Friday, July 30, 2010

Hermes Baby Mint Green Portable Typewriter (1950s)

What is there not to love about a typewriter called Baby? Never mind all the references you find to Hemingway/ Steinbeck/ insert-famous-author having used this typewriter, but the name alone, and the beautifully-rendered logo, is enough to get this machine a second look. Most every collector will have one of these, but of all the "Baby"s we've come across, this is the one we're keeping.

A look at this machine's profile shows how flat it is - truly an ultra-portable, traveling typewriter. In its case, it is barely 40cm high and 10cm wide - I can fit four of these in an Ikea Expedit compartment with room to spare.This is a machine that I barely have to think twice about when I find for a good price - its narrow profile and compact body means that it is never too large to take home.


Fortunately the gull-wing covers on this one are in good shape and fit snugly when closed, although the metal is quite thin and can be easily bent.

When we met Jacques Perrier at his typewriter museum in Lausanne a month ago, he bemoaned the state of typewriters in Switzerland, despite having more than 1,000! What he said, actually, was that it was hard to find collectible typewriters, and when you do find them, they are all Hermes!


Well, it may be easy to find your run of the mill QWERTZ Hermes typewriters, but this is a QWERTY with a Spanish keyboard! This machine officially marked my transition from user to collector - I had a perfectly fine white plastic qwertz Hermes Baby, but I saw this one and literally squealed. Now, though, I find that since all our other machines are qwertz anyway, I have gotten used to that layout and make mistakes on qwerty!


This one's a keeper though, because it has all the accents you could need for writing in English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish. The font is a small 12-characters-per-inch elite, which I wouldn't ordinarily like, but I think it works well here. Here it is in its case:

8 comments:

  1. I have one of these too! I scored it on ebay for $23 and all it needed was a good cleaning/lube job and a new ribbon. The major downer is that it is missing the case. I've been searching for the case since 2007 so please let me know if you have a case or know of where I may find one. I love your site!

    -Marshall

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  2. Hello there! What's the serial number of this beauty? See the update at http://typewriters.ch/collection/hermes_baby.html ;)

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  3. Yours is definitely nicer than mine - your HB looks brand new!! Dang!! Mine ain't bad though, but yours look as if it's been in some time capsule!

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  4. Yours look brand new!! Impressive. Can't have been used much....?

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  5. It says "Your comment will be visible after approval.", so you have to remove the second one then as I didn't notice this as first. (I thought you had swicthed off the censoring thing??)

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  6. Hi - Yes, this Hermes Baby is only the second typewriter I ever bought, and it is the oldest of my collection that I still have (and one of the least used...). I liked it the instant I saw it, though, and I'm still rather fond of it.

    As for the comment moderation, it was - by default - turned on for posts older than 14 days. I have turned that off now. Feel free to comment as often as you wish :)

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  7. Well.. you know, I love your posts.. they are not like the other sometimes "pulpet clenching" and quite male techo-techno-techno ptypospehere blogs I have seen; you have inspired me greatly.

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  8. I have a Hermes Baby to sell - it's grey, with case.

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