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Tuesday 26 February 2013

A Brilliant S(hiny) Portable Typewriter

So this is how it goes:
1.   A “Brilliant’ typewriter pops up on Australian eBay.
2.   Never heard of a Brilliant typewriter, says I. Is it a brand name, a model name or a just an enthusiastic seller's description?
3.   Check Will Davis web pages. Can’t find a Brilliant.
4.   Check Georg’s sites, check Richard Polt’s site, check Alan Seaver’s site. No Brilliant.
5.   Do a general web search. No luck.
6.   Must be a mistake, says I.
7.   Put it on Watch List.
8.   Thirteen seconds from end of auction, already 14 bids and over $100 ... but curiosity gets the better of me. Put in bid.
9.   Win.
10.                 Intensify searches. If only I knew what country it came from, that would help track it down. Looks vaguely Japanese. A Nippo, perhaps. Has that sort of Royalite look about the front. That suggests Nippo, too. Think Atlas, Baby Alpina, Condor, Rexina …
11.                 Days later, note from Post Office in letterbox to pick up parcel.
12.                 Pick up parcel.
13.                 Tear open packing, what little there is of it.
14.                 Yes, it says “Brilliant S” on the front.
15.                 Yes, it’s a brilliant red, all right - eBay photos didn’t lie.
16.                 Ah, “Made in Western Germany”.
17.                 Straight home. On to Internet.
18.                 Cracked it! Will Davis has all the answers on the Davis Typewriter Works blog.
19.                 Will (who owns it as a Collegiate) has had the good word from Thomas Fuertig. It’s an ABC. Marketed by Neckermann as a Brilliant S.
20.                 ABC? Think Cole Steel.
21.                 Get out Cole Steel, compare. Workings identical.
22.                 Now, Will says I can find the patents.
23.                 Yep (many minutes later), there they are.
24.                 Patents applied for by Kochs Adlernahmaschinenwerke AG, Bielefeld, Germany in March 1960, issued September that year.
25.                 Wow! Thanks Will! You’re a champion! First I have a lovely little gleaming, snappy red typewriter that I’d never heard of a weeks earlier, now I have its patents. Can’t beat that!
Yes, I know, I've already mislaid the little clasp from the front, but I'll find it again ...


Raivo said...

When I did get mine Brillant S from ebay, I had my fingers crossed - please be in metal shell, please be in metal shell! But it happened to be mostly plastic. Beautiful typewriter nevertheless.
Also mine is without ribbon color selector.

notagain said...

Brilliant post!

Richard P said...

Wow! That Brillant is SO good looking in red! It looks like a '50s sports car. You have added a new machine to my wish list.

Duffy Moon said...

Beautiful. I think I've already made it clear that I happen to love my Cole Steel. The fan club seems to be rather on the small side, though - perhaps this shiny red "Brilliant" could win a few people over!

Crystal said...

So shiny~ Will keep my eye out for one of these! Thanks for sharing!

rino breebaart said...

great little narrative!

Will Davis said...

Very glad I could help... and now I see that both you and Richard Polt as well have machines of this body style. I think it's really interesting to compare these to the Cole-Steel and the later ABC variants with modifications. Great post!

Robert Messenger said...

Hi Will. Sadly Richard's machine arrived in Cincinnati smashed to bits in transit, so I am bringing my one with me to the US in October to give to him. I will see you at Herman's then. I have also just acquired an ABC 3002, which I will post on soon.