Monday, January 10, 2011

Typewriter Ephemera: Hermes 2000 Instruction Manual

This manual for a Hermes 2000 typewriter, written in French and produced for the Swiss-French market, came with a mint green Hermes 2000 with leatherette case that we acquired (and subsequently parted ways with) last summer. I did not write down the serial number, but I remember looking it up at some point and finding out it was manufactured in 1956. To refresh your memory, here is the typewriter in question:

To save some time and avoid repetition, I am reproducing here the pages of the manual that show the Hermes 2000 pictured. Other mundane instructions, such as how to change the ribbon/ use the space bar will be omitted as they are virtually identical for every typewriter. 

Like the Triumph Tippa manual I shared earlier, the manual for the Hermes 2000 is also in the form of a pamphlet. The front cover, shown above, reproduces the Hermes 2000 logo that is not used on the typewriter above, but appears on this one.

The second page goes on at great length about closing and opening the handsome leatherette case that came with the later versions of the Hermes 2000, as well as unlocking the machine for the first time after it leaves the factory.

 Here, we get detailed instructions on how to feed in the paper.

 Correcting the alignment of the paper

Now, this is interesting - I've never actually tried to make columns and draw lines with my typewriter, but I suppose it's comforting to know I could do so if I needed to.

 The "flying margins" that would later appear on the Hermes 3000 with red ribbon indicators are also present on the Hermes 2000 in an earlier version. Using the margins is just as complicated, like tying your shoelaces in the dark. This page also shows the tabulator (oops, all this time I thought it was a touch control regulator), and presents a list of the type styles that were available when this was printed: Economic, Diamant, Elite, Hermes Special, Pica, Large Pica, and Medium Roman. In terms of color, the Hermes 2000 seems to have been available in green only, and the Hermes Baby in gray only.

 A labeled diagram of the machine (with ribbon cover removed)  folds out from the last page of the instruction manual. 

Parts named - in case you ever wanted to know what to call the various typewriter parts in French!

Back page - don't forget to call your agent for a demonstration! 70 keyboard layouts available for all countries!


  1. This looks like one of the most detailed user's manuals for a typewriter ever!

  2. That's excellent! I have the exact German equivalent, so we can do a German-French-(and English) typewriter parts dictionary.

  3. Here it is (Hermes 2000 manual in Deutsch):

  4. Thanks for that, Georg! Now we can add Alan's manual to that:

    And we have all three languages accounted for. Awesome :)

  5. Thanks a lot ! A relative gives me a typerwriter hermes 2000. I am discovering how I can use it and I'm glad to find a part of the hermes 2000 manual in french. Do you think if you have time to send on your website the others pages of the manual in french ? (I think that you guessed that I'm french. I hope that I don't make to many mistakes in writing this message !)

  6. Hi Alexandre! Thanks for your comment. As you can see from the English and German manuals, the few pages from the French manual that I did not post are not absolutely essential... however, if you would like to have them anyway, feel free to send me an email and I will scan it for you. Otherwise, I shall find the time to do it later on and post a link here.

  7. Thanks for your answer. I will wait your post. I don't know yet when I will spend time to trully understand my hermes 2000. I can try to use english manual and if I don't manage, maybe I will send you an email.

  8. I have an opportunity to purchase a 2000 for $90. It appears to be in wonderful shape. The case is in excellent shape. I have not contacted the seller yet nor have I typed on the machine; it just became available this week.

    I'm wondering what you think. Is it a good deal for $90? How much should I expect to pay to have it gone through and brought up to snuff? Ribbons? Is maintenance a problem? Once a year to realign?

    Many thanks for taking the time to respond!

    Alain...San Diego

  9. Hi Alain,
    I think $90 - for a machine you can pick up and inspect in person - is a good deal. If it is in good shape, it is doubtful you would need to pay more for maintenance, depending on how much you use it. I have not heard of realigning typewriters once a year and I can't imagine that would be necessary for a machine that is in good working order. Any "going through" would probably be a light cleaning and oiling; nothing you can't do yourself. Really, for most typewriters (at least in my experience) the biggest investment is the purchase price - if they have been well-preserved and you treat them well, there is little to worry about. Ribbons can be a tad pricey, but it is possible to sniff out economical sources with a bit of looking. Hope this helps.

  10. Hello,

    As Alexandre (comment on January 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM), I am interested in then french manual.
    I sent you an email.


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