Some of my German typewriters

Pictured here are some German typewriters in my 80+ collection.

The CONTINENTAL KLEINE is special with decals saying MADE IN GERMANY in complicated Chinese characters, which clearly shows these machines were exported to the Chinese market at least 65 years ago. The communist took power in 1949.

Within the Chinese antique collectors' community, one category is referred to as Min Guo Huo, meaning stuff from the Kuomingtang (KMT) regime (1911-1949). This category is ensued by "early years since the founding of New China" (1950s) and then the notorious "Cultural Revolution"(1966-1976).

The desktop Olympia, Model 8, is my all time favorite.It was bought from ebay.de An old German engineer was its first owner and the machine had been kept in the basement for at least 50 years.  One of those machines I saw in a local antique market had Pica Italic font. I regretted even today that I didn't buy it.

The gray portable was bought from an antique dealer. It has my favorite Congress Elite font.

According to Mr. Lu, a retired typewriter repairman, "German typewriters will never be out of order!"

P.S. these typewriters and my house look so dusty in these pictures. It's not because I don't clean often, the phone camera sucks!


  1. Fine typewriters. When I asked Manson Whitlock at age 96 which typewriter was the best, he replied: Olympia.

    1. I have a 60's model AZTEC 14 which I believe is essentially an ERIK made by DDR Germany. I can tell that the machine has been mechanically simplified, but with even better quality and performance.

  2. I would put Olympia in the No.1 position also. Both because I am biased, as a gray SM3 was my high school and college typer, but also through experience - that solid little machine got a huge amount of use, and very little TTLC, as evidenced by the dust bunnies found in the unique silver-painted case when it re-emerged from the oblivion of our storage area to begin a second life about a year ago. But it still functioned as new, even having a bit of life left in the rubber. Now it rests with my faves alongside a lovely chocolate-brown SM5 with that nice congress elite font.

    Your typewriters are beautiful, especially that Olympia Model 8. I would easily break my vow of typewriter acquisition chastity if I could find one.

    Thanks for the interesting post - it is a treat to have a glimpse of your typewriters and the typosphere inside China. Photographing and blogging about typewriters trumps dusting any day!

    -- Tony

    1. Thank you Tony. I think the Model 8 is a classic and deserves its place in the typewriter history just like the Underwood No.5. I appreciate so much mainly because of its well-propertioned and well-balanced design of its form. In particular, with its sophisiticated front, typists are able to check what they have typed with great ease.