19 augustus 2012

Junior typewriter

This Junior typewriter is one of the five machines that I recently bought from the former Scryption museum. It was made around 1908 and it was the smallest typewriter at the time. It's main competitor was the Blickensderfer 5, which can be seen side by side with the Junior in the video below.

I always imagined the Junior being smaller than it actually is. Only in it's case you can notice the difference in size compared to the Blickensderfer. The main difference is that the Junior is flatter. In the video, I took the machine apart, so you can see what happens when you hit a key.

In 1910, the Junior was replaced by the Bennett. This new machine had a paper table, and the small ink rollers were replaced with a ribbon. It didn't matter much; the Blickensderfer was far more popular and sold over 190.000 machines between 1893 and 1917, while Junior/Bennett didn't sell more than 40.000 machines.

14 augustus 2012

Some online Mignon research

Last week I got the chance to buy 5 very nice typewriters from the former Scryption collection in Den Bosch. I already revealed one of them, the Imperial Portable. The second typewriter I want to reveal is the AEG Mignon. It is in perfect condition, all bright and shiny and almost like new. It has some extra decals, telling that it was sold by importer Oscar Markx in Amsterdam in 1929.

Normally, I don’t buy index machines. They don’t appeal to me as much as normal typewriters, look childish and are ridiculously expensive. However, there is one exception: the AEG Mignon. As far as I know, it is by far the most successful index machine ever, and many of the more than 350.000 Mignons ended up in the Netherlands.

Later, I'll post a typecast, pictures and video of the new Mignon machine. For now, I want to show some pictures that I found online. When searching online, I usually start at the online newspaper archives of the Royal Dutch Library. There I found an advertisement of AEG, dated the 4th of October 1929. It was written by AEG importer Oscar Markx, stating that his shop was located at Rokin 113, in Amsterdam.

With this information, I went to the online archive of the city of Amsterdam, and found the following great picture, dated 6th of October 1929 (two days after the advertisement):

You can see a car being rescued out of the water at the Rokin, while a crowd is watching. And, very nice, in the background you can see, on number 113, the white AEG typewriter shop of Oscar Markx! I really like the coincidence of dates (1929) of this picture, the advertisement and my AEG Mignon typewriter. Click here to see the picture in high resolution.

The combination of a news picture and a typewriter shop reminded me of the fire in the Hammond shop 4 years earlier (1925), also at Rokin, number 38. Click here to see the picture in high resolution.

The Rokin seemed to be a fine street for typewriter sellers, for not only Hammonds and AEG’s were being sold there, but also Adler had a shop, at Rokin number 10. I found 2 nice pictures of the interior of that shop at http://www.geheugenvannederland.nl/ (see below).

Adler, Fles & Co, Rokin 10, Amsterdam 1913.

Adler, Fles & Co, Rokin 10, Amsterdam 1919.

By the way, when you search on “schoevers” on this last website, you’ll see some nice pictures of typewriting lessons with all kinds of exotic machines. My favorite picture is this one, below. How many typewriters can you identify?

Schoevers, Amsterdam 1916 (click to enlarge).

12 augustus 2012

Imperial Portable Typewriter

A better quality (1080p) version of this video can be found here (without music for copyright reasons).

Thanks to Stichting Onterfd Goed for the pictures, as I don't have my own camera here at the moment.