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Wednesday 3 February 2021

Magneta Typewriter

I'm keen to find out more about this QWERTZ-keyboard Magneta typewriter. I'm figuring it's a prototype of a smallish electric typewriter, dating from the early 1930s. My gut feeling is that it is Swiss, partly because the Keystone image is titled "machine à écrire" rather than "schreibmaschine". There was in this period a Zürich company called Magneta which made electric clocks without batteries or contacts, electric time stamps and time recording systems. It had branches in New York, London and Paris. There was also a German design engineer called Walther Inhoffen who patented in Switzerland components, including the frame, for an electric typewriter in the early 30s. I can't get a clear look at the writing on the front right, but it appears to say "System S. Opesenkin". Any assistance with information about this machine would be very greatly appreciated.


Thomas Fürtig said...

Hi Robert,

a very interesting prototype. The machine's design is based on the Orga Privat Model 1, made in 1923 by Bing Werke at Nürnberg, Germany. The carriage is exactly the same, also the segment is nearly identical. On the Orga Privat Model 2 in 1924 a vew very small changes were made, that are not present on the Magneta. So we can be sure, the Magneta dates from 1923.

Best regards,
Thomas Fürtig

Robert Messenger said...

Thanks Thomas. I thought the body looked familiar!

Richard P said...

Very intriguing. I thought it looked Orga-ish, so it's good to have confirmation from Thomas. That does not necessarily mean it was created by Bing.