a selection of the machines cleaned and made serviceable by Retrotype.co.uk
A 60 year old German machine of quality and substance (8Kg) this Primus has a history. Purchased on 7th March 1960 in Stirling, Scotland for £37.16.0 by Miss Booth. The typewriter has been well maintained and in remarkable condition having been protected by the lockable case which has sustained scuffs and scratches.
Often overlooked, late Adler typewriters have a quality build inside a lightweight yet strong plastic case. This Tippa model dates from around the mid-1960s and has a sans serif typeface. It is clean and very portable and a pleasure to use.
Here's a treat amongst the late 60s European portable machines, the Tippa S. Very compact yet has a quality look and feel, The shiny black 'hood', chromed carriage end plates and brushed metal paper feed augment the strong chassis and metal formed base . Offering serif elite type ideal for note-taking or a jorunal on the move.
This Italian beauty from the 1950s was made for the German market so different keys! It is complete with original purchase and warranty documents and instructions.
This 'ultra-portable' has typical 70s angular lines in grey/beige plastic. Complete with navy blue vinyl box travel case, this retro machine is ready-to-use and easy to take away. Ideal for a college or Uni student wanting to express their individuality - printed text without having to rely on technology.
Another quality Italian vintage machine. The 'gubbins' of this modernist-style machine are virtually identical to that of the earlier Antares Annabella, Domus and p59. The compact has a metal alloy body and strong but light plastic case/cover. A great little typewriter with a light action and clean typeface (font)
I've managed to find another Antares Compact/P59, I really rate these sleek reliable Italian ultra-portables. This one has been looked after and arrived with just a strip & clean necessary. Ideal for a writer on the move or where stowage is tight the case lid doubles up as a stand too.
Yet another super portable from the Italian Antares stable, this time a 'Compact'. Very similar to the P59, this one dates from the early 1960s. I really enjoy cleaning and fettling these machines and this one is a beauty.
Yet another super portable from the Italian Antares stable, this time a 'Compact'. Very similar to the P59, this one dates from the early 1960s. I really enjoy cleaning and fettling these machines and this one is a beauty. This one however has had a tough six decades of service and required considerable deep-cleaning and adjustment before being brought to market.
A lovely find, this is a quality Italian made portable typewriter with classic mid-century style. A twin brother of the Annabella I sold earlier this year, Domus differed only by having a British QWERTY layout/ typeset and sporting a shiny black 'bonnet' instead of Annabella's lipstick red.
I finally tracked down another Antares Domus, after nearly 3 years, I am pleased offer this 1961 baby blue machine. For fans of mid-century Italian design or vintage office paraphernalia a super collector's machine. It need a bit of attention to the ribbon drive mechanism and a thorough de-fluffing but is a delight now.
Soooo Orange, this LISA 30 is very much a fashion piece and is complete with the origin denim-look satchel. In great condition, clean and fitted with a new ink ribbon. The workings are that of the sought after Italian Antares in this instance no frills so easy to maintain.
This LISA 30 has a great back story arriving with a jammed carriage and various springs/screws/nuts adrift. After carefully removing the carriage to find the escapement gummed up and a clip adrift. I replaced the drawstring after the original snapped whilst winding the motor on. A light-weight yet sturdy machine ideally suited for the writer on the move who enjoys heading out for a bike ride to find the perfect space or getting creative with a macchiato and biscotti in the coffee shop.
The Little Star is an often overlooked gem from the 1950s. A neat ultra-portable design with some inovative features such as the Bakelite lid doubling up as a 'dock' making laptop use more comfortable. This example came to me with its gubbins covered in 60+ years of detritus, after a thorough deep clean and fettle Little Star is indeed just so!
Another Little Star is an often overlooked gem from the 1950s. A neat ultra-portable design with some inovative features such as the Bakelite lid doubling up as a 'dock' making laptop use more comfortable.
Another member of the Italian made Antares stable, this P59 has very much the same mechanism as the Domus and Annabella below. The design is slightly more functional with a hard wearing crinkle type paint and plastic clam case. Ideal gift for mid-century enthusiasts, collectors and budding writers.
Another one for the collectors, this 1950s beauty, oozes quality the moment you tap the keys. Manufactured in West Germany and often labelled as 'Torpedo' and described as one of the very best of its era.
As recommended by 'Good Housekeeping' back in the 60s. Made in Nagoya, Japan the serial number indicates this example left the fatory in January 1966, (I wonder if it typed out letters of England's Football success!) This one needed a fair amount of attention and several parts replacing before adjusting up and lubricating. Looking good and working well now though.
Right at the end of the manual typewriter era Brother finessed their succesful full-featured portable. Produced for the last decade (74-84) in some countries badged as Brother JP-5, I believe this example is Oct '84 by the serial number. It needed a good degrease and shift adjustment on the upper case alignment.
Another relabelled Consul 232 this time in the guise of Commodore. In immaculate condition this example is complete with cleaning brushes, cloth and owner's manual On arrival to my workshop my 35 point checklist found the ribbon vibrator needed forming to prevent smudging and then it received the usual clean/ light lube.
What a find indeed, this vintage Czechoslovakian is a delight to type with. I made a new year resolution not to add to my own personal use collection but I am tempted, this one feels and looks better than my Hermes 2000s. (Once you get the hang of setting the margins that is!)
I've added an augmented instruction manual.pdf on my blog page. Fledge the nest to Epsom.
This Consul 232 was came out of the Czechoslovakian factory in 1962 and is a very stylish but sturdy little machine. I'd love to keep it for my own collection but I have to remain focused on restoring for others to enjoy! A clear serif font with light touch a great beginners vintage typewriter.
Another beautiful minimalist 232, manufactured in Czechoslovakia in 1962. The pica typeface provides easily readable text, ideal for comfortable reading of notes, essays, presentations or simply your musings. Sadly the case is missing one of the side zippers but the other side and the overstrap secure to allow it to maintain its purpose.
Another gorgeously mid-century styled typewriter, this one in duck-egg blue. Quite sought after among collectors - in fact I have to discpline myself not to add it to my personal shelf-creaking collection. The Consul 232 has a serial number dating its manufacture to 1962 in the Czechoslovakian city of Brno. A .pdf file of the 'Operating Instruction' is available to view/download (see Blogs, manuals & info)
Another gorgeously mid-century styled typewriter, this one in cool grey. The Consul 232 has a serial number dating its manufacture to 1962 in the Czechoslovakian city of Brno. This example types with a clear pica typeface (see photo) and has a the basic features of an affordable compact machine. Found a new home in South Shields.
A superb example of Consul's pretty portable, from its serial number this one is from 1960 is a 311. (looks fairly identical to 232 models). The case also in great external condition is complete with functioning lock and key. A .pdf file of the 'Operating Instruction' is available to view/download (see Blogs, manuals & info)
I suspect this excellent machine might not have seen much action, as although 60 years have elapsed since production in Czechoslovakia, this turquoise Diplomat feels almost new. It required minor adjustments to align the upper/lower case tracking and giving the end of line bell a voice again. A previous owner had fitted a bi-chromic ink ribbon which was not required as these models are single colour ink. The typeface (font) is a slightly stylised serif and with 10 characters / inch
Another relabelled Consul 232 this time in the guise of Diplomat. In immaculate condition this example is complete with cleaning brushes and cloth the carrycase even has it's key!. On arrival to my workshop my 35 point checklist found the Case shift alignment required adjustment and a the usual clean/ light lube.
Made by British Typewriter Ltd. in West Bromwich 1956, this superb example of the rugged, Often considered the British version of the well loved 'Hermes Baby', I feel the robust materials of the body and case of the Aristocrat are a marked improvement on their Swiss counterpart (during servicing the Hermes have certainly had more issues). The carriage lock and folding carriage lever are also improvements.
Made in 1963 by SCM this Empire- Corona needed a bit of loving to bring it back to good working order. As SCM transfered across to plastic molded bodies, this model retained the sturdy pressed metal finish. A .pdf copy of the instruction manual is available on my info page.
Probably one of the rarest and most beautiful typewriters I've restored and reluctantly sold on. Slick and quality feel/action, once fettled 'Erika P' made in 1962 (same year as me) gave me the desire to actually type rather than just bring back to life. Find another one!
A very orange HBO Karim, I've only seen a couple of these for sale in over 3 years, they are not listed on the typewriter database so working out a year of manufacture is tricky. I estimate late 70s - early 80s judging by the mechanism and there are several generic components and styling is similar to the brand Privileg. The company label on the rear shows HBO address to be in West Germany however the stamp 'Made in Italy' is clear on the body.
Stand out from the rest with this sought after quality machine. Very tidy and precise, this Baby should continue to provide good service and raise an eyebrow in anyone's study. AZERTY keyboard
A 'Modern' (early 1980s) classic in light grey plastic. This Hermes Rocket weighs in at just 3.8kg, an ideal travelling machine. This one was made in Brazil for the Latin American market. At its heart is the precision Swiss quality Hermes are renowned for.
This Japanese manufactured Imperial 200 is a popular compact portable from the early 1970s. Made by Silver-Seiko they offered quality and reliability on a budget, this one has like many developed the characteristic random discolouration of the off-white plastic keys.
Another popular 1970s Imperial portable, this 220 is a fine example of Japanese functional simple design. The plastic keys have the characteristic yellowing around the sides, a common issue which some might think is nicotine staining or dirt but apparently is just tarnished from age.
This Japanese manufactured Imperial 230 is a popular compact portable from the early 1970s. Made by Silver-Seiko, they offered quality and reliability on a budget. Featuring TAB, bichromic ribbon selector and touch adjuster, this 230 is a great example in super condition.
As the electric typewriter became prevalent and dawn of the word-processor around the corner, the Bulgarian Typewriter works based in Plovdiv reached out to for components from successful Japanese manufactures. This portable is very neat and well made, having the benefit of hardly any signs of wear & tear. Ideal for someone on the move.
Another Maritsa 30, this one found a new home in Northern Ireland
Another popular Eastern-bloc 70s machine, this Maritsa has had an easy life so almost looks and feels like new. A great little machine to take on your travels the almost square case 310mm x 325mm fits easily on most office shelves.
Another very neat and capable Martisa 30. The Bulgarian Typewriter works based in Plovdiv reached out to for components from successful Japanese manufactures. This portable is very neat and well made, having the benefit of hardly any signs of wear & tear. Ideal for someone on the move.
This is the second Courier I've brought back to life and this one needed a fair amount of restoration using donor machines. It has been most satisfying to work on though as my confidence and skills have improved over the last 3 years. The metalic bronze finish is particularly attractive with only minor dinks.
Manufactured in the mid/late 1950s in Glasgow this is another fine example of a design icon. What makes this one special is the original 'Pistachio' body colour, very 'Retro'! Very neat for its age is complete with brown nylon and leather case with working metal zippers.
An award-winning 1960 British made portable, this is a classic dream machine from the retro era. Awarded the Compasso d'oro prize in 1954. In 1959 the Illinois Institute of Technology chose the Lettera 22 as the best design product of the last 100 years. A great addition to your desk
At last another Lettera 22, it has been a while since we promised another but after considerable research and learning how to service/restore these machines here we are. This particular machine has 60 years of wear and the case zipper is damaged otherwise it works smoothly. The Lettera 22 has compact alloy cast body and is considered a design classic.
Another iconic award-winning 50s designed portable typewriter. With its characteristic soft 'tip-tip'tip' action and 'ting' close to the margin, the Lettera 22 is becoming a desirable machine among enthusiasts, retro/vintage collectors and writers. This example has only minor blemishes on the body paintwork. The case zipper works for about 2/3 closure.
'The red one' the Olivetti Valentine. This one has had a thorough deep clean and adjustment and is ready for action. The condition is superb, save for a few surface scratches and a small dink to the metal work near the carriage return lever.
Another 'Red one' the Olivetti Valentine. This one has had a thorough deep clean and adjustment and is ready for action. The condition is great, save for a few surface scratches, a hairline crack in the corner of the rear panel and a small dink to the metal work near the carriage return lever. This one had the front 'fender bar' missing but fortunately I had one from a donor machine bought for spares.
A Valentine 'S' brought back to super condition. Having seen a coule of the standard Valentine pas through retrotype already this is the first 'S' model. I have a donor machine which has proved useful to rob for missing keys/knobs etc. It has also allowed me to figure out various mechanical fixes, they are not easy to disassemble! This one has pica typeface and I've added fresh ribbon to the original metal spools.
In 1959 two monkeys were sent into space and return safely! In 1959 this very portable Olympia SF typewriter was made in West Germany and was a very popular model, this one sold via Olympia's business store in New Oxpord street, London. This one has a choice of 'bonnet' colours too
Manufactured thoughout the 1960s, the SF Deluxe is a great portable with a quality pedigree of decades from the West German manufacturer. This one is realistically priced as there are a few scuffs and the odd chip to the paintwork. As I service/restore similar machines I notice improvements in design or the use of more plastic components as the years pass. This model was just before the production moved to Japan and was a pleasure to prepare for sale.
This 1960s retro machine is a super example of reliable precision German engineering. The Splendid 66 is a dark horse from Olympia's stable of portable machines. Looking very similar in design to previous and latter models, this is my personal choice, Ready-to-use with red/black ink ribbon fitted and instruction manual, compact so easy to stow for travel or storage. Ideal for a college or Uni student - printed text without having to rely on technology. S/r 5-1501635
Quality 1960s West German manufactured portable typewriter. Very clear font (typeface), light action cleaned and serviced ready for your creative writing. This Splendid is complete with case which has signs of 50+ years of use hence it was priced accordingly.
Probably one of the newest machines I have for sale but still around 40 years old! This Olympia Traveller de Luxe S is fully featured and has a great adjustable touch. Having spent too many hours watching the coverage of Tokyo 2020 and now the Paralympics, I felt this Japanese machine was worthy of a service and freshen up and has now found a new home.
Fully restored, clean and working this Bavarian beauty is ready to grace your desktop. A sought after model the Princess 300 is easy to use, compact and precision made in Ausburg from the 1950s. Willy Schneider marketed these for the famous Swiss school of typing.
A very attractive full-featured ultra-portable, this Princess 300 has quite a following among collectors of vintage tech. Made by Keller und Knappich in Germany she is sturdy and should provide many more years of service. There are losses of paint to the corners and where the return lever catches if carelessly folded for stowage. I'd love to add this to my own collection but I have to hold to my promise limiting how many I have!
A mid 60s entry level compact machine, this Envoy is a no frills machine ideal for the writer on the move. There's little evidence of almost 6 decades of use, just minor surface scuffs and ageing.
Introduced in 1955 after Royal merged with Dutch factory - McBee to provide a European base for the US long-established manufacturers. This Royalite is well presented in a tan leather-look case.
A portable classic, this Royal/Litton is ready to go having been thoughly cleaned and serviced. At nearly 50 years old it has a few minor scuffs on the powder blue metal casing and yellowing to the type keys and carry case/lid but is otherwise A1.
Mid 70s chic - some would say style over substance! Made in England but featuring the design and badging of the Italian coach builder Giacinto Ghia. Very much based on the SCM Corsair mechanics but has the extra 'power space' bar as an extra. This one arrived having sustained damage to the casing which was reflected in the lower than current market price.
This mid 60s Underwood 18 shares its mechanics with the Antares Domus and Annabella (my favourite 60s portables). Made in Italy around 1965, complete with the original metal ribbon spools and owners booklet, this is not only a useful working tool for your study or home office, it is also quite collectable. Going through the checklist of functions and adjustments the sweet 'ting' of the end of line bell really spoke to me.
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