11 Nov 2014

Superb

1937 Mercedes Superba 85932














The pica typeface is interesting because it strongly resembles Olympia's pica, which I previously thought was unique in the world of typewriters (along with Optima). The numbers are almost the same, and the basic letterforms are the same except for some small details and proportions.

The shift keys were replaced (originally they would have said "Um") with Imperial keys that sort of match, and the symbol over the 9 key was replaced, very haphazardly, with the £ symbol.





Sent from my new Mercedes Superba

12 comments:

  1. Very nice looking typewriter. Congratulations.
    I was unaware of the relationship to Underwood. I agree about the a key on the Underwoods. That key on most typewriters is my nemesis.
    Perhaps Olympia and Mercedes used type slugs from the same foundry. I've noticed this with several of my typewriters.
    The last picture is great.

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    1. Most typewriters… have you noticed it on others?

      As far as I know, Olympia was its own foundry. Mercedes is similar, but not identical. I looked through the 1932 RaRo catalog and it wasn't there either.

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  2. Such a handsome machine and it looks to be in pristine condition, congratulations.

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  3. Wow, what a beauty! But it seems that you "could make a silk purse out of a sows ear" with your fine photography. Thanks

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  4. Black Beauty! And I never knew about the Underwood connection either.

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  5. I am interested in the name "Superba" because it was one of the early nicknames of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, which came from an old theatrical production (and later lots of movie theaters). Didn't realize it was also applied to a typewriter!

    http://www.cohassetcentralcemetery.com/article/superba.htm
    http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/bridegrooms_brooklyn_baseball_team/

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  6. I haven't looked into Mercedes yet, because I find their bodies to ... steep and unnatural. But now that I've seen one with the actual cover (which I never heard of) it's a total different story. It's amazing! And I imagine it will keep out most of the dust too, which is even better than 'silencing' the sound.

    Yours is in really good shape by the way. I love it!

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    1. They're deceptively small, too. The cover makes it look larger, and it is fairly tall, but it is just as compact as any Underwood portable.

      You're right about the importance of keeping the dust out.

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  7. Quite a beautiful design. German ebay has been very kind to you!

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    1. Guess again—Germans didn't switch the Y and Z on their keyboards and add pound signs. ;)

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  8. Replies
    1. Haha that was an accident. .de is German ebay. I didn't mean to put that in.

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