15 de abril de 2011

Ala - one more wing found

Good news! I just received a parcel from Germany - inside a rather rare Hermes Baby variant, namely the Italian made "Ala", licensed from Paillard, who produced the Hermes Baby in Switzerland. According to Schramm, Liste der Herstellungsdaten deutscher und ausländischer Schreibmaschinen, the Ala was produced from 1935 on, which is to say from the very start of the Swiss production. This machine has a rather low serial number - 1068 - and came in very good cosmetical condition. Mechanically, everything is in place, altough the rewinding mechanism of the draw cord is stuck - I guess I can solve this problem. The keyboard is Italian, but as I said, this machine was offered to me from a nice woman in Northern Germany whose grand-mother had used it.
Ala portable typewriter (6)
Ala, serial number 1068
Ala portable typewriter
ala decal - Italian for "wing"
The decal on the top left side is a silver wing - "ala" is the Italian word for wing. To the difference of Shane Slater's Ala (serial number 2991), there is no fascist "prodotto in Italia" decal on the top right side. Also, the serial number of my "ala" stands alone, whereas on Shane's machine, it says "(serial number) ITALIA".
Ala portable typewriter (2)
low serial number
Ala portable typewriter (3)
Top view with Italian keyboard
Ala portable typewriter (4)
Ala portable typewriter (10)
The Ala is still a rare find. Apart from Shane's coverage of his Ala n° 2991, I am not aware of other internet sources on the Ala. In ETCetera No. 80 of December 2007 (1), Jos Legrand presents an Ala n° 2315 (greenish colour). Just as the one presented here, these are "first generation" Alas (ribbon spools are not covered). The ETCetera article also features a "second generation" Ala with covered ribbon-spools (n° 3844).

(1) Jos Legrand, Matouš and the Baby... But who is the Father? On the Origins of the Hermes Baby, in: ETCetera No. 80, December 2007, pp. 3 - 5

6 comentarios:

  1. Another Italian, another logo. I wonder if the wigs are from Mercury's heels?

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  2. Very nice variation! That Italian keyboard looks like it'll take some getting used to (:

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  3. @ Rob: Either this... or from Mussolini's shoulder.

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  4. Congratulations, a rare find!

    There was an article on the Baby and related machines in ETCetera #80 with some details on the Ala.

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  5. Very lucky find! You are having a good week also, I see :-)

    I've never heard of the Ala, so this is all news to me - thanks for uncovering some more information about Hermes Baby variants! I suppose the next step will be for you to locate the ETCetera issue Richard refers to and read up on the coverage...

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  6. Great machine, well done Georg. And Jupiter aligns with Mars. But be very careful with the mainspring.

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