Take a click back into Ancient Times, where typewriters were just everyday items.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My WWII German Field Typewriter


Here is probably one of the most valuable typewriters I have in my collection:
WWII German Field Typewriter. Many of these machines, called the "Olympia Robust" were also made after the war, but this one that I have was captured by an American Soldier and brought back as a war souveneir. (On the case, it has the man's name, and army serial number) Another thing you may notice right away is that is has a QWERTY keyboard layout, not a German QWERTZ keyboard that it would originally have. My theory on this is that the man who brought it back was able to change the keys around for use at home (when doing research, it showed he was a "semi-skilled mechanic" and probably could have done this. The keyboard still contains the Umalauts above the U,O, and A. It also still has (not rubbed off) the German Nazi SS symbol above the 5 key. The shift keys, along with the shift lock, and margin release key (I think) are also in German. There is also the instruction maunal pasted to the inside of the case (top - not in picture) which is written in German. I would have loved to know where this typewriter was caputred, and where it was.. What battles it was in. This typewriter was made for clacking away on the battlefield, not a calm peaceful office. Who knows who used it back in its day.

The man who brought this typewriter to America died in 2011 the same day his wife did. I got this typewriter at a bidboard auction for a steal in October 29, 2011. Only $75 won it for me. This one still works, although I never type on it. It is probably worth around $800-$1,000.

See my YouTube video on this for all of the information, and to see the bottom of the case where the man's name is located.

My YouTube channel: BKtypewriters101

7 comments:

  1. WOW! That's a heck of a score. What a great machine! I love typewriters that have a story behind them like this.

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    1. Hi BK, I met you at the Philly Type-In last Saturday, the large man in the front of the room by the windows. That's a very cool typewriter. You may know this already but the large U on the two shifter keys stands for Umschalter which naturally enough means to change over or shift. The Fest key is for Lock and the Ausloeser is Unlock. The symbol below the colon is an Eszett which is used for a double-s after long vowels whereas ss is used after short vowels. The symbol above the number 9 is used to denote a paragraph.

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    2. I know, I was extremely excited when I won it. I never saw the name on the bottom of the case to get the awesome story until I got it into the car.

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    3. I should have made more clear that when I wrote ss is used for short vowels I was not referring to the lightning bolt Schutz-Staffel abbreviation over the 5 key but a normally typed double s.

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  2. I have a German WWII ERIKA typewriter. I grew up hearing it came from a German submarine. She's in pretty good condition. I hope to find someone who can appreciate the history before you. Let me know if you are interested.

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    1. Please send pics and info to my email address:
      bryan.kruk@gmail.com

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  3. Wow this is an amazing story. I am fascinated with typewriters and if anyone (still on this thread) has a ww2 era typewriter send me an email at khead2011@live.com I am hoping to buy any ww2 typewriter that can still clack away.

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