Some little-known typewriters (A-C)

by | Aug 22, 2018 | obscure | 10 comments

It occurred to me that one of the mystery machines I showed you a couple of posts ago is very similar in principle to the Kent, one of the never-yet-found rarities of typewriter history. The Kent was an electric typewriter that used a typewheel moving along a horizontal axis—invented in 1892!

Now, several readers expressed curiosity about the 7000 photos I said I have on my computer. So I thought I’d show you some more inventions from my files — machines that are not completely unknown, but  very obscure. Today we’ll look at some samples from letters A through C.

This Airgam Plumita 14 is about as flimsy a toy as you can ever find. Probably made in Spain.

The Alba is somewhere between a toy and a simple portable. It was made in both 3-bank and 4-bank versions (I have a 4-bank).

The American Telegraph Typewriter is known only from stationery and stock certificates.

The Avanti is a handsome German standard. This one bears serial number 1491.

Wouldn’t it be sweet to find a Barrett, the predecessor to the Fox?

Here’s a silly-looking typewriter marked B.A.T. It looks like a modern version of a 19th-century index machine.

The Bavaria is an attractive three-bank.

This Bolida looks strong and well-made.

This contraption is a Brady-Warner.

Meet the Business:

The Cantelo is a wonderful prototype, now in Flavio Mantelli’s collection.

No collector would mind finding a Cash book typewriter. (It would be worth some serious cash, too.)

The Celtic is a rare French machine. There was also a Celtic portable that has never been found, to my knowledge.

The Child’s typewriter is one of the ridiculous little gadgets of the 19th century that is very rare now.

The Comet is one of several thrust-action German machines that imitate the Adler, in turn based on the American Wellington.

Ever seen a Condé?

And finally, if you thought the Barbie Typewriter was the girliest typewriter in the world, I give you: the Creamy Mami.


  1. Ted

    Ok, totally approve of this showing off the cream(y mami) of your pictorial archive :D

  2. Richard P

    I will continue! And hope to provide some laughs as well as oohs and ahhs.

  3. Bill M

    Very nice typewriters. I just saw one of those 3 bank Albas a week or so ago in a photo or ad. I thought it was a toy.

  4. Bill M

    There is presently a letter dated 1911 on an American Typewriter letterhead on Ebay

  5. Bill M

    Amerian Telegraph Typewriter Co.

  6. Anonymous

    It's called a Letter-mate. Creamy Mami appears merely to be the promotional character.

  7. David Brechbiel

    I enjoyed the Bolida. The paper table logo reminds me of Olivetti .. same type style, size, and materials. It looks like a fine beast. I would like one.

    The next is the Cash. I spent a moment studying how it might work and it appears that you type on each column of paper and then move the bound pages into the area below? Binding them as finished? In Paul Robert & Peter Weil's book, there is a mention of an inventor named Cash and a photo of a Typograph. Similar design and have to wonder if it is the same inventor.

  8. Richard P

    Yes, the Typograph is the same machine. Read about it in ETCetera No. 90. It's meant to type into record books that are already bound. The only successful book typewriter was the Elliott-Fisher.

  9. Mark

    These last few blog posts are some of the most exciting and interesting I have seen in a while. Sort of inspiring to get out there and hunt and see what amazing things await us.

  10. shordzi

    Speechless with my eyes on Creamy Mami… :)


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