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).

3 opmerkingen:

Richard P zei

Good research. These pictures are wonderful! When I see such things I have to feel grateful to the people who photographed such events and to those who have been digitizing them in recent years. It's the closest thing we have to time travel.

shordzi zei

Great research, time travel de luxe indeed. Thanks also for explaining your research method and sources. I'm looking forward to the following scryption machines.

Peter van der Pouw Kraan zei

I have the same typewriter. It has a tragic connection with history. When I googled the name of the importer Oskar Markx, I found that he and his wife were killed in nazi concentration camp Sobibor in 1943, when he was 62. One of their three children is killed in Auschwitz. Where the other two died I couldn't find.