Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Festival of Badges

I never saw a typosphere meme I wasn't keen to join in on! Let's start off with Herr Baggenstos's discreet label on my army-green Hermes 2000. This undoubtedly refers to August Baggenstos, who had a well-known outfit in Zurich and distributed many Hermes typewriters, as you can see on Georg's site. There is still a Baggenstos A. & Co. office machine company near Zurich listed in the phone directory...

Peeking in between the keys of my Underwood Golden Touch, one can see the stamp from Caesar Muggli branded on the bottom of the case. It is a discreet place for the badge, and does not mar the typewriter's appearance in the least.

Muggli apparently also sold my orange Hermes Baby, and again the label is under the ribbon cover, so quite unobtrusive. The Hermes Baby was guaranteed until April '79, and I can't help but notice that the typeface used for filling in the label is none other than Hermes Epoca. (I looked up Muggli in the phone book, but there's no trace of him.)

Signore Mazzoni was not afraid of marring this Adler Tippa with his labels. This one appears on the paper table...

... and here's another one on the back of the typewriter. His aggressive marketing must have paid off, as there is still a Mazzoni Office Supplies company listed in Locarno, and they even have a website at

 Moving closer to home, I would be remiss not to mention L. M. Campiche SA, an absolute giant in the distribution of Hermes typewriters in Western Switzerland, judging by the many labels of his I have come across. This warranty, which invites users to bring the typewriter in for cleaning and oiling (hey, I guess they have to make their money somehow) is to be found on my '58 Hermes Baby.

Here it is again, on the back of the same typewriter. There doesn't seem to be a Campiche office machines business in Lausanne anymore, but one wonders if this Campiche is related to the typewriter collector Philip Campiche:

Back to Zurich, this Hermes 3000 originally came from Armin Conte's shop. However, a phone book search shows no Armin Contes in the office supplies business.

Witzig was very subtle with the label on this boxy metal Hermes 3000. I never noticed it until I went looking! Witzig the office supplies provider appears to still be around and may be visited on

To switch it up, here's the badge on our Olivetti Valentine. We purchased it from Germany, and it seems the original shop was located in Bremen.

Finally, Willy Scheidegger. More of a typing instructor than a repair shop, but still noteworthy. 


  1. Great collection.

    Is it juvenile of me to snicker at the names Muggli and Baggenstos?

  2. I personally can't stop smiling when I repeat "Willy Scheidegger" over and over again...

  3. It's probably just my uninformed American perceptions lumping all foreign-sounding names into the realm of fantasy, but I can imagine these names on signs in Diagon Alley on shops selling magician's wands and jars of newt's eyes. :D

    In any case this repair shop label meme is certainly turning up some fun and interesting labels!

  4. Also, kudos to Herr Muggli for his practice of placing his labels in discreet places. As much as I enjoy these labels and am loathe to remove them on my own machines, I prefer they not mar the looks of the machine. (:

  5. Great fun, some really fine ancillary branding. I especially like Muggli's fat typewriter font.

  6. They certainly know how to use nice modern typefaces in Europe, those label designers...

  7. The last one brings back memories. My wife was a tutor for Scheidegger. When a new class started we had a roomful of their typewriters all with the little coloured caps on the keys.

  8. Post is officially FULL OF WIN. Nice collection there.

  9. Don't make fun of swiss names! :)
    Well, Baggenstoss and Muggli are Witzig (=funny), but Mr. Sonnekalb from the Valentine is even more absurd, it means sun-calf, and moon-calf is a swiss cuss. :)

  10. It is very gratifying to me that you research these companies to see if they're still in existence -- for some reason this fascinates me most of all.

  11. I'm glad you all liked this post! I suppose I have become accustomed to the Swiss names by now, but I agree with Ted Munk that Muggli and Baggenstos could be selling newt tails in Diagon Alley! I remember going to Locarno a couple of years ago and snickering whenever I read the acronym on the buses and trams: Ferrovie Autolinee Regionali Ticinesi (FART). Unfortunately, their website is the far less hilarious

    @Michael J. Corry: That's a great story! I have only seen those colored caps a few times on eBay auctions and once in Herr Wepf's house; they look like fun to use.

    @maschinengeschreiben: Now you cannot just go off without telling us what "moon calf" is in German and how it is used as a curse :)

    @Cameron: It was a fairly simple matter to peek in the phone directory for these names; I'm glad a few continue to exist in some form although I would be surprised if they even carried ribbons, let alone knew anything about manual typewriters!


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