Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer 2011: Typewriter finds in Geneva II

This was part of the flea market on a cloudy Saturday morning last week. The vendors pull up in their vans and offload their wares on the pavement. Pink Panther seems to be in a rather unfortunate position... The market was not quite as populated, perhaps due to the threat of rain. Nevertheless, somewhere in that jumble, there was a typewriter to be spotted:

Predictable, no? A heart-warming sight, nevertheless, better than not finding anything at all. It occurs to me that I have not had the chance to use one of these Hermes standards, despite knowing my way rather well around their portable line. Maybe if I snuck one home and hid it under the bed, no one would notice?

This Royal flatbed Model 5 was waiting to be discovered a few meters away. The French azerty keyboard scared me off, but it was still a nice find. The only other place I've seen one of these was in  Georg's collection.

What else? Ah, this wholly-plastic Olympia Traveller S. I believe these were still being sold brand new just five or so years ago - has anyone had a chance to give them a try? It's carriage-shifted, I think; I didn't check. I wasn't even slightly tempted to ask about it, but I can see how it would be intriguing given its very recent vintage.

Before pouncing on my Underwood Universal Golden Touch, I found this Facit Privat in the same thrift store. The QWERTY keyboard was a welcome discovery (with additional Swedish letters on the bottom row, though), but the typewriter's keys would not move for love or money - it seemed completely frozen. I was too busy cooing over the Underwood to examine it any further...

Spotted at the flea market a couple of weeks ago: some fellow offering playwriting lessons advertised his services with a picture of a Swissa Junior.

Not too far from Professor Playwright, a handsome Remington standard basked in the sun. With the carriage lever on the "wrong" side and the ruler in front, it reminded me of the Continental standard I used at Herr Wepf's house back in May.

This blue '30s Royal Portable was very lovely. I don't hear much about these, anyone used one?

While this plastic Triumph Gabriele 25 was decidedly unexciting. Clean, though, and well-maintained.

I still look out for globes at the market and find plenty to look at, but I decided to only put up pictures of the more unusual ones. I think this certainly qualifies!


  1. Far out... it's amazing the machines that rock up in Switzerland! In contrast, Australia seems like a trash zone of boring 70s machines, and those horrible Canon TypeStars.

    That Hermes looks pretty darn good for its age. The binoculars make it look like a machine used by a horse-race reporter from the late 40s, chomping on a cigar as he watches the ponies go round the track.

  2. Adwoa, your flea market sightings are simply second to none. I always enjoy them. I tested an Olympia Traveller 8 in the Berkeley Typewriter Shop, it didn't make an impression on me precisely because of the light plastic.

    You should have considered buying the globe at least!

  3. A very nice Hermes no.4 and I would have certainly haggled for the Royal Standard 5. I recently discovered the Facit portable - it has a very special writing feeling to it, also the way the carriage slides, very special. Ingeborg Bachmann, a well-known writer, used the Facit for a while.
    Just got another Royal Standard - my first 5 actually, as the other one is a no.1. The new Standard 5 was completely dirty, but all dry dust, no humidity, so mechanically it is in very good shape.


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