25 de enero de 2015

Not so small

I was curious. Having read the entry on the "Gundka" typewriter in the Virtual Typewriter Museum (http://www.typewritermuseum.org/collection/index.php3?machine=indexgundka&cat=il), which mentions that "Die kleine Gundka" ("Little Gundka") is "a smaller version" of the Gundka, I wondered just how the models differ.

I was lucky to score one "Die kleine Gundka" on ebay. Apparently this variant is rather rare to find. Once arrived safely at my house (and I must say, German sellers always pack typewriters very very safely), I could juxtapose my new acquisition and a Gundka 5 which I had acquired some time back.

Here is what I found:

Slightly bigger case for the Gundka

The machines inside: mechanical differences, but roughly the same size.


This view reveals the more solid construction of the Gundka 5.
So, on first view, my conclusion was that both models are mechanically different - the Gundka 5 being more elaborate, especially on the ribbon mechanism -, but have roughly the same size.

T. Fürtig's list of German mechanical typewriters (exclusive for members of IFHB.org) shed a different light on my question: Thomas lists Gundka models 1, 3a, 3b, 5, and 7. My "Die kleine Gundka" corresponds to the model 1 specifications: 78 signs, 18cm platen, 2 thin metal platen knobs. My Gundka 5 fits the model 5 description: 84 signs, 22cm platen (list specifies 23), 1 solid plastic platen knob, rimmed keys, bell, scale in one piece (not divided).

From this I conclude that "Die kleine Gundka" is not really smaller in dimension, but corresponds to the first Gundka model produced. An additional question would be whether there exist "Die kleine Gundka" labeled machines corresponding to Gundka models 3, 5 or 7. For the typosphere to search...

update 25.1.2015: There is one "Die kleine Gundka" corresponding to model 3a in the list mentioned, cf. http://www.prehistoriadelainformatica.com/maquinas-de-escribir-typewriters/.

12 de enero de 2015

Typewriters on board the Zeppelin

Yesterday I randomly watched a fascinating documentary on the Zeppelin airships (Die Geschichte der Zeppeline - Vom Bodensee in alle Welt, on SWR). I was just expecting a typewriter to show up in the original footage. And there it was - I missed the first sequence of a reporter working away on a Remington portable, but then came Lady Hay: (all photos © SWR 2014/15)

The mythical Zeppelin - instrument of war and peace

Having a ball - Dr. Hugo Eckener (middle), a charming young lady at the right

 Lady Hay Drummond-Hay on board a Zeppelin airship

This clearly is a Remington portable No. 2
update: Robert Messenger kindly provided more information on Lady Hay Drummond. In 2009, a Dutch semidocumentary by D. Mensink and G. Nijssen about her life was released: "Farewell". See the preview here.

And here is some more pictures, and a historical document: