fave models


columbia 2 ad images from Martin Howard collection

The Columbia 2

Nickname: Nicknames did not exist in 1885 and people spoke funny.
Designer: Charles Spiro
Manufacturer: Columbia
Manufacturing debut: 1885
Country of origin: U.S.A
Slogan: “It is to the Pen, what the Sewing Machine is to the Needle.”
Super power: Circular index typewriter. The adjustment pointer (or clocklike arm) on the index character wheel selects the letter, and is powered by pushing down the large handle attached to the right of the wheel enabling the character to press onto the inking pad (which then moves to the side and upwards) enabling the character to press onto the paper unobstructed.
Secret weapon: Writing is immediately visible to the typist by looking down through the open window just above the name plate,  an unprecedented technological breakthrough.
Special talent: Proportional spacing, only the second typewriter to hit the market with this feature.
Boasting right: Just the third typewriter to hit the market after the Remington 1 and the Caligraph.
Type Options: Different typewheels available. The first Columbia index features capital letters only. The Columbia 2 features capitals and lower case. An intermediate model uses two typewheels for lower case and capitals.
Further info:

ideal ad

The Hammond Universial 12

  This model comes with 'ideal' keyboard (as photographed) or 'universal'keyboard (as illustrated in ads)
Nickname: Hammond Visible No 12
Designer: The Hammond Typewriter Company
Manufacturing debut: 1905
Country of origin: U.S.A
Slogan: “Cheats the eyes of gallery critics by a thousand arts”
Super power:

The Type Shuttle. By pressing a key, the correct letter on the central wheel revolves into place, and then struck by a pressurised hammer positioned behind the paper. The pressurised hammer provides the typing with an automated and consistent appearance rather than a typists’ irregularly applied pressure.
Secret weapon: Includes 'vibrator' attached to the ribbon holder that moves the ribbon down when at rest. When actively typing, however the ribbon’s mechanism obscures writing visibility.

Secret shame: The paper must be first rolled into the metal cylinder and enclosed within the machine, and then is gradually unfurled as typing proceeds.
Type Options: A variety of shuttles are easily interchanged and available in 26 languages, in  various mathematical symbols and a total of 108 styles of type shuttles.
Extended family:

The Hammond Universal 12 is very similar to the Model 2 but doesn’t include the former metal tab on the front, and the major advance is the ‘vibrator’. As with earlier models, this machine comes with either the "Ideal" of the "Universal" keyboard. The first Hammond Multiplex machines are also similar in appearance to the No. 12

Further info:

The Bennett

bennett ad admagazine ads from 1911 and 1912

Nickname: Benno, aka the Pocket Rocket
Designer: Charles Bennett
Manufacturer: Bennett Typewriter Company
Manufacturing debut: 1910
Country of origin: U.S.A
Slogan: The typewriter that feels like $100. (RRP US$18)
Super power: The paper moves to the left as you type.
Secret weapon: Two screws on the side allow you to lift the keyboard off the machine, in order to clean the typewheel, or change the ribbon.
Boasting right:

You can carry the Bennett in your grip or pocket

Font options: Interchangeable cylindrical type elements allows for many fonts
Model options: Comes in silver or black
Secret shame: Pressing the key in any of the two higher rows simultaneously depresses the key(s) in the rows staggered below, a little disconcerting to the newcomer

First appears on the market as the Junior, in 1907 with an ink roller instead of ribbon. In 1934 an index version of the Bennett is introduced in Germany with the name Carissima.
Further info:

The Corona 3

corona3 ad

Nickname: Corona 3. You don't need a nickname.
Designer: Corona Typewriter Company
Manufacturer: Corona Typewriter Company
Manufacturing debut: 1912
Country of origin: U.S.A
Slogan: The only psychiatrist Hemmingway would ever submit to
Super power: A light, compact machine made mostly from aluminum. Features three banks of keys and a double carriage shift: one for capitals and the other for figures. Secret weapon: The carriage is hinged and niftily tucks forward over the keyboard for compact storage.
Boasting right: Ultimate icon for antique typewriters.
Secret shame: The serial number of each machine is clumsily scratched into the underside of the carriage, although also neatly printed on the inside of the rear panel.
Alias: The Corona 3 is a refinement on the Standard Folding Machine of 1906. Early versions of the Corona 3 feature a shift bar on the left. Variations include the Special models in the later 20s, available in red, green, blue and gold.
Further info:

The Frolio


Nickname: The little wonder
Designer: Paul Muchajer
Manufacturer: Gundka Werke
Manufacturing debut: either 1920 or '24 depending on your source
Country of origin: Germany
Slogan: “The typewriter for everyone”
Super power: Linear index typewriter. The adjustment lever determines (indexes) the desired character when depressed. Utilises typewriter ribbon with central daisy wheel containing type. Secret weapon: Writing is immediately visible to the typist
Boasting right: Portable, lightweight, inexpensive typewriter with easily replaceable ribbon
Type Options: 20 different daisy wheel types available
Secret shame: Manufacturers largest and main commercial output was toy tin figures.
Aliases: Frolio (multiple numbered versions), Scripta Write, Perlita, Gepro, Gundka, G&K, Scripta, Perlita, Write-Easy, M-W and Gefro, Kleine Gundka
Further info:



IBM selectric typewriter

The Selectric, ad from Time magazine 27th April 1966
Nickname: The golfball typewriter
Designer: Eliot Noyes
Manufacturer: IBM
Manufacturing debut: 1961
Super power: Paper stays in position while the typeball and ribbon mechanism moves side to side. No carriage return jolt and minimised machine vibrations.
Secret weapon: Stroke storage. Prevents two keys from being depressed simultaneously.
Special talent: ‘Typeamatic’ Hold selected key down and watch the function repeat itself with no additional pressure.
Boasting right: A neat regular typed appearance with interchangeable type
Model availability: Standard, medium and wide carriage
Font Options: Spherical pivoting type element using binary codes enable font replacement mid document, many styles available
Secret shame: Design elements borrowed from Marx Toys child’s typewriter, the rights of the design purchased by IBM.
Security: Limited. In ‘The Case of the Elusive Element’ , (1963) Perry Mason reveals in the courtroom that the pivoting typeball element in Selectric typewriters could easily be switched, making it impossible to know which machine had actually been used to type a message. In Columbo’s ‘Now You See Him’ (1976) a perfect murder is foiled by the detective’s ability to deduce typing from the Selectric II’s carbon film ribbon.
Weapon rating: Effective. Just watch Alex in Clockwork Orange (1971) throw one at the writer.
Extended family: Selectric Composer (1966) Selectric II (1971), Correcting Selectric II, the Magnetic Taoe Selectric (1964) Magnetic Card Selectric Typewriter (1969), Selectric III (1980s)
Further info:


Please note: these are but a few of our favourite models