28 de febrero de 2012

contribute to the typewriter encyclopedia

Please join and contribute to wikitype.net, a wiki-based encyclopedia for typewriters and all things related.

Wishing for a good start,

yours, shordzi    

22 de febrero de 2012

I have a dream

I have a dream... just as Richard... it is the dream of an attractive and mysterious typewriter, invented almost 100 years ago.... I can feel it... it is near... it is somewhere here, in Switzerland, waiting for us to be gloriously restored to the typewriter throne, where it will be King...
source: A. Baggenstos, Von der Bilderschrift zur Schreibmachine, Zurich and Herrliberg 1977
 Above, we see the mighty "Sphinx" from the August Baggenstos collection. Not much is known, but some things are: Ernst Martin, in his epic "Die Schreibmaschine", states that it was put on the market in 1913. However, production was stalled at the beginning of World War I. In 1918, Martin continues, the re was a raise in the producing company's capital, but then (mysteriously...) "nothing more was heard of it."

"S.A. Sphinx" is named as the producer, so we can assume that a "société anonyme", a stock company, was set up especially for the purpose of producing this machine. No traces are found of this company... (but then again, this just confirms that it is a big mistake to belief that "everything is on the net", no no, reality is bigger than the internet, many treasures still to be unearthed)...

And SAMUEL GERTSCH was the man who invented it...

source: Espacenet
Both the factory and Samuel Gertsch were based in the settlement of Fleurier in the Swiss Jurassian arc (no coincidence, they found dinosaur skeletons in the region, ready to visit, Jurassic parc). Could it be that it is the same Samuel Gertsch born in St. Sulpice, Vaud, on Aug. 6, 1881, died in Neuchâtel in 1956? The dates would fit, and so do the places - they are all within 100 miles in the same region.
source: gooooogle maps

Thank you, Samuel Gertsch, for inventing such a mighty typewriter!

from CH69351
Identity of this patent and the actual "Sphinx" typewriter clearly shows with the screw on the fork-like middle part, and other visible details. Compare this with the photo above. You agree?
side view and type bar mechanism

So now, we need two Sphinxes... in the meanwhile, we keep on dreaming....

P.S.: Some more of Samuel Gertsch's inventions are documented, e.g. a spindle (1918) and a lifting jack (1932)

20 de febrero de 2012

Schreibmaschinenfest Basel

Time for a type-in in Basel! Everybody feel invited! By the time, it should be spring.
!Viva la typosfera!

Thank you for suggesting points for the programme - so far I could think of speed-typing, free composition, a typewriter beauty contest...
Does anyone have competition rules for speed typing? Maybe from a world championship? All suggestions much appreciated.  

14 de febrero de 2012

7 de febrero de 2012

Patria Swissa family

A few examples of this by now rather famous typewriter family.

My fascination with these truly Swiss typewriters continues... the more details I discover, the more interesting the story gets. Last year I visited the original PATRIA factory in Pieterlen. This "family" has been researched by Will Davis and was later on covered in ETCetera. I keep discovering foreign variants, for example the French "TYPO" or the English "BYRON" (made in Nottingham, and yet another chapter in the fascinating company history as discussed recently by Richard and Robert - great cross-references, the typosphere is becoming a very useful online compendium of typewriter history). Max Bill, who designed the round second shape of this portable, must have been proud of his highly successful product.

5 de febrero de 2012

Just in case ...

WHAT'S IN THE CASE? This is from the series "Essential tools for typewriter hunters, both male and female". And here it is: a field quiz as preliminary to a Field Guide to Typewriter Cases and Hoods. Train your typewriter hunter's eye to identify a typewriter even before you show interest or start haggling with the seller. Surprise your friends and family with your typewriter case identification skills! You can get the correct answer by clicking on the respective photo. Good luck!

case case case case case case case bag mystery case case   
So, how many did you get right?

4 de febrero de 2012

The thrift store on the other end of Switzerland

Some typewriter sightings in Basel:
Hermes Standard 6

typewriter in context

a brother LW-30!

And finallly - yes, you won't believe it: a ROVER 2000. And you know what: I bought it!

still snowing outside