Saturday, December 6, 2014

1966 Consul typewriter

This is an amazing typewriter! It was made on September 24, 1966 in Zbrojovka Brno's Czechoslovakian typewriter factory. Everything about this typewriter is incredible. Even the carrying case indicates an unusual level of care and effort. (Especially when compared to the cases of many American compact typewriters.) This typewriter is one of the lowest-priced models made, lacking a ribbon color selector and a tabulator. In addition, it only has a 42-key keyboard. Yet, despite it being a low-priced model, it feels remarkably well-made. (Unlike many other low-priced compact typewriters from this period: Corsair, Royalite, Holiday, Tutor...just to name a few) It has all of the mechanical quality of a much larger typewriter. It could probably give an Olympia SM a run for its money. (Or even a Hermes Rocket!)  Using the 1532, one thing becomes instantly apparent: this typewriter was made for people with various size hands, unlike many ultra-portables, many of which I personally believe were designed for Jane Jetson. 
 This is a very sturdy case. It inspires so much faith in terms of quality.
 Looking at this typewriter is like a strange ray of sunshine
 The bottom color is a different color than the ribbon cover.
 The logo to the left of "Model 1532" is the logo for Zbrojovka Brno, the company that made this typewriter.

The colors on this Consul are amazing too! Individually, each color would probably be bleak, depressing and/or ugly. However, when they are all put together, they make a wonderful and cheerful pallete, that could probably light up the gray Brutalist world of  Communism (think Pripyat, East Berlin, etc.) 

The company that made this typewriter is Zbrojovka Brno. Zbrojovka Brno was a large arms manufacturer. They made the BRNO gun during World War Two, automobiles (in the 1930s), and typewriters. .

It is not unusual for a gunmaker to make typewriters--Lyman Cornelius Smith, founder of the Smith-Premier typewriter company and the L.C. Smith (later part of Smith-Corona) also founded Smith and Wesson.

Many companies that sold the Consul referred to it as a "European Import." Others imported the parts into Canada, where they became a "Canadian" Commodore typewriter. Other importers brought them to America from Canada in the trunks of their cars. Ironically, while Western musicians' music was being bootlegged into the USSR and East Berlin, American typewriter dealers were doing the same basic thing. Bundy typewriter was one of the biggest importers; many older Bundy-branded typewriters are, in fact, Consuls and Maritsas (from Bulgaria). By the 1980s, Royal imported Bulgarian Maritsas as the Safari IV. There is a Dutch typewriter called the Forto. However, in design, it is clearly a Consul Silent. Not much is known about it.  Many small jewelers sold a typewriter called the Consul Comet. This was mechanically identical to this typewriter, but in an all-metal body. In Canada, it is possible to buy a Tower portable typewriter that was made by Commodore (but is really a Consul!) (see this link: ) 

No comments:

Post a Comment