5 Dec 2014

Typing Masterclass (with Seidel and Naumann)



I've finally found myself an Erika M. While waiting for some metal polish to arrive by mail, I've taken a few black and whites that really show the beauty of this machine. There is something altogether more grand and stately about the M compared to the 5, even though they share the same frame and housing.






A first for me—I've made a narrated video after thinking very strongly that I wouldn't. In it, the margin release, marginator, tab set/clear, and spaced writing are inspected and demonstrated. It's not perfect, and I feel like my voice sounds a little annoying, but I spent a few hours on it and I think it is more effective than a typecast. (Although, after I get the keys polished up and this properly photographed, I will do a blog post about it)


Can anybody who reads German cursive tell me what this dealer is?

13 comments:

  1. This machine has been high on my want list for a while. I do love the high contrast black and white photos!

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  2. My guess: "Petersen". And I agree about the stately. Something very dignified about the "M", as soon as you hold it in your hand you feel it is packed with value.

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    1. It's surprising how much more it weighs than the Erika 5!

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  3. Interesting video - lovely typewriter and typeface - looking forward to owning one!

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  4. Great job on the video! (We all find our own voices annoying - I assure you it wasn't!) Now I want one.

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  5. Nice video. Clear and detailed, as are your blog posts. Good lighting, and sharp! "Marginator" - of course - perfect! But I still fail to see why designers felt is was so difficult to reach behind the paper tray and slide the stops. Though, as you pointed out, you get those shiny controls! Looks like you scored a lovely machine in excellent condition - congrats.

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    1. I think the marginator is a better way to set the margins than on all the other Erikas before the 1960s, so it is an improvement, but a system like on the Olympia SM3 would have been better.

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    2. It does seem way less prone to failure than the complex system on the H3K. I see those typewriter designers/engineers as the software engineers of the time, and who liked to show their stuff. Those features also gave the marketing folks something to advertise. Kind of like the current curved flat screens.

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    3. The Hermes or Royal magic margin sets are a little easier and quicker to use than the marginator, they're just so easy to get out of order if you're somebody who's not inclined to get into the works of your machine from time to time to give it a cleaning. Really, anything other than manual sliding stops is probably more for marketing!

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    4. I agree. Among the things I enjoy about the ingenious design of these machines is when I have to dig into them and figure out how a sub-system works. That's when I go, "Wow!" in appreciation of the engineers who created them. And if they went over the top a bit sometimes, that is part of their art and our fun.

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    5. Absolutely! The most fun things are often the unnecessary but interesting features. It would be boring to collect typewriters if the engineers always used the simplest and most obvious approach.

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  6. The dealer is Petersen, for sure. Nice machine.

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