Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Cornucopia of Typewriter Sightings (Spring 2013) - Pt. 1

Spring is slow in coming this year, as I regrettably found out when I spent Easter break in Interlaken only to have decidedly unspringlike weather most of the time: rain, mist, sleet, and snow. I had planned to go up the mountains to sightsee (nothing too strenuous; lots of cable cars had been envisaged) - but with the awful visibility I realized my short weekend was better spent in other pursuits. Of course, the morning I was leaving, the clouds cleared somewhat and we got a glimpse of the mountains for the first time. Sigh.

Instead of going up any of the mountains pictured in this helpful diagram, we thought it best to spend Easter Saturday - the one working day of the break - shopping in Bern and seeing whether any thrift stores were open. It turned out to be an epic day... and I have so many typewriter sightings to share!

As I organized my pictures, I realized I had a few minor sightings from Geneva that had not yet shown up on the blog, so in the interests of thoroughness, I shall add them on here now. This will make for an extra long post with lots of images, so make sure you're comfortable and hydrated!

The Brother 220 above (techno, I believe) showed up at our flea market a couple of weeks ago.

That same day we came across this hulking Triumph Special - nothing special, don't be fooled. All that plastic... ugh, '70s typewriters.

Normally this plastic Erika would provoke the same flippant response I had to the Triumph - but in Arabic? Not something one sees everyday. Lovely. Another look:

Ok, on to the Bern sightings now. We stumbled upon a thrift store in Interlaken, and of course we had to browse and see if there were any typewriters! We weren't disappointed:

Rather ordinary - a Hermes Media, a tad overpriced at CHF 45.

Pleasant surprise - Olympia SM-7 with senatorial (techno) typeface: first time I've seen one of these in the wild.

Sad tale: Olympia Progress that would not keep its carriage in the center for love or money. It kept swinging back wildly to the other side each time I pulled it into position. No time to diagnose the problem, so I moved on - nice sighting, though, first time seeing one of these also.

Exceedingly ordinary: Hermes 3000 from the late '70s with techno typeface. Came with a warranty, though - a pretty good deal for CHF25.

Beautifully photogenic: this Remington Standard 12, going for CHF 65. Here's what it looked like from the front -

And now, the one that got away:

A mint-green Lettera 22 with print style typeface! For only CHF 15, this was such a good deal, and I was sad to leave it behind. I almost went back for it on Easter Monday as I was leaving, but the store was closed. Whew.

I didn't fail to take type samples, though.

In Bern proper, we found that one of our usual thrift store haunts had come up with a nifty dedicated typewriter display. Wow! A welcome development - I hope this is in response to increased demand. I took solo shots of some of these:

Brother Deluxe 1600 -in very good condition, if not especially remarkable.

Olympia Traveller de Luxe - I had a look under the hood to see if it was perhaps script, but no luck. I used to have one of these and certainly don't miss it!

Triumph Gabriele 10 - I've seen a few of these over the years, but this one is styled a bit differently than others I've come across.

A late '70s Adler - note how the keys are the same size and shape of the Triumph above; they definitely share a family resemblance.

Shiny! And really just stunning, down to the keys and decals. An Imperial "Quiet" 55.

A hulking Royal... KMG, is it?

And, on the last shelf, a Smith Premier standard.

 A Hermes Ambassador - not much to say, fairly predictable.

But perhaps not as predictable as this late '70s Hermes 3000; this was the second sighting on that day.

Another plastic Triumph - some office must have been cleaning out closets that had last been opened in the '80s...

For a change of pace, a Lagomarsino-Totalia adding machine.

--- Whew, so many more pictures to go! Just as many as I have already posted. Well, there will need to be a part 2 because this post is already pretty picture-heavy. Watch out for the rest later this week: the best is yet to come!


  1. we were just chatting about an arabic earlier this evening. It would mean learning some of the language, at least in written form, but it would be worth it. Great pics as ever. Looking forward to p.2

  2. Oh boy, it's springtime again in typewriterlandia and Adwoa is back dismissing some really cool machines as "exceedingly ordinary." Good to see you doing what you do best!

    That green Lettera 22 would have been an absolute steal, I would have lost sleep over that one!

    1. I would have snapped that up too. I love the print typefaces.

  3. This is fun! Evidently you "bagged" more typewriters on your photo safari than I did on mine. :)

    I find two things breathtaking here: the Imperial 55 and the photo of Interlaken. Maybe I can pick up one of those Imperials when I'm in London this summer and haul it back home!

  4. Wow, just wow! The Imperial 55 is gorgeous! The Lettera would have been irresistible to me, but most of the Letteras that show up here are kinda ugly colors and moldy.

    My safari last Friday turned up a few common portables and some really battered standards. You reached your bag limit!

    As for the Adler, you might be surprised about the plastic content. Other than the horizontal grill insert above the keyboard, mine is built of very sturdy aluminum with thick paint that almost makes it look like plastic.

  5. Nice assortment. I wish I could find them as frequently as that here!
    I agree with Dwayne - Nice Imperial.

    My Olivetti 22 has the same typeface, and is the same colour! Just in considerably nicer condition.

    Great post!

  6. Hello,

    Is the Arabic Erica Typewriter for sale??

    Nice photos!


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