28 de diciembre de 2012

A Wonderful Day at Hermes Welten

Hermes Welten (literally, "Hermes Worlds") is an office supplies specialist shop in Basel. For those collecting Hermes typewriters, the name might sound familiar. I had seen many stickers on old typewriters from the 1950s and 1960s bearing the "Hermes im Drachen" (literally, "Hermes in the [house of the] Dragon") label. It turns out that this company is still in business after all these decades, and even at the same location in Basel's Aeschenvorstadt 24.

Me being in Basel and this being such a traditional company was reason enough to go pay them a visit around christmas. Here is what I found (s. photos below). My thanks go to Mr. Bloch and his team, who welcomed me and took quite some time going through their machines in detail. It turned out that the company had amassed quite a good collection of typewriters as they went along in their business. Some machines, e.g., still bore the original tag from when they arrived and were incorporated / shelved in the collection. Very nice discoveries and a typewriter day well spent!

Hermes Welten will service your manual and other typewriters, find the right ribbons for you, etc. The address is:
Hermes Welten AG
CH- 4010 Basel
Aeschenvorstadt 24
im Drachen, 2. Stock

Christmas ambiance

What a nice shelf! Erika folding, Japy, Hermes and what I believe to be a Smith in sight.

Erika n° 4248

A Japy 3Y in excellent state. Serial number 3925. I got one of those and will produce a detailed report asap. This machine is a direct descendant of the Rem-Sho / Fay-Sho / Remington-Sholes line, tools and design were sold from the U.S. to France around 1909 when the American business shut down.

This Hermes No. 3 had collected quite some dust, but would still perform. It is an unusual specimen as the paper tray seems to be taken from the Hermes No. 2 line. Could it be that it was still used with early No. 3s? Cf. Will's summary here.

Bingo! One of the rather rare Hermes No. 2s. This one is serial number 1275.

A portable from the wunderbar Royal line. I recently discovered the excellent type-feeling of these little gems. Here is serial number C-1740432.

Erika 8 in beautiful condition. # 1189634 and already made in Eastern Germany - although on the back it only says "Made in Germany". What is common to the Erika line is the incredibly light touch. Then, the various models do differ, and the type feeling of the pre-war machines is quite different from say this one.

Oliver, distributed in Germany by the Stolzenberg company. # 125543.

Can you believe this beautiful NOISELESS? As recently seen in a shop in the Swiss Jura region, the general agents for Switzerland were "Kaden & Co." in Basel. Not uncommon for the time, this information is printed on the machine in English.

This nicely preserved MIGNON No. 3 with serial number 77340 also bears the labels AEG (Allgemeine Electrizitäts-Gesellschaft, the producer) and, less common, USG. This stands for Union Schreibmaschinen-Gesellschaft, which was the company established by AEG for distribution of the Mignon.

The "Christmas shelf" with a few selected beautiful machines.

The Junior, aka Bennett.

Hammond! Always a highlight for every collector.

A view of the keyboard layout.

An early and beautifully preserved Hermes 2000. You can see it is an early one as the usual Hermes 2000 attributes suc h as automatic tab-setting lever on the left side above the back space key is missing, so is the spring tension regulator on the back (not shown on the pictures). # 26135.

The cross-bow, logo of Swiss quality products as applied from the 1930s on. 

I bade farewell to my hosts at Hermes Welten, but the Oliver Stolzenberg followed me on the street. I took this as a sign and offered her a new home.

3 comentarios:

  1. Wunderbar! Ach ja, diese anhänglichen Maschinen...

  2. What a great place! I'll add them to my list of repair shops. Congratulations on your new pet!