In order to read an English newspaper, one need to know at least 3000 English words. That is partly because English is very specific, take "smile" for example, there are so many words to describe it: laugh, guffaw, giggle, grin, sneer, chuckle, snicker,roar, chortle,simper,cachinnate,horselaugh.....In Chinese, one character "笑" with some help of pre-modifiers is sufficient to name every kind of smile. That's why one only needs several hundred Chinese characters to understand a local newspaper.
But the word "Chinese" is an exception. Modifying with Chinese would sound ambiguous, even with a certain context. For example, the phrase "Chinese typewriter" can be interpreted in many ways: the typewriter is made by Chinese or in China, the typewriter types Chinese language, a kind of rather monstrous index-typewriter used in typing Chinese language, the typewriter is owned by some Chinese etc. Therefore, I purposefully use "made-in-China" typewriter when referring to those what most typospherians are talking about.
Crap aside, today's post is about foreign typewriters that were once available in retail shops in China. This post is by no means based on a complete research. As I grew up in Shanghai, my knowledge is rather limited to the manual typewriter once available in Shanghai's stationery shops in between 80's and 90's. So this post is just for fun,not much historic value though. I've seen many imported electronic typewriters and those using daisy wheels in stationery shops even today. Most of them are from Japan. But I'm not interested in these kind of typewriter at all.
During the Cultural Revolution (1967-1977), anything Western was condemned. Mr. Lu, a retired typewriter repairman also my friend, once told me that during that time, lots of foreign-made typewriters, ROYAL, REMINGTON,UNDERWOOD,CONTINENTAL, you name it, were confiscated by the "revolutionary" Chairman Mao's Red Guards and sold at very low prices at second-hand shops. Clearly, China once entirely depended on foreign supplies to meet its demand.
Most of these typewriters were imported from China's neighbors Japan and South Korea. Some are from Mexico, Brazil,Bulgaria and erstwhile Yugoslavia. It's very unlikely that China would import typewriters from U.S. because in 1980s and 1990s, US no longer produced any and herself depended on imports from other countries. Even if U.S. did, I guess it was unlikely that China would import from her because poor brothers (developing countries) should help each other while a richer brother such as U.S. are supposed to offer a helping hand.
The following are imported mechanical typewriters once sold in China. Hope you guys enjoy.
First, Japan's BROTHER series. They seemed to offer endless inspirations to Chinese typewriter makers. Some of these BROTHERS have Bruxel type style, which is awesome.
The Young Elite
This design of Brother is the original of China's Chang Kong typewriter. Referred to as "simplified typewriters", they are easy to repair, cheap to produce and light to carry around, but they cannot produce nice prints nor do they last long. They pronounced the end of typewriter history. But since so many other Asian manufacturers somewhat borrowed its design, there must be something good in them and deserve the title "classic".
Then the endless Silver Reeds, original design of China's FLYING FISH 88TR, S.Korea's Clover.
This earlier model of Silver Reed is, however, more of a German design I suppose.
Hey Adler, don't lie, you are essentially a Silver Reed
|I don't know what Underwood designers would say about this.|
South Korea's Marathoon/Diasister,Clover/