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Friday 7 June 2013

A Volley of Torpedoes: 14 Great German Portable Typewriters, 1924-1974

Torpedo 18
(first series, 1936-51)
 The Torpedo 18 was first introduced in 1936 (see illustration below). Production of this model resumed after World War II, in 1949 (see advert, bottom).
(second series, 1951)
(Above, as the Blue Bird)

TORPEDO 20 (1951)
TORPEDO 30 (1960)
TORPEDO 700 (1961)
The Torpedo 700 (above) and the Torpedo 900 (below) were made by Remington at Des Bosch in Holland. They are a remodelled Remington Monarch and a substantially remodelled Remington Ten-Forty (Envoy II series), respectively, both designed by Carl Sundberg and introduced to the market in late 1959 and in 1961 respectively.
TORPEDO 900 (1964)
This model was made by Remington in West Germany and is a substantially remodelled Remington Mark II, which was designed by Carl Sundberg in 1965. The Torpedo-Blue Bird model was marketed through Blue Bird in London.
Below is the Torpedo Classic 18, which is simply a relabelled Remington Mark II. Unlike the 700, 900 and Torpedo-Blue Bird, it doesn't differ in structure in any way from the Remington.
TORPEDO 10/50 (1974)
Made by Nakajima in Japan
Torpedo 15 (1931)
The Model 15 initially had a swoop instead of a straight line between the turrets in front of the ribbon spools. The turrets were joined on the Model 16 (1933) as one piece. Both have much larger paper plates than the lower-profile Model 17 (1934).
The Model 15 as a Blue Bird
Model 17
A variation on the Model 17, with a collar around the top of the typebasket, was marketed as the Remtor (bottom) and the Deutsche Remington. Here it is as a Torpedo:
TORPEDO 14 (1924 and 1928)
As with the Torpedo 18, there are two variations of the Model 14. The first was an upgraded version of Torpedo's first portable, the Model 12. The second Model 14 has a higher, bulbous top plate (see above) and a much different carriage lever arrangement. The first Model 14 is seen below, relabelled here as an Imperial. 
Here it is as a Torpedo 14:


Unknown said...

Thanks for this post! Torpedoes have always been a special interest of mine, and I wasn't aware of some of the later Remington rebrandings. It's good to see the old ones that Imperial based their design off of.

Richard P said...

Great machines all! (Well, maybe not the Nakajima.)

Ted said...

Ok, I'm confused: how do two witches with pistols threatening a man peacefully smoking his pipe come to be part of a typewriter advertisement? I totally do not see how that would make anyone want to buy a Torpedo. :D

notagain said...

Forget it, Ted. It's NaNoWriMo.

notagain said...

Bob Montgomery, the Bremerton WA typewriter repairman, told me he helped reopen the Torpedo factory after the war.

Randy said...

Those 1930s Torpedoes look just like Royals. Am I high?

Machines of Loving Grace said...

Late to the party, as usual. Here is an image of a Deutsche Remington for the curious.

Incógnito said...

Dear Robert Messenger,
Thank you for the interesting post.
I am writing to ask for your help. I have lately bought a torpedo 10/50 just like the one you have posted above. It seems to work fine and in good condition. The catch is, I don,t know how to open the cover in order to exchange the ribbon. Could you explain me how or provide me with a link to a user manual or any other helping soul?

morethanvintage said...

Dear Robert, I need a manual for a Torpedo 10/15 typewriter. Do you know where a find one? Many thanks! Conny