An Italian Story


So this past week I made a seemingly rare typewriter purchase, an

Italian built Carlton which is a Hermes under a different name, the

Baby to be exact from somewhere between 1962 & 1968. There is little

information on the internet regarding this particular brand and

the serial numbers are not catalogued anywhere to pinpoint the

exact year of manufacture but based on what I have seen posted on

the database for other brands from the same factories which I guess

may share the same serial numbers my thought is that mine falls

right into the mid-60s with S/N94505. Considering what some people

are willing to pay tor typewriters these days, the $40 that I

forked over for this one will not be deemed as too much although

I was beginning to guestion that as I first started typing with

it and realizing the amount of work that it would take in restoring

it to satistactory working condidtion. Well as it turns out besides

a Fresh ribbon this typewriter for the most part just needed some

proper cleaning and minor adjustments to both the typewriter itself

and it’s carrying case. Mechanically speaking these Baby typewriters

are quite similar in quality to the earlier versions like the

one I already have from l952 but the newer ones from the sixties

incorporate much more plastic especially in the body which will

turn off many typewriter purists for sure. But this machine actually

types effortlessly, the letters are all straight, I can see room for

a minor adjustment to the upper and lowerase setting but I’d need

a metric wrench small enough to loosen the tightening nut which I

đon’t have, besides unless you look for that particular imperfection

on the page then you may not even notice it. The typevriter was

amazingly easy to đissassemble in order to get to the inside, no

tools are required as once you remove the ribbon cover the inside

chassis pulls directly out or the plastic bottom half of the machine

with no screws or bolts holding it in place,the ribbon cover is

what clamps everything in place, a cheap But extremely practical

way or designing a portable tyypewriter in my opinion. Sure there

are some details of this design that would have been better suited,

such as the flimsy paper support arm that turns up with not enough

friction to hold itself up for more than a few seconds.

So what đoes the future hold for this Italian portable? Well I

have been wanting to find another ultra-portable to restore and

gift to a young friend of mine who has a keen interest in cold war

history, he paid me the ultimate compliment one day when he said

that I looked like a secret agent in one of my wedding photographs!

So this typewriter could well be the one I give him but first I

want to install a new ribbon and make sure that all the bugs that

I can get to have been worked out.

More to come…



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