sábado, 19 de maio de 2012

terça-feira, 8 de maio de 2012

I'm back!

Hi :)

I'm finally back! After a long absence...

I'm well aware that there many post to read, lots of new acquisitions for me to envy and a great deal of news! I'll try to give them all a peek.

The movings are finally over :) After a dreadful month of packing, transporting and unpacking. And nor my old house nor the new has elevator... So we had to do it all by stairs. A nigthmare! For now all it's missing it's the stove but i'm expecting it to be delivered sometime this week and of course there are some new Ikea furnitures to assemble.

My typewriters lost their prominent place and are no longer in exposition like they used to in the old house. We've decided to change some of the decoration and now some of my favourites are yet in exposition but the rest are all packed in their cases and stored in the last shelf of the bookcase...

During this absence I took the time to buy one more typewriter but you'll have to wait until I officialy introduce it to the blog.  Now I remember, there are already two in the queue!

I've also found out a flea market that has some typewriters. It's only once a month but that's better than none. I'm soon hopping to have news on this matter.

This week I had the chance to watch "My week with Marilyn". And as always I like to share my typewriters spotting. This time it's an Hermes. Perhaps an Ambassador. I'm not sure, but it's huge...

sábado, 31 de março de 2012


Hi :)

It has been quite a long since my last post... But this last days my life has been a rollercoaster! I'm moving to another apartment, and this last days all I've done was taking measures, signing contracts and all those stuff. Today I've finally recieved the keys to my new apartement. Now I still have to paint it, clean it and then start moving all the furniture. Something tells me that is going to be quite an endeavour! Specially with a 8 hours a day desk job at the same time... And a lot of furniture!

So it is unlikely I will be posting again before May! I'll try to follow your posts and read the news.

Till my comeback ;)

sábado, 17 de março de 2012

Are typewriters becoming a trend?

Are typewriters becoming a trend?

Everybody seems to be talking about them lately… Although I'm just a newbie, I don't remember having ever seen so much media exposure around this machines.

Famous people are surrendering to this amazing machines and along with them their capacity to influence the masses. Typewriters have aroused curiosity and the media is publishing articles about them and doing interviews to typewriters collectors and enthusiasts!

After taking a peek at oz.typewriter we all get to know that Tom Hanks is a collector and a typewriters enthusiast. He has even influenced the director Steven Spielberg as we can see in "Tintin" where typewriters are present from the generic to the movie it self, with Tintin display is collection in shelves and an amazing blue Royal in his desk…

According to Type, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth... I've found out Zooey Deschanel is also a typewriters enthusiast (as we all can see by her nails in her last public appearance) and managed to incorporate this wonderful machines in her current show "New Girl".

Surely all of you remember the CBS piece on the Typewriter Reinassance were some familiar faces of the typosphere stared!

The author of the blog Manual Entry took some of his typewriters to a local school and the reviews and the enthusiasm around this machines was fantastic. The kids loved this initiative.

Even Adwoa's pictures from Retro Tech Geneva were used by a known fashion designer as a pattern to a dress, what has thrown typewriters to the runways and the fashion world.

Maschinengeschrieben and the Swiss Typopshere were published in Tages-Anzeiger, one of the most important newspapers in Switzerland.

Somewhere around the globe someone is talking about typewriters, writing about typewriters… And their apparitions in cinema are getting more frequent.

In "J. Edgar" we can see a parade of typewriters from various eras. Although only by a fraction of a second but they are a constant presence.

And others are yet to come. In "On the Road" we can see Kerouac's Underwood portable and his famous continuous roll of paper.

And in "Hemingway & Gelhorn" there seem to be as many typewriters as famous faces. An image of Nicole Kidman seating in front of a typewriter with a bottle of boose it's something impressive.

All of this leads me to think that typewriters are again in vogue! We are witnessing a typewriter revival as has recently happened to other objects that have already been forgotten (Ray-Ban sun glasses and Casio watches are godd examples of it). Each time there is more fuss around typewriters, more curious people asking and searching for typewriter. A few months ago when I've started to collect this little machines most people reaction was of astonishment. They could not understand why I was interested in a machine that was outdated. Today when I share my passion about typewriters with someone the reaction is exactly the opposite. Most people say "That's cool! I'd love to have one…" (and that's how I went from geek to hipster).

Around here the offer is getting bigger in response to a higher demand. Each time there are more people (specially young people) interested in buying a typewriter. And the prices are shooting up either. I truly believe that we're witnessing the rebirth of this machines of yesteryears...

terça-feira, 13 de março de 2012

domingo, 11 de março de 2012

Hermes Baby

 Finally, and two weeks latter, I present you my orange Hermes Baby!

I've cleaned it a bit harder than what was needed and that almost costed me the Hermes logo...

I believe there isn't much to say about this typewriter. All that is to say has already been said. This is a rather common and much heralded machine.

The poor lighting conditions resulted in this strange effect! I also believe this unit was made in Brazil… Honestly my fist contact with the Baby was rather disappointing. Too much plastic and too fragile. Although it's a very handy machine, ultra light and super portable. In case of damage it's easy to repair, find spare parts or even find an other to replace it.

This time I've left my comfort zone with the qwertz keyboards. I took the chance and got a portuguese azerty keyboard. Although I haven't managed to get used to the hcesar, this time the adaptation process was quite easy. With exception of the "M" that changed its place with the "Ç"...

About the typing it self… There's nothing to point. It's very fluid and light. Very pleasant to use. 

It's again an Elite. I haven't got lucky yet. I'm still searching for a typewriter with Cursiva or Techno font.

And that's all for now :)

quarta-feira, 7 de março de 2012

The Sound of Typewriting

A few days ago a friend talked me about this amazing movie and its wonderful soundtrack. Of course he knows my passion for typewriters...

I remember there were some typewriters used in the film... But I've never paid much attention to the soundtrack. And it's just delightful! The way that Mario Marianelli incorporates the sound of the typewriter with the rest of the orchestra it's just genial. I've just felt in love with this soundtrack. It's now in my iPod and follows me everywhere.

Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did :)

domingo, 4 de março de 2012

Typewriter Cocktail Machine

I was surfing the web and found out this amazing typewriter at http://www.morskoiboy.com

I believe that worths be shared!

Now I can literally taste the flavor of my words!

One day I had this funny idea, and I thought, “Well, there’s really nothing stopping me...” At first it was just for fun. But then…Then I drew up a sketch. And then another one.  I started tinkering around and, to make a long story short, there came a point when I realized that, for the first time in my life, I was going to build something with my own two hands. So, after a couple months of fine-tuning the communication vessels, I became the sole owner in the world of such a strange piece of work:

My piece has buttons working as pumps and has pipes instead of wires. It also has a display like any other electronic panel board, but as opposed to using liquid crystals as in electronic displays, my machine’s display functions via multicoloured syrups.

My machine converts words into cocktails. And, yes, it does work. Now I can literally taste the flavor of my words.


So, if you’re interested, let me explain this contraption and the mechanism that makes it work. At the top of the machine there is a slot into which a bottle with alcohol, water, or even milk can be screwed. The essence of the art here lies in the ability of the syrups or liqueurs to tint the neutral color of the liquid. In the picture below you can see the connector itself and the regulator (which is actually an IV Rate Flow Regulator I picked up in a drugstore), which opens or closes off the air flow into the bottle and thus acts as an on/off switch.  Once it enters the machine, the liquid spreads across the fourteen tubules. 

Each tubule is connected to one of the 14 transparent display segments. With the help of special regulators located on the side of the machine, the liquid’s flow speed in each segment can be regulated. 

Pressing the buttons on the keyboard injects the corresponding ingredients into the display, which tints different segments of the display and thus produces letters. You can try to imagine that each letter can have a taste (L-Lime, A-Apple), a color (R-Red, G-Green), or a name (K-Kahlua, J-Jagermeister).

Syringes function as the machine’s buttons. A valve connects to the syringes and turns them into pumps. 

In the back of the keyboard, there are slots for the bottles with colored beverages in them. There are 26 total slots, one for each letter of the Latin alphabet. When a syringe stem goes up, liquid is taken from the bottle connected to it. 

When the stem goes down (that is, when one pushes the button), the colored liquid goes into the splitter on the backside of the display. There, the flow splits into several separate flows, as many segments of the display need to be tinted to draw the necessary letter. 

For instance, letters A,B,Q, and R each have seven segments, letters L and T have 3, and letter I takes only 2 segments. 

The newly formed mixture flows into the tap and then, into the glass. 

A good number of tubules were used to connect the various components of the machine to one another. There are 136 tubules inside, equaling a total of 30 meters of communications.


I should notice this machine is not finished yet. This is not a complete ready-to-use product. This is a prototype, which is not very reliable and fast to (dis)assemble, hard to wash. Just a concept which needs reworking and finetuning. 

quinta-feira, 1 de março de 2012

I'm back!

Seems I've lost ITAM's last days… Blame the flu! Kept me away for a few days :( I'm still alive but slowly recovering. I guess that in this last days I might have lost some good posts… But I'll try to give them a peep.

ITAM is over! Looking back in time, it was a really good month. As you know this was my first one. And I've really enjoyed it. Was a month full with great and very interesting posts, I congratulate you all!

Before falling ill I've had the time to visit a flea market. It was promoted by the City Hall and sadly it was a single act. I believe that we should have flea markets every week!  Well, I saw a lot of crap and only two typewriters. A Remie with an HCESAR keyboard and an inflated price and a Voss with a AZERTY keyboard and a reasonably price, but once it wasn't what I was looking for I brought none home with me. I hope I won't regret this decision, but right now I'm focused in searching for the typewriters I really want. About the Lettera 22 I was following in auction, the seller does not ships to Portugal… So I lost it. Surely new opportunities will arise!

Sorry about the photos' bad quality :( Were taken with my cellphone...

sexta-feira, 24 de fevereiro de 2012

Triumph - Company History

As you all know, or at least suspect, I'm a big fan of Triumph's typewriters. Lately I've read a lot about this company history and I've found an article that I'd like to share with you.

Key Dates:
1896: Deutsche Triumph Fahrradwerke AG is founded in Nuremberg.
1909: Triumph starts manufacturing typewriters.
1953: Triumph is taken over by Max Grundig, merged with Adlerwerke, and renamed Triumph-Adler.
1968: Litton Industries Inc. becomes the company's new majority shareholder.
1979: Triumph-Adler is acquired by Volkswagen AG.
1985: The company is renamed TA Triumph-Adler AG.
1986: Italian Olivetti group takes over the company.
1994: Olivetti sells to a group of German investors; Triumph-Adler becomes a management holding company.
1997: The typewriter production in Frankfurt/Main is closed down.

Company History:
TA Triumph-Adler AG is Germany's leading supplier of distribution services for printing, copying and presentation equipment.

Making Bicycles, Motorcycles, and Typewriters: 1896-1913

At the turn of the 19th century the world was swept by a flood of technical innovations that paved the way for industrialization. One of them was the bicycle. In the 1890s the new vehicle took the public by storm. The predecessor of the modern bicycle--the Velocipede--was equipped with a giant front wheel and proved suitable only for acrobats. In 1884, however, two Englishmen invented a version with much smaller wheels which became increasingly popular. At about the same time two German entrepreneurs--Siegfried Bettmann and M. Schulte--founded a bicycle firm in Coventry, England, the Triumph Cycle Company Ltd. In July 1896 they established a subsidiary in Nuremberg, Germany--the Deutsche Triumph Fahrradwerke AG.
In 1909 Deutsche Triumph ventured into another new field when they took over the production of a bankrupt typewriter manufacturer in Nuremberg. The Norica typewriter became the company's second key product, and in 1911 Deutsche Triumph was renamed Triumph-Werke Nürnberg AG. Two years later Triumph-Werke became independent from its English parent company.

Surviving Two World Wars
During World War I, from 1914 until 1919, Triumph-Werke made supplies crucial for the war: beds and tables for field hospitals, fuses, and ammunition. After the war the company resumed the production of motorcycles and launched Knirps--the first German motorcycle with a two-stroke engine. The popularity of motorcycles grew during the 1920s, bolstering Triumph-Werke sales. I
In 1920 Triumph-Werke also started making typewriters again, continuing with the prewar model Triumph 2. In 1925 the company received an order for 600 typewriters from the telegraph service division of the German post office, the Deutsche Reichspost. Three years later a Triumph typewriter was shipped to the Vatican, and the company received an endorsement from the pope himself. Triumph's typewriters were continuously improved throughout the 1920s. In 1928 the company introduced three smaller typewriter models: Durabel, Norm 6, and Perfect. In the mid-1930s Triumph-Werke erected a brand-new building for large-series production of its standard typewriter. In addition, the company extended its product range in the office equipment sector and started making adding machines. By 1938 Triumph-Werke employed about 1,800 people and was grossing 15 million Reichsmark annually.

In 1939 Germany went to war again, and the country's economy was administered by the National Socialist government. Triumph-Werke's mainstay during this time was its BD 250 motorcycle, which the German army ordered by the thousands. By 1940 the production of typewriters for civilian use was restricted and ceased completely at the end of 1942.

World War II left the company's offices and production facilities mostly untouched. Triumph-Werke then received a production permit and started making typewriters, bicycles and bicycle trailers, wheelbarrows, and hand-drawn carts. In 1948 the company also resumed the manufacture of motorcycles and in 1953 launched a new line of mopeds and motor scooters. The mid-1950s also saw a new Triumph typewriter, called the Matura, equipped with a patented carriage return mechanism.

Losing Ground and Independence: 1956-93

In 1953, the takeover of Triumph-Werke by German entrepreneur Max Grundig, whose core business was in consumer electronics, ended the company's independence. Grundig reorganized the company to focus on office machines and shut down the vehicle production. Research and development (R&D) efforts were directed towards better electric typewriters which were becoming increasingly popular for their more comfortable features. With electronic data processing on the rise, Triumph-Werke introduced a telex-type tape punch in 1956. Triumph's new Family Typewriter--a name inspired by Grundig's granddaughter Gabriele--followed a year later. Another novelty--the F3 automated invoicing machine, equipped with a connector for card punches--marked the beginning of the office computer era. The company's new electric typewriter Electric 20 became its standard model of the 1960s. It was used by the world typing champion in Vienna in 1961, who scored 647 strokes per minute, setting a new world record.

In 1957 Triumph-Werke acquired a minority share in Frankfurt/Main-based typewriter manufacturer Adler. Combined, the two companies controlled over 50 percent of the German market for typewriters. By 1968 Triumph-Werke had an 82 percent stake in Adler, and the latter was merged with Triumph and the company renamed Triumph-Adler. Just around the time that the integration of the two companies was completed, Grundig sold Triumph-Adler to Beverly Hills-based Litton Industries Inc.

Backed by the new parent company, Triumph-Adler set out to conquer the growing market for microcomputers. In 1969 the company introduced the new TA 100 computer series. Triumph-Adler's microcomputer division--including R&D, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution--was based at headquarters in Nuremberg. In 1971 the company launched the TA 10, which dubbed "the people's computer." It was the size of a suitcase and offered at a competitive price. Only two years later Triumph-Adler had sold over 10,000 of the computers. Still, typewriters accounted for more than 60 percent of the company's total sales. In 1977 Triumph-Adler acquired the U.S.-based Royal Group, using used the company's production plants and distribution network to enter the American market. Ten years after the Litton takeover, Triumph-Adler's sales had grown ten-fold. The company's professional microcomputers had a 19 percent market share in Germany, a share larger than that of any other competitor.

In March 1979 German auto maker Volkswagen AG bought 55 percent of Triumph-Adler's share capital, acquiring another 43 percent from Litton and German Diehl GmbH in 1980. The company, which by 1980 had over 17,000 employees on its payroll, was renamed Triumph-Adler AG für Büro- und Informationstechnik. That year marked the beginning of a challenging era for Triumph-Adler, as the company reported a loss of DM 50 million. In the following years, top management focused on downsizing and restructuring. The company's workforce was cut in half and distribution was extended to include department stores. None of these measures, however, stopped the company from falling behind the competition. By 1986 Triumph-Adler was only number five in the German market for professional microcomputers, with its market share having shrunk to 6.4 percent. In that year, Volkswagen sold most of its holdings in Triumph-Adler to the Italian Olivetti group, one of the company's main European competitors.

The new parent, however, was not able to rescue the company from its downfall, caused by the increasingly popular IBM personal computers which rapidly replaced the older microcomputer technology. By 1988 the number of employees as well as the company's revenues had shrunk to less than half the figures of 1984. Only the company's typewriter division turned up a profit.
In the early 1990s Triumph-Adler became Olivetti's headquarters for office machines and an original equipment manufacturer for other computer makers. In 1991 the company launched a self-developed laptop computer. However, the rapidly declining prices for computer hardware components and the development cost for the new TA portable computer pushed the company heavily into the red. Moreover, parent company Olivetti was struggling too, cutting down on orders for Triumph-Adler by one-third. All of the company's production facilities in Nuremberg, Fürth, and Schwandorf were shut down while production was moved out of the country. Most of the company's assets, such as real estate and machinery, were sold to cover some of the DM 160 million in losses that Olivetti incurred in 1992 alone.

By 1993 Triumph-Adler had shrunk to a quarter of its former size. It was, in fact, left only with the typewriter production business in Frankfurt/Main. In that year Olivetti decided to rid itself of the loss-making enterprise and canceled the agreement with Triumph-Adler that had guaranteed that the Italian parent would be responsible for making up Triumph-Adler's losses. Olivetti then integrated Triumph-Adler's office machine distribution subsidiary, Triumph-Adler Vertriebs GmbH, into its own business.

New Beginning as a Management Holding in 1994

Equipped with several hundred million in cash from outstanding Olivetti payments, the new Triumph-Adler holding company went on a shopping spree. In addition to the already existing holding for office related products, Triumph-Adler acquired a broad variety of companies, from toy manufacturers to health related products, and organized them into four major business divisions: TA Office, TA Toys & Leisure, TA Health and TA BauTech. The latter included a number of manufacturers and service providers in the construction industry.
In 1997 Triumph-Adler closed down its typewriter plant in Frankfurt/Main. In the mid-1990s the market for typewriters had shrunk drastically, by about 30 percent in 1996 alone. Personal computers had won the race against the more limited capabilities of the typewriter. Although in 2001 the company still sold Triumph-Adler typewriters worth EUR 12.7 million, the business was not profitable anymore.

I want to thanks to www.fundinguniverse.com and www.triumph-adler.com for the text and also www.typewriters.ch and www.ebay.de for the pictures.

quinta-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2012

Downton Abbey

For some time now I've been following this British series and I've just remembered this special episode and thought it would be interesting to share it with you.

This series pictures the daily life of a British aristocrat family and their servants in the beginning of the last century. What makes this episode so special is a typewriter's apparition. It's an Empire, Canadian production, and nothing more than a re-branded Wellington just like their European sibiling, the Adler 7.

In a short way, one of the girls was taking a typing course by mail because she dreamed of leaving the service as maid and start a career as secretary. But her co-workers found the machine and as they didn't know what it was and what was its purpose they've exposed her to the butler.  Strange mentalities back then... Like typing could be a danger activity or ambitioning for a better job could be something wrong!

It's a very interesting show to watch with very good performances, that pictures with perfection the pre WW1 daily live as their habits and mentality.