Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Exploring Geneva's Vide-Greniers: Typewriters

This later Underwood standard was not very far from where I picked up the Studio 42.

While this round-up of typewriter sightings does not include any particularly rare birds, I thought this Corona Silent was notable - it is not often we find these in the wild here, and even with a QWERTY keyboard.

In direct contrast is this Hermes 3000, which may be found easily at almost any time...

Well, this Olympia Traveller de Luxe looks familiar. I had one earlier this year but gladly parted ways with it. Looks like this seller has the same idea!

This Japy portable was so popular that it seems to make up a good 10% of all typewriters I see listed for sale in France. This one crossed the border into Geneva, but didn't seem to be attracting any more interest.

I could tell the seller of this Royal would ask a lot for it - after all, he had gone to all the trouble of writing down its history on an index card stuck in the platen.

A Royal KHM/KMM? Again, not very common here.

I suppose the Americans had a strong showing! This Remington Monarch was only $15 and the mint-green color was lovely, but it was otherwise rather ordinary.

An Olympia SM-8, type bars raised in the classic "I was just mauled by a small child" salute.

A Hermes Baby makes an appearance - of course.

Two nicely-maintained typewriters turned up in my neighborhood over the weekend: an Adler Gabriele and a Smith Corona Sterling,  $20 each.

A fine Halda standard, but that French keyboard will be a pain to use.

 My favorite sighting: absolutely pristine Underwood Leader. Just lovely.

16 comments:

  1. My everyday typewriter is a Champion portable, and I just absolutely love it. A bit older than that Leader, but that sure is a nice looking machine, and QWERTY to boot! It's crazy the different 'common' machines we should find in different countries. Those Hermes wouldn't last a minute in an American market.
    Very nice sightings. These are my favorite of your posts, and I always look forward to them.

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    1. Thanks, Ken! It probably seems a bit odd to obsessively visit the markets and take pictures of typewriters I have no intention of purchasing, but I do it so I can keep up writing these posts. I like putting them together and I'm glad you enjoy reading them too!

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    2. I have taken to doing the exact same thing. Really, the only typewriters I do not take pictures of are the ones I see and immediately decide to buy. "There it is"...(picks up typewriter and heads to cashier). I only just started doing this on our road trip, but I will be keeping it up. It's nice to have visuals to go along with the story. :)

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  2. Again and again, you leave me dizzy with your Geneva sightings. How interesting to think that all the neighbors have typewriters stored in their homes. A question- why didn't you swipe that Underwood Leader?

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    1. I have already tried a couple of Underwood portables from the same generation, and I currently have an Underwood Golden Touch that I like very much but rarely use. Besides, my Golden Touch was acquired for $5; this seller was asking at least $100 for her Leader. For half that I got the Studio 42... so, yes, this was out of the question :) I noticed several other people admiring it, though, and the seller didn't seem in a hurry to get rid of it, so I would hope that all ended well.

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  3. I rarely encounter typewriters at all, much less so many in one outing. Is your city a typewriter magnet, or what?

    Yeah, that Underwood IS nice. It still has that cool, retro logo, like American cars from the 1950s.

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    1. Oh, we have dry spells here too. And then when I worry that there are no more typewriters to be found, ever, some always start to turn up :) These weren't all sighted in one day, though, I've been wandering the markets for the past 3-4 weekends.

      Of course, this is just the vide-greniers and not the flea market... saving those for another post! Summer is always productive for sightings here.

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  4. It is amazing all the typewriters that end up for sale in Geneva. I know of a few of those machines, if they were within budget, would have followed me home.

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    1. Multiply that by a few months and years and you will have to find a warehouse to store all of them!

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  5. I've had my hands on a Leader once, and I wasn't impressed. I think that was a cheaper model from Underwood. There's no denying the good looks, that's for sure, and maybe the one I tried out was a bad example.

    I'm still awed by the casualness by which you can pass up the Hermes machines, because they *are* so common there. I'd have a hard time not adopting every Baby/Rocket I'd see, AZERTY, QWERTZ, or whatever. I have a real soft spot in my heart for ultraportables.

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  6. You're definitely inspiring me to make the rounds to the local flea markets and junt for old typers... who knows what could we find?

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    1. You should! I feel much better about not buying everything when I can just take pictures for the blog. I'd love to see what you find out and about in your town.

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  7. Very entertaining, and a nice Graphika typecast.

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  8. Very nice! Save some for me, though I'm not sure I'll get there until Monday evening. We're still working out details.

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  9. Some nice sightings. I might have been tempted by the Corona Silent.

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  10. I am so jealous how many typewriters you get near you... The smith corona silent is to drool for.
    *drool*

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