Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Typewriter Ephemera: Hermes 3000 brochure (c. 1958)

I would imagine this brochure was released by Paillard in 1958, the year that the curvy Hermes 3000 was first introduced, to tout its benefits to potential buyers. We found this with the documentation for a Hermes Media 3, which is basically the 3000 without the red margin indicators. This is actually a one-sheet foldout, and when folded it is half this size lengthwise. So what we are actually seeing here is the front and back page: the front page showing how closely the machine fit into the clamshell-style case, and the back page showing how it is so light it can easily be hoisted up by a wasp-waisted secretary. Hmm. Don't know about that.

A couple of pages in the foldout are designed to be read together, as seen above. The brochure is in French, and the machine pictured actually has a keyboard with a Swiss-French layout. This tells us that Hermes is revolutionizing the "large portable" industry by introducing the most complete portable in its 20 years of operations. The colorful arrows tout some of these revolutionary features, including visible margins in front of the paper, an integrated base, and the three-position ribbon switch that prolongs the life of the ribbon.

Right in the center, a beautiful picture of the Hermes 3000.

Every design element is well-thought out and very deliberate, from the construction of the outer casing (which protects the internal workings from dust) to the length of the carriage return lever (which is also made to fit snugly inside the case when it is closed). In the last image on the left, the case shown is an earlier version that was modeled after the successful design of the Hermes Baby's case: the button on top releases a latch that opens the case. I think this is a rather elegant design (photo here) and I have no idea why they discontinued it! Probably the later version was cheaper to produce...

 The last couple of pages are not as easy to scan together because it's on opposite sides of the same section, so here we go. More elaboration on the advantages of the 3000, together with an annotated diagram.

Finally, this last page shows a diagram of what happens when you type, and also assures buyers that the 3000 facilitates easy maintenance by making it simple to reach the inner workings of the machine just by taking off the carriage (I haven't tried it, though). 

The Swiss have fed off the reputation of their watch industry for centuries, and so the closing words of this brochure are: "As accurate and reliable as a Swiss chronometer."


  1. Very nice piece of ephemera, thanks!

    I've taken the carriage off a 3000. It's easy. What's hard is getting it back on ...

    I think the 3000 was introduced in 1958.

  2. I know the drawstring was painfully simple to replace. And how can you not like those curves?

  3. Oops, date corrected. Thanks, Richard! My fact checker was fast asleep last night...

  4. I also recently "rediscovered" the virtues of the Hermes 3000. Living in Switzerland, it is a bit like the story of the prophet in her own country... I made an overview of most existing variations (3 out of 4 I know of) on http://typewriters.ch/collection/hermes_3000.html . It also seems to me that with later models, techno script is a very common typeface. thanks for posting this great brochure!


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