AMC (Japy) with a special feature

by | Jan 29, 2022 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

AMC was an American company that sold imported typewriters under its name. You can find AMC-branded Alpinas as well as machines like this one—made in France by Japy. 
I’ve found several of them around Cincinnati over the years. Here’s one that was brought in to Urban Legend Typewriters for service. I didn’t spot what makes it special immediately. Can you?
It has a tabulator, which I’ve never seen on one of these little machines before. 
Tab stops are set and cleared with this lever that sticks up to the left side of the paper table. You push it back to set a stop, and pull it forward to clear. It is connected directly to the tab rack, and simply makes it swivel.
This gear in the back connects the carriage to the tabulator brake, which keeps the carriage from moving dangerously fast when you tabulate.
Here’s a view with the shell off.
Removing the shell gave me a chance to clean the typewriter better and understand several mechanisms.
This typewriter came with a case I haven’t seen before, with an extra zippered compartment for papers.
All told, this is a fine little typewriter, solidly built and well designed. It does have three Achilles’ heels, though. The carriage can get jammed in the shifted position. The ribbon vibrator can get disengaged from the lever that moves it up and down; there is a pin in the vibrator that simply fits into a hole in the lever. Finally, the plastic keys degrade over time and can shrivel and get ugly; I had to replace six keys on this machine with keys from a parts AMC and a couple of Royals (which required a little grinding of the key stems).
As you may know, this is one of the typewriters based closely on the Swiss Patria from the 1930s, manufactured in several European countries into the 1970s. Did other typewriters in this family have the same tabulator mechanism?
Here’s a roundup of these machines that I published several years ago in ETCetera.


  1. Bill M

    I noticed the tab key, but with my unfamiliarity with these typewriters, I did not know it was a special feature. Nice work on the keys. They all look original.


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