28 de junio de 2015

St. Mecano - Patron Saint of Typewriter Repair

When in Lausanne, Switzerland, don't miss a visit at Jacques Perrier's typewritermuseum. Servicing of business machines is also Jacques' dayjob, and in his daily work he is protected by St. Mecano, patron saint of smooth repair.

 The Musée Perrier gives a great overview not only of the history of typewriters, but equally features all other items typically found in the historic office: calculating machines, staplers, dictation machines, you name it. This makes for a complete general impression of what our offices looked like in the 20th century.

Apart from the general exhibition, Jacques periodically arranges for theme exhibitions. These days, it's Olivetti.

The iconic ICO, and Xanti Schawinski's poster

The imposing and elegant Lexicon 80 electric

The much coveted Graphika, and yes @Richard, I looked up the serial number: 1810597

A beautiful blue Studio 42. We were not sure whether the feed-rollers are original.

The Big Three: Nizolli, Sottsass, Bellini

trompe-l'oeuil: not the real typewriter, but the arsenic theater's original program for the season 03/04

I always find it interesting to see a succession of models side by side. Here is the evolution of the Olivetti portable:

And no post shall be complete without a Hermes Baby. Here is the rather rare green variant:

Many thanks to Jacques, and wishing you all a good typewriter day! shordzi

23 de junio de 2015

Happy Typewriter Day!

Wishing a glorious Typewriter Day to all you Typospherians out there! Three points:

First, Monsieur in his own right:
Here is TC (the typewriter cat) wishing you good luck with your collection!

Second, today Historische Bürowelt number 1 0 0 !! arrived in my mailbox. Fresh from the press, and packed with beautiful stories. Hurray, and ad multos!

Historische Bürowelt Nr. 100, edited by M. Reese, published by ifhb.org

Third, Janine of UPPERCASE sent a Typewriter Day message (see here for more) and informs that their book "The Typewriter: A Graphic History of the Beloved Machine" is ready for pre-order! Sensational news, and not to be missed!

Doesn't that make for a nice Typewriter Day? Happy typing, shordzi


7 de junio de 2015


I recently joined Frank in the Lambert Club. His is a model 1, mine (serial number 4329) a model 2. Ever since I started collecting, this machine has exerted a strange fascination over me. I find it incredibly beautiful, and the life story of Frank Lambert is testimony of genius inventorship. We still know little about the likely co-developer, Eugène R. Pastre.

So I finally jumped on an occasion to buy one. A particularly well-preserved specimen. I preferred to see it with my own eyes before buying, so this was no e-bay transaction. I had seen Lamberts in the wild before, and very early on in my collecting career even passed on a (seen in retrospect) very good offer at a French collectors meeting. Prices for Lamberts are quite stiff, which on the one hand can be explained by the fact that is commonly agreed that the Lambert is a sought after model. But then, if it is true that 30.000 units were produced (cumulative US, GB and French production), and if the price is a function of the offer available, I cannot but reiterate the question Peter Muckermann asked 20 years ago: what happened to all those Lamberts? They fetch high prices at auctions, maybe a bit less so compared to 10, 15 years ago. Price lists like the one available for members of the IFHB confirm high level prices. Then again, there is other auction results where the Lambert scored much less.

Be it as it may, here it is, at my home. I attach some pictures as preview. My new pet project now it to  restore the writing function to a good level. The machine in the state it arrived did print, some letters better than others, but ok in general. Upon closer inspection of the manual and the actual ink-pad, I concluded that it is seriously worn out. As I haven't found original new old stocks of Lambert ink-pads, I am currently carefully experimenting with replacement material, and ink. To be continued...