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Tuesday 28 May 2013

Burgundy Triumph Norm-6 Portable Typewriter Beats the Quarantine Rap

This is a Bakelite typewriter, and a truly magnificent one at that! Serial #174881 (made in Nuremberg in 1936). The design, now that I take much closer note of Tony Mindling's Norm-6 (1944) on The Typewriter Database here, is quite different, with a sloping, more open top section, as opposed to a flat, straight-edged top section with nicely matching ribbon spool covers.
 (PS Tony, I haven't received your letter yet, but I like your theory!)
On somewhat calmer reflection, it seems that the original box was destroyed by Quarantine and Australia Post used a different box to very carelessly repack my valuable typewriter. The way it was dumped into the box in the repacking process strongly suggests to me that the damage to the machine was caused by Australia Post, and not in transit. I suppose I should expect nothing less of Australia Post, whose respect for other people's property is generally zip, zilch and zero.
On a much lighter note, but sticking with the theme of Germany and Sydney, here for your entertainment is a spectacular light show that was apparently associated with a performance by Kraftwerk last Friday:


Scott K said...

Our quarantine guys really do pay very close attention to things! Shame Australia post 'repacked' it that way. I can only hope that anything I bring across doesn't get such poor treatment.

Ms Jane about a year and a half ago had a heart-stopping moment, when she got a letter from Australia post informing her that her antique flax sheets - that she had spent a considerable amount of money on, were to be destroyed by Australia post due to 'seed infestation'.

I've worked with Quarantine before, and I knew this could be contested. At the time we were assuming the had spotted something akin to flax seeds in the 100+ year old flax.

Not so. After we challenged AQIS's assessment, they properly investigated and found that the seller had thrown in some lavender seeds to keep it smelling fresh. AQIS Gamma-rayed the package, charged us for the efforts and then sent them to us.

All I can say is - challenge anything these guys say and do. And importantly, yell at the post office for the poor packing effort.

TonysVision said...

Congratulations on obtaining such a beauty. And that it functions well in the end. I try to convince myself that a machine has more "soul" when it has a little quirk or two, like the Valentine that can't reverse the ribbon on its own, or the pretty red Corona 4 that usually cuts off the tops of characters, unless I put the lever in the "red" position, which then achieves a charming random bi-color effect. But it is a joy when they just do their job, and the Triumph (and the Olympias i have) do that.

Regarding that letter, no doubt it will eventually arrive when the provincially-minded sorters on this side figure out where Australia is, and the quarantine folks there decide that despite its origin in Northern California, it doesn't contain any mariuana

Robert Messenger said...

Hey Tony, you don't know how true that last paragraph could be. Many years ago I ran a very successful One-Hit Wonder series in The Canberra Times. The overwhelming winner was Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum, who lives in your neck of the woods. After I'd interviewed Norman (something BBC TV, for its own One-Hit Wonder series, couldn't manage to do), he volunteered to send some prizes to us to give to our "pick the No 1 hit" competition winners. You guessed it, Quarantine grabbed Norm's parcel, postmarked Northern California, and rifled through it!

Richard P said...

Nice light show on the tortoise orgy!

So is the top of that beautiful typewriter bakelite? I have an Adler 32 like that. Lucky thing it wasn't smashed into smithereens!

Dwayne F. said...

Mine is nearly identical right down to the Bakelite top. The action is light and crisp; easily one of my favorite typing companions.

I'm glad your machine survived the mistreatment.

P.S. Thanks for sharing the Kraftwerk video!

Robert Messenger said...

Thank you Scott, Tony, Richard and Dwayne for your comments.
Tony, the letter has arrived. Thank you!
Richard, trust you to remember the Opera House's proper name!
Yes, I think it might be just the top that is Bakelite.
Glad you enjoyed a little bit of Kraftwerk, Dwayne!