Monday, January 3, 2011

Typewriter Ephemera: Tippa Manual

One of my goals for 2011 was to post up scans of the manuals I acquired with various typewriters last year. They are mainly in French and German, but I shall put them up anyway just in case the images are helpful and educational, or for my occasional German-speaking visitors. I shall start off with the manual from our earliest Triumph Tippa, which, to refresh your memory, is this one dating from the 50s:

Triumph/Adler (and Hermes as well) produced rather elaborate pamphlet-style manuals for its typewriters, unlike the one page foldouts that other companies like Olivetti favored. At the time this manual was printed, the company was in the habit of using a cartoon bellhop to illustrate the directions. Here is the front and back page:

Werner Leipold, I would imagine, is the original owner of this Tippa, and he must have typed his name on the front page. Note the image of the just-married couple on the back page. I suppose this is meant to emphasize the ubiquity of a typewriter for every household. Or something.

The bellhop makes his first appearance here, bringing you your neatly-cased typewriter with a smart salute. He is standing next to a table of contents that tells you where each subject is addressed in the booklet - keyboard (tastatur), ribbon (farbband), etc. On the next page, he shows you how to release the carriage lock and lifts up the plastic protector in the type basket (keeps the type bars from moving during transport).

Page 4 and 5 illustrate the paper release lever as well as the line spacing mechanism and margin settings.

On pages 6 and 7, Bellhop points out the margin release key and explains backspacing, shifting, and using the shift lock and spacebar.

 Pages 8 and 9 (the middle pages, note the staple) present a full picture of the machine and illustrate the paper support and the ribbon color selector (this model takes a single color ribbon, so the only other option is stencil mode).

Here is a veritable bellhop party on pages 10 and 11, showing you how to get the paper into the machine and line it up properly.

Now, here is how you want to insert the ribbon...

And finally, this large lever here moves up the paper as you type.

I believe this last page is warranty information.

That is it for the Triumph Tippa manual. As the model changed over the years, the Tippa manual retained its pamphlet structure, but the content was modified somewhat, including instructions in multiple languages. I shall show the later ones in due course as well.


  1. Nice. Clear, _straight_, cropped scans. That's what I expected from you. And I get to practice my German, too. Thanks.

  2. Michael - As always, thank you for your perceptive and detailed feedback!

  3. Ah, how funny! This little boy does have in girlfriend... her name is GABRIELE:

  4. Haha, that's amazing! I love Gabriele - she looks adorable.

  5. Hi! I have this same Triumph Tippa from 50s. Any experience reattaching the handle on these? Wire broke; doesn't appear attached by a screw, but rather a rod hammered in. Challenging

    1. To the top of the case that is...


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