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Monday 29 October 2012

Davis Typewriter Works Produces an Alpina

While the Fallow Fields Typewriter Manufacturing Company wallows in its absolute inactivity, it seems Peter Baker and I have been beaten to the punch by two other typewriter collectors.
According to Australia eBay this morning, Will Davis and Norbert Schwarz have built an Alpina portable typewriter (although there's some confusion with the name - is it an Alpina or an Apina? Is this some naming rights dodge?).
The listing can be seen here.
It must have been a difficult collaboration between North Ridgeville, Ohio, and Nuremberg, Germany, but this intrepid pair appear to have made it work. Hands across the ocean and all that.
Congratulations to them both! With the demise of Godrej & Boyce in Mumbai last year, a new typewriter manufacturing company is very much welcome on the horizon. It’s good to know the world’s last typewriter has not yet been made and the Davis Typewriter Works has set up in competition with the Shanghai Weilv Mechanism Company in China.
Are these machines soon to roll off the production line in Ohio?
On top of all this good news is that the starting price on the Alpina Will and Norbert have made is a mere $55 – and it can be picked up at a warehouse in Marrickville, Sydney! So thoughtful of Will and Norbert to establish an Australian outlet.
Today’s Australia eBay listing proudly proclaims: “VINTAGE APINA TYPEWRITER MODEL S/N 144996 BY SCHWARZ & DAVIS CIRCA 1958 GERMANY
It also seems Will and Norbert have been actively promoting their product:
ADVERTISMENT STATES: ‘One variety of portable typewriter has gained quite a following due simply to the wonderful and individualistic styling applied to it.  This is the ALPINA, from West Germany.  In addition to being distinctively shaped, these machines are in fact magnificently constructed and are, as the leading ALPINA expert Norbert Schwarz says, actually small office machines.' GOOGLE ALPINA TYPEWRITERS."

PS: Will, can I please have a Rochester made? And I suspect Richard Polt may like a Sphinx.


Bill M said...

I'd love to see Will making nice manual typewriters.

Actually Swintec is still in business making wedges. Whether they are made in the States or elsewhere I do not know. Since they are on the US Gov. approved list it makes me think they are in the US since government contracts generally require US goods. Then berets for the troops show up and they are made in China. Go figure.

L Casey said...

HA! Australian eBay does come up with some...interesting typewriters, does it not? This one is absolutely hilarious!

Interesting to note that the Alpina was produced by Will Davis. Considering the production date, he is much older than he looks!!!

Richard P said...

That's hilarious.

I also often see typewriters certified as coming from the Tilman Elster Collection, or Emeritus Collection (Alan's term for typewriters he used to own).

notagain said...

I'm willing to license the Fallow Fields name for a small fee - or free if they make me a Bennett!
That is a seriously funny find. I'm browsing watches so it's only a matter of "time" before I see one credited to Teeritz.

Norbert said...

Internet is so fast: from tw collector to tw producer. I will contact Will where to settle the works.

Will Davis said...

Let's do it, Norbert! It might be fun. We might want to select a machine that would be just a little less expensive to build.. although if it's too cheap, it won't ship well!

This is the silly part of being somewhat famous, I guess. This actually happens quite a bit. Just yesterday I had to message an e-Bay seller who has a really really nice Monarch No. 2 because he/she just plucked the content from my Davis Typewriter Works post on the Monarch right off the page and stuck it in the auction. Usually I say something like "either give me credit or remove it," the followup to which of course is report to e-Bay if they do neither.

At one time there was an informal "police squad" of Portable Typewriter Forum members who alerted me every time someone ripped content off of one or another of my sites -- and some of them even were e-mailing the sellers themselves to get the content off or else!

This hobby is always lots of fun, isn't it?

Duffy Moon said...

Well, if Will had a hand in building it, I hope it comes with its own geiger counter. Just to be safe.

That's hilarious.