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The travel typer

by | Jun 29, 2013 | Groma | 15 comments

My taxi to the airport should be arriving in half an hour. I thought readers might be curious to know which typewriter I’m taking to London for a month (because, of course, leaving without a typewriter is not an option).

Some machines in the running were the Empire Aristocrat, Olympia SF, and Scheidegger Princess-Matic.

But in the end, I’m taking a Groma Kolibri.

Why? Well, I’ve long been fond of this model for its looks and its good design. But the main reason is that it’s very flat. It fits in my book bag along with my laptop, iPad, notebook, and much more. (Plus, Robert Messenger recently proved that the Kolibri is a good travel typer by taking it to New Zealand.)

My flattest typewriter of all is this Gromina:

This is also known (in my mind) as the Groma Air.

Why didn’t I take it? Because it has a German keyboard and because the Kolibri has a more satisfying and effective mechanism. Notice the much flatter typebasket and segment on the Gromina, made possible by a clever geared-typebar mechanism. Clever, but not as strong or fast as the completely different mechanism on the Kolibri.

Stay tuned for some Kolibri typecasts from London.

15 Comments

  1. teeritz

    Ha, ha! I was using my Olympia Splendid 99 yesterday and then I switched to my Groma Kolibri and thought that if I ever took a typewriter overseas, the Kolibri would be the one because it's a nicer (as in sturdier) machine to write with. And it's flatter and a tad lighter, too.
    Perfect choice, sir. Look forward to your typecasts from Blighty.
    And enjoy your trip!

    Reply
  2. Unknown

    …because taking an Empire would be far too predictable, really!
    Have fun in England. :D And also the rest of the UK if you go further than there.

    Reply
  3. Robert Messenger

    Great choice, Richard. I'm sure you won't regret it. And remember, don't go near London Zoo with it. There may be keas there!

    Reply
  4. Peter

    Safe travels! Pip pip! Cheerio!

    Reply
  5. Ton S.

    Excellent choice, and a beautiful machine doubles the pleasure. Nice to see those flat beauties again; do you still keep them in in/out trays?

    I'm sure you and your students will have a great time in London!

    Reply
  6. Unknown

    Richard that is the best choice. Have a great time and I will be waiting for your typecast from England.

    Reply
  7. notagain

    Have a great trip and happy typing!
    I hope postcards go into it okay. That turned out to be a weakness of the Remington Portable.

    Reply
  8. Richard P

    Hmm, no, it would have some trouble with postcards, as nearly all small typewriters would.

    … and hello from London!

    Reply
  9. Ted

    Have fun in London, and don't forget to write! :D

    Reply
  10. Bill M

    Those are all great looking typewriters.

    Have a great trip.

    Reply
  11. Unknown

    Great! Where and how do I purchase one?

    Reply
  12. Unknown

    A Gromina typrweiter

    Reply
  13. Richard P

    Grominas can be found on ebay.de.

    Reply
  14. Unknown

    Richard,

    What year and model of Groma Kolibri is it? Is it made to similar quality as Olympia sm3?

    Thanks,

    FranK W.

    Reply
  15. Richard P

    Kolibri is the model name, and this one dates from 1957. Yes, I'd say the quality is almost as good as an SM3, although the SM3, being a larger typewriter, has a different and maybe more satisfying feeling.

    Reply

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