27 de noviembre de 2013

New Kids on the Block

Robert Messenger week on Sommeregger's Sammelsurium is slowly drawing to a close. I was thinking hard of how to make this a fun entry. I came up with the idea to put you, dear readers, to think a little.

I got these from a friend. Now it's the old guessing game - your turn please: // the solutions are on the bottom of the page, so don't scroll too fast // ==> & let us know how high you scored. Ok you are ready - steady - GO!

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 ******** SPOILER ALERT ******** HERE BE TYPEWRITERS********* SPOILER ALERT******* HERE BE TYPEWRITERS**********SPOILER ALERT*********HERE BE TYPEWRITERS*******************SPOILER ALERT********************************
















type samples (in millimeters, mind it)


1- # 3467463

2- # L5882622

3- # 4C136691

4- # 375392

5- # R 325522

6- # 3244368

7- # 15-7193636

8- # 3590724

Here is a bonus (which also came in recently): Empire N° 2, # 108707

25 de noviembre de 2013

Typewriters in the House of History Bonn

I took the occasion of my stay in Bonn, former capital of the Federal Republic of Germany, to visit the "Haus der Geschichte", i.e. "House of the History of the FRG". The project of a museum dedicated to German history after 1945 had been in the pipeline since the 1980s, and was opened - already after the unification - in 1994. As a trained historian, I was curious how the Germans would go ahead with the task of displaying and reflecting their history. I must say, I was more than pleasantly surprised. The permanent exhibition follows a chronological trail stuffed, but not overburdened, with facts, but especially artifacts, historical and daily life objects which make history "begreifbar", visible and comprehensible.

Wouldn't there be any typewriters on display??

*** SPOILER ALERT: YES THERE WERE! ***

"Salonwagen 10 205", the special (State) train, originally constructed for Hermann Göring in Nazi-Germany in 1937 (then numbered Sal 4ü-37), used after WWII by the Western Germany's top ranking officials, namely chancellors Konrad Adenauer, Ludwig Erhard, Kurt Georg Kiesinger and Willy Brandt.

Here we see the typewriter displayed in the compartment of the Sonderzug 10 205. It is a Triumph standard machine. I couldn't give it some closer inspection, unfortunately, but according to me, this is a Triumph Matura, in its "Super" variant provided with a special paper inserting lever (cf. Dingwerth, Lexikon, p. 572)

The Triumph Matura models were produced between 1950 and 1960. 

Moving closer into the permanent exhibition, we are now in the period immediately after 1945. This Seidel & Naumann IDEAL typewriter is displayed in the context of efforts to organize life in the close to chaotic circumstances following 1945, with hundreds of thousands of Germans fleeing from the East, needing shelter, and hundreds of thousands of people looking for their family members which were lost in the turmoils of war and the immediate post-war. The German Red Cross for example established a search service, filling file after file, and often on typewriters, when available.

Here we look at the Eastern zone of Germany, the Soviet-occupied territory which would become the German Democratic Republic in 1949.  Many companies located in the Eastern zone are nationalized after 1945, they become "the people's property" (VEB = Volkseigener Betrieb).  This is also the case of many well-known typewriter companies, as the majority had their seats and plants in the East. Here we see the example of a Wanderer Continental typewriter, now "VEB Büromaschinenwerk Wanderer-Continental".


The Erika line of typewriters goes back to 1910. At the time of production of this Erika No. 8, the company, now state-owned, was called "Mechanik vorm. Seidel & Naumann VEB Dresden". Model 8 was produced from 1949 to 1952. I do have a model 9 in my collection. The picture recalls and raises our consciousness as to the political circumstances of the production period: here we see comrade Stalin being congratulated and honoured on the occasion of his 70th birthday in 1949. You see how aptly the House of History puts together objects, with immediate effect of awareness-rising.


Stalin, Erika


Here is the machine of Theodor Heuss (1884 - 1963), first President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1959. It is aptly described as "indispensable tool of a successful writer and publicist". Heuss had been a writer in his own right and had worked as a political journalist. This Groma Model N was labelled as produced in 1941.

Another prominent typewriter on display is this Klein-Adler 2 having belonged to the renowned physicist and philosopher Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (1912 - 2007).  On Nov. 19th, 1956, he and 17 other leading nuclear researchers wrote a letter (on this very machine) addressed to the secretary of defense of the FRG, strongly opposing the government's plan to arm the Bundeswehr with tactical nuclear weapons. This initiative became known as the "Göttingen manifesto".




We are in the Wirtschaftswunder times, and German exports are growing. Amongst them, calculating machines and typewriters. Here we see an Olympia SG1 in its crate, and ready for shipping.



One nice Adler poster to conclude our visit.
To be continued after my next visit to the museum - it was so large that I only made it into the 1950s.

24 de noviembre de 2013

22 de noviembre de 2013

A quick look at the Jolux Electric 600

Sommeregger's Sammelsurium feels very much obliged to respond to typospherians' requests. As suggested by Richard, here is a quick overview of the electric toy typewriter I took home from Cologne. It is the Electric 600 model produced by Jolux. I am still searching for information on this company. Working hypothesis is that it is a French company, and that the name would derive from "jouets" (toys) and "luxe"? TO BE ASCERTAINED. Until then, some evidence of this rather original construct:


Cologne meeting II - The Parking Lot

(continues from Part I - Breker Wonderland)
After the brief detour to Breker's, we continued to the relatively close-by parking lot (it's about 10 minutes drive, but walking, yet again, would be impossible - collecting is car business). A parking lot? Yes, THE parking lot. It might sound strange but the parking lot of the Decksteiner Tennisclub is the main meeting point and attraction of the bi-yearly collectors' meeting under the auspices of the German collectors' club IFHB. These meetings take place in Spring, and in late Autumn, so: warm, cold, warm, cold. This time it was the "cold" meeting, and we would notice after a few hours, with the cold creeping in from underneath our feet. So the concept of the gathering is to spend four hours on a parking lot? YES INDEED! And it's a great meeting! Cologne is ideally placed for collectors living in Germany, nearby Netherlands, Belgium, but also France. It is a densely populated area, and for many German collectors it's within a couple of hours drive. Which makes for a nice day trip. Others, e.g. coming from Basel in Switzerland, certainly have to spend the night in order to be on the parking lot on time. The second paradox is that the Breker auction and the parking lot event take place at the same time! So unless you split yourself in two, you will have to choose the one over the other. This makes it an ideal place for typewriter collectors couples, where the husband would go to Breker and the wife in the meantime secure the scouting on the parking lot. No joke, this is happening. And as you know, the early bird catches the worm.
I was happy to at least have a look at Breker's, but we then skipped the actual auction in order to be at the parking lot IN TIME. And I was. Only my wallet wasn't. So I took a couple of pictures, for the glory of the mythical parking lot, and in order to collect some eye-candy for you, dear readers in the typosphere.
Speaking of the TYPOSPHERE: this year, the mythical parking lot added to it's already rich history by hosting the FIRST COLOGNE MEETING OF THE EUROPEAN CHAPTER OF THE TYPOSPHERE. As you know, we are not so many over here in Europe, and apart from occasional Swiss meetings, and - if I recall correctly - a transborder meeting between Switzerland and Italy organised by maschinengeschrieben last year, these real-space encounters are still rare. So I was very happy to be introduced to Frank from Frank's Typewriters over at http://schrijfmachine.blogspot.com. This made the freezing quite enjoyable, and I already look forward to future meetings.

PS: there is a nice restaurant just on the spot for warming up and a decent meal.

Here is some impressions:

A beautiful Masspro! Next time I should take some more pocket money.

Early morning, but everybody in a good mood

Lambert!! Dream!! Next time!!

A Polygraph. Very very special.

A table plentyful.

A Melotyp music writer (detailed photo of keyboard below)

et encore, encore, encore

This picture was taken right at the beginning - best be there around 9 for the best worms.

An Austrian "Courier" (Oliver), an electric toy typewriter "Electric 600" by Jolux which I eventually bought, and a Mitterhofer model. Above, a Babycyl.

A Conti portable, special because of the Chinese characters below the main decal. Made me think of history, and the Jewish refugees in Shanghai.

What a nice booty, with a "Radio" inside

This beautifully preserved Princess I didn't buy this time. Regret, regret!

This boot is made for typing (and calculating)

Lord fill my pockets with money so I can buy them all

Germania N°5

I also had to pass on this nice Monarch Pioneer, which would fit my collection perfectly. Regrets, regrets...

Talking, swapping, and haggling is the name of the game.

A "Piccola", rather rare.

At the board meeting, our new secretary was taking notes.

Excellent Knödel and Gulasch

DRGM 639849 (which I couldn't locate)

DRGM 227046 (too lazy to look it up)

Photo hunting

One more coffee?

The Armada: park, get out of the car, trunk's open - yes!!

It's Christmas soon

Mercedes Elektra





I was particularly happy to meet with the editor of the mythical typewriter magazine "kwartaalblad voor de schrijfmachineverzamelaar". I recently bought the entire Kwartaalblad (later also: Dutch Q) collection and am reading it as I go along --> true pioneer work, true treasures!! (more on this magazine later)

postscript 1, as the blogger photo upload skipped a few pictures at first: keyboard of the Melotyp for typing music scores

PS2: Hammond and Oliver

PS3: No typewriters??!?

PS4: now you tell me what that is


  That's all folks. Long live the typosphere!