Carmen’s Carmen and a new documentary

by | Aug 15, 2013 | California Typewriter | 16 comments

I stopped by California Typewriter in Berkeley recently. It was nice to see Carmen Permillion, shown here with her recently acquired namesake, a ’20s Carmen typewriter from Germany.
I also got to meet Herb Permillion (Carmen’s father) and filmmaker Doug Nichol.
No photos of them, sorry, but here is the setup Doug used to interview me for his forthcoming documentary.

Yes, another typewriter documentary! And it looks like it’s shaping up to be a great one. California Typewriter will be a major focus, but Doug has also interviewed many collectors, celebrities (including Tom Hanks), and other typewriter lovers, in many locations. He promises us a visually rich experience.
Doug also wanted to film me inspecting the typewriters on the shelves in the shop, and I was happy to comply. I just wish I could have spent the whole day playing with the machines on sale.

Here’s a particularly interesting one, a Continental with a Croatian (?) keyboard and a typeface that looks much like Royal’s famous “Vogue.”
I’ll keep you posted on any developments with the documentary either here or on Welcome to the Typosphere.


  1. Ton S.

    Nice to see California Typewriters and Carmen Permillion again. That new docu project sounds really exciting! It's great that they were able to get Tom Hanks to join in. Does the docu have a title yet? And did you buy that Carmen? More details please!

  2. John

    And I spotted an early IBM Standard on one of the top shelves, am I correct?

  3. Bill M

    Sounds like a wonderful documentary. Those are some fine looking typewriters. I hope we can watch the documentary on line or on a satellite channel.

  4. Scott K

    So, that vogue continental has appeared again! I always insisted that it would turn up on other machines, most lily German.

    Looks like this is going to be an interesting Doco. Hope we can see at least this one in Australia.

  5. Anonymous

    Another documentary? Sounds GREAT to me! Can't wait to see it.

  6. Ryan Adney

    Another movie? That's great news. I really look forward to hearing more about this production.

  7. Miguel Chávez

    Such a tidy shop! I really like the way they showcase the typewriters while they're in the store; it's a very inviting place. And that old desktop globe on the desk, by the typewriters, really caught my eye!

  8. Scott K

    Just looked at that photo again….

    Is that a white and very interesting pink shell Lettera 22 up there on the shelf?

  9. Richard P

    Hmm, I see what you mean, behind Carmen. I hadn't noticed it before. Don't know what the story is behind that one!

    In another "development," my guess on the keyboard of the Continental is now Croatian, not Czech. I've revised the text above accordingly.

  10. Unknown

    What a nice Shop! I would love to see more shops like that in New York. The documentary is something I look forward to seeing and by the way, Welcome Back!

  11. Piotr Trumpiel

    A very nice photos of a great shop. And I spotted that typewriter's body too. I'm quite sure it is Royal Royalite – and why? Because I'm working on one as a repainting project at the moment! Who would've thought that similar ideas occur simultaneously in different parts of the world. Primer applied – painting will commence soon. Though mine will not be a pink one…

  12. Anonymous

    Oh joy, another documentary! I'm looking forward to it already. o/

  13. Phil

    I don't see how they got it up there, or what keeps the shelf from sagging, as these suckers are heavy. I have 3 Friden Flexowriters, which are modified Model 02 (I think that is correct, it the second model without the dip in the front face.) It is all I can do to pick one up. I also might ad, they are also very noisy.

  14. Phil

    After more on line research, I guess I should be calling these Flexowriters modified Model A IBM typewriters.


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