Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Post(Card)-A-Day 14: Typewriter Valentine - Groma Kolibri Luxus

So that first question mark should have been an exclamation mark, obviously. But I noticed the mistake after I'd already scanned it, so let's pretend it was intentional, as in: are you having a Happy Valentine's Day? I hope so!

Catching the very last rays of "magic hour" lighting. Red background is appropriate for today :-)

This Groma Kolibri Luxus is in fair shape overall, but a few mechanical quirks keep it from being a very reliable typer: the above-mentioned stiffness (which I'm not sure how to improve as I have read that oiling is a no-no), the smudged text it produces (I did clean the type slugs and the ribbon looks fine, so it's a bit of a mystery), and the fact that the carriage locks when the paper finger is down - unintended by the manufacturer, I'm sure, but there is something catching in the mechanism.

Still, I have enough drama-free typewriters that this Kolibri Luxus can be left to slack off a bit. Even if she's not pulling her weight in the writing department, she adds to the collection in other ways! Here is the Groma badge in the back.

And here, the DDR badge.

Composing this typecast. Took a while to get this one page done, and then she was packed off to a life of leisure. This is the sort of typewriter that I'd probably whip out if I wanted to show off just one machine to a newbie. As long as you're not actually typing on it, it looks amazing and will surely elicit some gasps of admiration.

13 comments:

  1. Very nice looking typewriter. One day I hope to have a Kolibri, but not at Ebay prices.

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  2. It's a machine largely unknown in the UK, I think - but I still have my little heart set on one. There are some two toned ones on e(vil)Bay, but I've always thought the brown red looks nicer. That is, until I saw the ones on the pictures above!
    Thanks for sharing!!

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  3. That's a beautiful machine, Adwoa! T'is a pity that it's so temperamental, like a thoroughbred race-horse, or a Ferrari, or Naomi Campbell.

    And commendations to you on your daily posts during ITAM. You're over the half-way mark...by my watch. Well done, Miss.

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    1. Thanks, Teeritz! And a fine watch it is too, I'm sure :-) Trying not to jinx myself by looking back, so I'll just keep my head down and type away. Fortunately, typewriters and postcards to feature are in strong supply, now I just have to bring the typecast ideas...

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  4. Beautiful machine -- its big red grin is perfect for V-Day!

    The idea of a "luxury" typewriter made in a communist country always seemed paradoxical to me, perhaps an indicator of the deterioration of communist ideology.

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  5. The carriage-lock through paperfinger is intended. Same on mine.

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    1. Thanks for the clarification, PT. It is a strange way to go about locking the carriage, but it's good to know it was intended and not just a flaw on mine.

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  6. That's an astonishingly beautiful typewriter. And very appropriate for V-day!

    It has its own temper, like a diva. But it's a real treat to eye :) What first caught my attention about typewriters was their beauty, like this little "girl" :)

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  7. Aaaaaahhhhhhhh - I WANT THIS KOLIBRI LUXUS!!!

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  8. Too pretty to be relegated to storage, it's good that you gave it some TLC.

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  9. Lovely typewriter, perfect for a Valentine's post.

    Signed,
    The Predictable One

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  10. That is a lovely machine!

    I am new to the typosphere, having collected for about twenty years (and naively thought that I was the only one who didn't throw old typewriters away, but saved them).

    I have a Kolibri Luxus as well, that I just got (thought I was getting a regular Groma Kolibri), and I hope I'm not intruding by asking if anyone knows where I might be able to find some parts?

    Mine arrived with the plastic margin knobs missing and the paperfinger also missing, so no carriage lock, either. Otherwise, it's a beautiful machine and it types so well! I also have to comment positively on the Geha ribbon that came with it. Next time I'm in Europe, I'll have to see if I can find some. The fabric is such a high thread count that the letters print on the paper with razor sharpness--almost like a modern electonic.

    Mine also came with the spring to the button pressure switch missing, but I think I can find a generic spring to fit in there, maybe even from an old retractable ball point.

    Thanks for your wonderful and informative site.

    Joseph

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    1. Hi Joseph! Thanks for visiting and welcome to the typosphere! After twenty years, I am sure you have some interesting machines to show and fascinating stories to go along with them. The Kolibri Luxus, for example, is a rather rare bird that most collectors would be glad to find. As for parts, that is a whole other story - there really is no reliable source out there, other than getting a "donor machine" and harvesting parts. And with a typewriter as hard to come by as the Luxus, I think that would be a rather difficult task. You are better off making do and refashioning something to suit... if the machine still types in spite of all the missing parts, that is already a good starting point.

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