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Tuesday 5 May 2015

50 Great Ladies, 47 Great Typewriters

Lithuanian-born German poet and illustrator Aldona Gustas photographed at her home in Berlin with her Hermes Baby portable typewriter in December 2011. (She seems to have an older typewriter in its case as well.) Gustas, born in the Lithuanian village of Karceviškiai on March 2, 1932, has lived in Berlin since 1941. Between 1962 and 1980 she published 11 poetry books and several anthologies. Many of her books also feature her drawings and graphics. In 1972 Gustas co-founded an important artistic forum in West Berlin, the "Berliner Malerpoeten", a group of artists who both wrote and illustrated their works. This group included Günter Grass, Günter Bruno Fuchs and Wolfdietrich Schnurre. The central theme of Gustas' poetry is love and playful eroticism in a Utopian world of fantasy. 
German actress, singer and voice actress Ilse Werner in a retirement home in Lübeck with her Adler Tippa portable typewriter in 1991. She was born Ilse Charlotte Still on July 11, 1921, in Batavia, Dutch East Indies, and died of pneumonia, aged 84, on August 8, 2005, in Lübeck.
Fashion journalist Karla Eckert in her office in 2000 with her Erika Model M portable typewriter. Eckert, born in Hamburg on August 20, 1908, died on June 12, 2002. She was a fashion writer for the German press agency DPA, having worked after World War II as a cultural editor for the British news service which became DPA.
Austrian television journalist Margret Dünser with her Adler Tippa portable typewriter. Dünser (27 July 1926-5 June 1980) wrote the book High Life.
American artist Caroline Raymond Mytinger at her Corona 4 portable typewriter in New York City in 1929 after returning home from three years painting in the South Sea Islands. Mytinger was born in Sacramento on March 6, 1897, and raised in Cleveland. In 1926 she travelled to the Solomon Islands and Papua-New Guinea with her childhood friend Margaret Warner and produced paintings and two books. Mytinger later settled at an art colony in Monterey on California's Pacific coastline. She died there on November 3, 1980, aged 83.
The great Greta Garbo (born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson in Stockholm on September 18,1905) is seen here typing on a Remington Model 2 portable typewriter as she plays the part of special Soviet envoy Nina Ivanovna "Ninotchka" Yakushova (Нина Ивановна "Ниночка" Якушова) in the 1939 film Ninotchka. The Swedish film actress was in 1999 ranked by the American Film Institute as the fifth greatest female star of all time, after Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman. She died in New York City on April 15, 1990, aged 84.
A German secretary uses a special bib and sleeve protectors in 1940.
In 1930 Leonharda Pieper Bötticher (1898–1977) types a script for her writer, comedian and painter husband Joachim Ringelnatz, banned by the Nazis in 1933 as a "degenerate artist". Joachim Ringelnatz (the surname meaning grass snake, or seahorse) was the pen name of Hans Gustav Bötticher. The couple married in 1920 and Hans nicknamed his much younger pupil-wife Muschelkalk (limestone). She became his indispensable assistant for all his publications.  
German writer Hedwig Courths-Mahler at her typewriter in her Berlin apartment in 1931. Born Ernestine Friederike Elisabeth Mahler in Nebra (Unstrut) on February 18, 1867, she died on November 26, 1950, in Rottach-Egern, Bavaria. She used the pseudonyms Relham, H. Brand, Gonda Haack and Rose Bernd.
The serenely gorgeous Klara, Stockholm-born Jenny Ingeborg Hässler Eberth (November 10, 1889-August 14, 1977), de facto wife of the Swedish "Match King" and crook Ivar Kreuger, sits at her early version Erika 5 portable typewriter to write her life story in 1932. Ingeborg Eberth was working as a physical therapist in Stockholm when she met Kreuger in 1913. She broke off the relationship in 1917 and moved to Denmark, where she married a Danish engineer named Thorkild Eberth (1887-1970). After some years however, she divorced Eberth and moved back to Stockholm to reunite with the evil Kreuger. The new period with Kreuger lasted until around 1928. Kreuger (1880-1932) was a Swedish civil engineer, financier, entrepreneur and industrialist who built a global lighting match and financial empire. The latter was in truth more or less a Ponzi scheme, leading to Kreuger being labelled a "genius and swindler" and to being described by John Kenneth Galbraith as the "Leonardo of Larcenists".
In March 1927, Lady Zoe Gertrude Dudgeon Oakley Maund Caillard, second wife of financier and Vickers, Sons & Maxim Ltd director Sir Vincent Henry Penalver Caillard (1856-1930), became the first "titled lady" to open her own chemist shop - at The Belfry on West Halkin Street in London. Lady Caillard was born in Marylebone, London, in September 1868. When she died in London, on January 16, 1935, half of her estate valued at £17,755 9 shillings and 8 pence went to her motor mechanic. She is seen here with an Underwood 4 portable typewriter.
An American secretary takes a breather in 1930.
Another one gives us a big smile, same year.
Austrian-born screenwriter Gertrude Fanny 'Gerte' Illing (July 21, 1904-May 1990) ponders what next to write with her Remington Model 2 portable typewriter in 1933.
Another serene beauty, seen here typing in 1933, is German-American writer Heidi Huberta Freybe Loewengard (aka Katrin Holland, aka Martha Albrand; born September 8, 1914 in Rostock, Germany). The 1950 American film Captain Carey, U.S.A. was based on her novel No Surrender, which concerns the workings of the Dutch underground during World War II. The author of more than 40 novels, Freybe began her prolific career in Europe before immigrating to the United States in 1937. Once in America, she enjoyed continued success, mostly as a writer of mystery and suspense novels, several of which were serialised in The Saturday Evening Post. Starting out as Katrin Holland, in 1935 she adopted the pseudonym Martha Albrand. Freybe became a naturalised American citizen in 1947 and was married first to Joseph Loewengard and later to Sydney J. Lamon. She died at her New York City home on June 24, 1981, at the age of 66. After her death, the PEN American Centre established the Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction in 1988 and the Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir in 1997.
British character actress Viola Mary Watson Lyel (1899-1972) at her typewriter in 1935. Born in Hull, Yorkshire, on December 19, 1896, Lyle enjoyed a long stage career, appearing in the West End and on Broadway. Her roles ranged from Shakespeare and Restoration comedy to melodrama and drawing room comedies. Among the writers in whose plays she created roles were A. A. Milne, J. B. Priestley and Terence Rattigan. In films she had a career lasting almost 30 years. Lyel died in England on August 14, 1972.
Typing on a Remington Model 1 portable typewriter in 1932 is gastrologist Martha Tützen von Zobeltitz, wife of German writer and journalist Fedor Karl Maria Hermann August von Zobeltitz (1857-1934).
A very serious young American typist, 1935.
Working an Adler Modell 7 typewriter in 1936.
Mrs Jessie M. Pickens (born 1902), a state board of health secretary with the Works Progress Administration in Jefferson City, Missouri,  in  1937, was the model for the typist and the sunbonnet girl in painter Thomas Hart Benton's History of Missouri mural (below). Jessie and Thomas were childhood friends.
A happy, fresh-faced young secretary at the Olympia typewriter headquarters in Berlin in 1938. Little did she seem to know, or care, that big changes were just around the corner.
Another attractive German secretary in 1938.
Baroness Heinke von Löw and Steinfurth works for the Red Cross in Berlin in 1940.
A German secretary with her Triumph typewriter in 1941.
Her Triumph wielding counterpart in 1954. She is Liselotte Schmidt, 28.
A keen Olympia typist in 1941.
A German secretary tests out the then new Olympia SGE electric typewriter in 1950.
Rut Hansen Brandt (born January 10, 1920), Norwegian-born writer and one-time wife of German chancellor Willy Brandt, types on her Erika Model M portable typewriter in 1957. Rut Brandt became highly popular in Germany and a noted public figure in her role as First Lady of Berlin and the chancellor's spouse. Born Rut Hansen in Hamar, she worked initially in a bakery in Norway and then as a tailor's apprentice. At 16, she joined a socialist youth group which conducted political activities against the German occupation during World War II. In 1942 she fled to Sweden and married a Norwegian friend, Ole Olstadt Bergaust, who died in 1946. In 1944 Hansen met Willy Brandt, who had fled Germany. After Bergaust's death, Brandt and Hansen married in 1948. However, when in 1979 she discovered Brandt had had an affair with Brigitte Seebacher (later his third wife), Rut Brandt filed for divorce. The divorce was granted in 1980. When Brandt died in 1992, Brigitte would not allow Rut to attend the funeral - a decision which did not go down well in Germany. Rut Brandt died on July 28, 2006, in Berlin, aged 86.
German writer Gerlinde Zürner in 1959
German actress Brigitte Kaethe Grothum plays the part of Margaret Lois Reedle during the filming of the 1961 movie The Strange Countess (Die Seltsame Gräfin) based on Edgar Wallace's 1925 book of the same title. Grothum was born in Dessau on February 26, 1935. She has appeared in 50 films since 1955.
Swiss-born actress Liselotte Pulver ('Lilo') with an Adler typewriter, playing the role of Fräulein Ingeborg in One, Two, Three, the 1961 American comedy directed by Billy Wilder and based on the 1929 Hungarian one-act play Egy, Kettő, Három by Ferenc Molnár, with a "plot borrowed partly from" Ninotchka (see Garbo above), a 1939 film co-written by Wilder. The film is primarily set in West Berlin during the Cold War, but before the construction of the Berlin Wall. Fräulein Ingeborg is the sexy secretary of C.R. "Mac" MacNamara (James Cagney), a high-ranking executive in the Coca-Cola Company. Liselotte Pulver (born Berne, October 11, 1929) was one of the stars of German cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, where she was often cast as a tomboy. She is well known for her hearty and joyful laughter. Pulver lives in Perroy, Canton Vaud, on the shores of Lake Geneva; she also has an apartment at the Burgerheim, a retirement home near Bern.
A German secretary with the then new Olympia SGE 20 typewriter in 1960.
German writer Barbara Noack types on her Royal portable typewriter at her home in Berlin-Grunewald in 1965. Born in Berlin on September 28, 1924, Noack had to work in a munitions factory during World War II, but then returned to study at a Berlin art school. Her career started as an illustrator and journalist for various Berlin newspapers. Noack's second novel, The Zurich Engagement, in 1955, was a major success. In addition to conventional love stories for a female readership, Noack described in later works in her own experience as single mother with a ​​teenage son. The author lives in Berg am Starnberger See.
German communist and political publicist Margarete Thüring Buber-Neumann at her typewriter in 1968. Buber-Neumann was born in Potsdam on October 21, 1901; she died on November 6, 1989, in Frankfurt am Main. The daughter of a Potsdam brewery director and sister of journalist Babette Gross, she came through the Wandervogel movement and joined the Young Communist League of Germany (KJVD) and in 1926, the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). In 1922 she married Rafael Buber, the son of the Jewish religious philosopher Martin Buber. They separated in 1925 and divorced in 1929. Buber-Neumann became the partner of Heinz Neumann, a member of the politburo of the Communist Party and member of the Reichstag. In 1933 she was in Spain and the next year pair moved to Switzerland. In 1935, Neumann and Buber-Neumann settled in Moscow, where Neumann was arrested in 1937, sentenced to death and was executed. As a "wife" and "socially dangerous element", Buber-Neumann in 1938 was sentenced to five years in a prison camp in Karaganda (Qaraghandy) in Kazakhstan. From 1940 she was detained for five more years at a Communist concentration camp in Ravensbrück, where she got to know Franz Kafka's friend Milena Jesenská (who died in this camp in 1944). Between October 1942 and the spring of 1943 Buber-Neumann was the personal secretary of the SS Oberaufseherin Johanna Langenfeld. On April 21, 1945, Buber-Neumann was released from the concentration camp and went to her mother in Thierstein. After World War II she worked as a journalist. Of great importance was her testimony in the trial Kravchenko against Les Lettres Françaises (1949).
Danish singer and movie actress Gitte Hænning-Johansson, seen here in 1970 with a Royal 10 standard typewriter, was born in Århus, Denmark, on June 29, 1946. She rose to fame as a child star in the 1950s and moved to Sweden in 1958. Hænning was among the most successful Schlager (hit music) singers in Europe in the post-war era, and continued to be popular in Germany and Denmark even as American music increasingly dominated the airwaves in the 1970s. Surprisingly she recorded a jazz album with the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band in 1968. In the 1980s she changed her image and performed more adult music. From 2004-06 she starred with two other Scandinavian entertainers, Wenche Myhre and Siw Malmkvist, in a huge stage and tour success. The live CD of their show entered the German charts. She entered the charts for the first time in Sweden in 1960 and 50 years later entered the charts again, in Germany.
German actress and author Simone Rethel-Heesters is seen here at an Adler Univeral standard typewriter in their role as Monika Heyer in the television series Fuenf Tage hat die Woche. She was born on June 15, 1949, in Herrsching, the daughter of painter and designer Alfred Rethel, granddaughter of aircraft designer Walter Rethel and a descendant of the painters Otto Rethel and Alfred Rethel. From 1992 until his death, Rethel was  married to Johan Marius Nicolaas "Johannes" Heesters (1903-2011), a Dutch-born television and film actor and recording artist, with a career dating back to 1921. Active almost exclusively in the German-speaking world from the mid-1930s, he was a controversial figure for his actions during World War II and his success in Nazi Germany. As for Rethel, in addition to her work as an actress, she is also a painter and photographer, and is an ambassador for Germans to "grow old with dignity and remain active". 
Writer Esther Margareta Katzen Vilar is seen here using a Triumph Durabel portable typewriter in 1972. She was born on September 16, 1935, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and trained and practised as a medical doctor before establishing herself as an author. She is best known for her 1971 book The Manipulated Man and its various follow-ups, which argue that, contrary to common feminist and women's rights rhetoric, women in industrialised cultures are not oppressed, but rather exploit a well-established system of manipulating men. Vilar's parents were German-Jewish emigrants. They separated when she was three. In 1960 she went to West Germany on a scholarship to continue her studies in psychology and sociology, after studying medicine in the University of Buenos Aires. She worked as a doctor in a Bavarian hospital for a year, and has also been a translator, saleswoman, assembly-line worker in a thermometer factory, shoe model, and secretary. In 1961 Vilar married German author Klaus Wagn. She later got a divorce, but claimed: "I didn't break up with the man, just with marriage as an institution".
Two German office workers admire the work of an Olympia SM 4 portable typewriter in 1950.
German poet and author Ingrid Hella Irmelinde Bernstein Kirsch at her Erika 14 portable typewriter in 1972. Sarah Kirsch was born on April 16, 1935, in Limlingerode, Prussian Saxony; she died in Heide (Holstein) on this day two years ago, aged 78. She changed her first name to Sarah in order to protest against her father's anti-semitism. She studied biology in Halle and literature at the Johannes R. Becher Institute for Literature in Leipzig. In 1965, she married the writer Rainer Kirsch. She protested against East Germany's expulsion of Wolf Biermann in 1976, which led to her exclusion from the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). One year later she left the country herself, nevertheless being critical of the west as well. She is mainly known for her poetry, but she also wrote prose and has translated children's books into German. According to one review, "the great German-language post-war poets were largely East German (or Austrian) born in the mid- to late-1930s, which included towering figures such as Volker Braun, Heinz Czechowski and Sarah Kirsch, who was the most prominent female representative of that generation."
Hitler keeps an eye on this secretary's typing in 1937.
A German secretary studies her notes before using her Triumph Norm portable typewriter in 1940.
This German secretary is still all smiles in 1941.
Not so much this Red Cross worker in Potsdam in June 1940, however.
Typing on her beautiful white Mignon typewriter in 1931 is writer and musician Hedwig 'Vicki' Baum. Baum was born in Vienna, Austria, on January 24, 1888. She began her artistic career as a musician playing the harp. She studied at the Vienna Conservatory and played in an orchestra in Germany for three years. She later worked as a journalist for the magazine Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, published by Ullstein-Verlag in Berlin. She was married twice: first, from 1914, to Max Prels, an Austrian journalist who introduced her to the Viennese cultural scene; and, from 1916, to Richard Lert, a conductor and her best friend since their childhood days. During World War I Baum worked for a short time as a nurse. She took up boxing in the late 1920s and trained with Turkish prizefighter Sabri Mahir at his Studio for Boxing and Physical Culture in Berlin. Marlene Dietrich and Carola Neher also trained there. Baum began writing in her teens. Her first book, Frühe Schatten, was published when she was 31. She is most famous for her 1929 novel Menschen im Hotel which was made into an Academy Award-winning film, Grand Hotel. She emigrated to the United States with her family after being invited to write the screenplay for the film. Her literary works were banned in the Third Reich. She became an American citizen in 1938. Her memoir, It Was All Quite Different, was published posthumously in 1964. She wrote more than 50 novels, and at least 10 were adapted as motion pictures in Hollywood. Baum died of leukaemia in Hollywood on August 29, 1960.
Dorothy Celine Thompson is seen here in 1930 using a Remington Model 2 portable typewriter while her husband, fellow writer Sinclair Lewis, uses a standard. Thompson was born at Lancaster, Erie, New York, on July 9, 1893. She was a journalist and radio broadcaster who in 1939 was recognised by Time magazine as the second most influential woman in America after to Eleanor Roosevelt. She is notable as the first American journalist to be expelled from Nazi Germany in 1934 and as one of the few women news commentators on radio during the 1930s. She is regarded fondly by some as the "First Lady of American Journalism". She attended Syracuse University as a junior, studying politics and economics and graduating in 1914. Shortly after graduation, Thompson moved to Buffalo, New York, and became involved in the women's suffrage campaign. She worked there until 1920, when she went abroad to pursue her journalism career. She was married three times, most famously to second husband and Nobel Prize in literature winner Lewis. She married her third husband, the artist Maxim Kopf, in 1945, and they were married until Kopf's death in 1958. Thompson died in Lisbon, Portugal, on January 30, 1961.
German actress, singer and writer Hildegard Frieda Albertine Knef (born Ulm, 28 December 1925) is seen here in Los Angeles in 1985 at a Remington SR-101 electric typewriter. Knef began studying acting at the age of 14, in 1940. She left school when she was 15 to become an apprentice animator with Universum Film AG. After she had a successful screen test, she went to the State Film School at Babelsberg, Berlin, where she studied acting, ballet and elocution. During the Battle of Berlin, Knef dressed as a soldier in order to stay with her lover Ewald von Demandowsky, and joined him in the defence of Schmargendorf. The Soviets captured her and sent her to a prison camp. Her big break in the US came in 1954 when she was offered the lead role in the musical Silk Stockings by Cole Porter, based on the film Ninotchka (see Garbo, above). Knef died in Berlin on February 1, 2002, suffering from a lung infection, aged 76. She had moved back to Germany after reunification.
German film actress Anneliese Uhlig types on a Remington SR-101 electric typewriter in Santa Cruz, California, in 1992 (and above that, in Santa Cruz in 1984, on an IBM Selectric typewriter). Uhlig, born in Essen on August 27, 1918, made her film debut in 1937, and went on to appear in a number of leading roles in Germany cinema during the Nazi era. She was also one of a number of foreign figures to appear in Italian films during the era.
German stage and film actress and voice actress Mathilde Dorothea 'Tilly' Lauenstein uses an electronic typewriter in Berlin in 1996. Lauenstein was born on July 28, 1916, in Bad Homburg; she died on May 8, 2002, in Potsdam. After attending school in Bad Homburg, Lauenstein went to Berlin and completed an acting course. Her first theatre role came at the age of 18 in Stuttgart. After the war, in West Germany, she took roles in dramas, comedies, thrillers and mystery and horror movies. As a voice actor, she was the German voice of Katharine Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman, Simone Signoret, Barbara Stanwyck, Deborah Kerr, Susan Hayward, Lauren Bacall, the English-speaking Marlene Dietrich and in Gone With the Wind Olivia de Havilland. One of her last jobs was the synchronisation of Gloria Stuart in Titanic.
German actress and pop singer Lonny Kellner-Frankenfeld types on a manual portable Triumph Durabel (without ribbon spools cover) in Wedel bei Hamburg in 2000. Kellner-Frankenfeld was born on March 8, 1930, in Remscheid, North Rhine-Westphalia; she died on January 22, 2003, in Hamburg. In 1952, Kellner made her first film appearance, as a pop singer with the song Manhattan Boogie in the film Queen of the Arena
German singer, dancer and actress Eva-Susanne 'Evelyn' Künneke with an Orga Privat typewriter on her desk at her home on the Charlottenburg Giesebrechtstraße in Berlin in 2000. Künneke was born in Berlin on December 15, 1921, the daughter of operetta king Edward Künneke and his wife, the opera singer Katarina Garden (Katarina Krapotkin). Evelyn received ballet lessons with Victor Gsovsky, acting classes with Ilka Grüning and Leslie Howard and singing lessons with Maria Ivogün. In addition, she worked as a fashion model. She was second solo dancer for the Berlin State Opera but made ​​a splash as a tap dancer in Berlin cabarets and music halls. In 1944 she was convicted of defeatism and sent to prison in Berlin-Tegel. She died of lung cancer in Berlin on April 28, 2001, aged 79.


Bill M said...

Quite impressive!

Anonymous said...

A wonderful collage of beauty and brains. That Durabel typewriter is very different from the one I have. Didn't know they made a new version after the war years.

TonysVision said...

We don't deserve posts this fine - but please keep it up. Wonderful.