patented.
It was on July 30, 1934, that Giuseppe Prezioso’s design was patented in Germany. Prezioso applied for a US patent almost a year later and it was issued toward the end of 1938.
In the 1940s, Prezioso also designed the Hermes 8, as he did the later Ambassador.
This Hermes 8 fetched $4123 at a Christie’s auction in London on November 30, 2005.
The typewriter belonged to – and was signed by - British writer Douglas Adams (1952-2001). Adams is said to have used it when he was working on the original radio script for The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
In 1998 Adams signed and donated the typewriter to an auction organised to raise funds for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. It bore an anti-apartheid sticker on one side of the casing.
In mid-May this year, Adwoa Bagalini came across a Hermes 8 on her “Geneva Typewriter Sightings: Exploring New Hunting Grounds”. She posted on it on her Retro Tech Geneva blog here


Scott Kernaghan said...

How interesting. This week? You're a font of information.

Have you used a featherweight yourself?

Miguel Ángel Chávez Silva said...

I'm looking forward to use a Hermes typewriter one of these days, though this brand is not very common in my country. But who knows? The Internet can be a great source of discovery.

Which one would you recommend most? A Baby, or a 3000?

Ken Coghlan said...

A Douglas Adams typewriter? Man, I would love to have had that. I know he used Mac's a bunch in his writing, having read some biographical information about him, but that was written about his later Hitchhiker novels. I suppose it is safe to assume he used this Hermes to write, at least, the first installment. So awesome!

Great post. Now I really need to get that Hermes Rocket back together...

Jasper Lindell said...

Every time I come to this fine blog another typewriter is added to the list of typewriters to look out for, this time it is exactly the same; this wish-list is getting dangerously long, its size relative to the time spent on this site.