Working Very Rare Erika Model M ‘Kriegsmarine’ Typewriter – New Ribbon, Case – Made in Germany
For sale we have a unique Erika Model M manual typewriter. This model was manufactured by A.-G. Vorm Seidel&Nauman, in Dresden, from 1935 to 1949.
The machine is in great condition and works perfectly.
All the mechanisms respond as intended. The chroming detail has preserved very well despite age and previous use. The metal rim keys are protected with glass, comfortable and precise, providing accuracy and confidence when typing. The Erika has a ribbon colour selector switch, which allows the typist to use two colours, at the same time. In addition, the typewriter has two very rare functions for typewriters manufactured during the 1930s. One is margin and the other tabulation. Therefore, the typewriter has four specific keys: margin setting, margin release, tabulator stop setting and tabulator stop clearing.
There is a black ribbon installed and the typewriter is ready for use straight from the box. A new red/black ribbon will be supplied at no additional cost.
It comes with a sturdy case which has a strong handle.
There are two features of this Erika typewriter that make it stand out:
Firstly, it has variable spacing between each letter. If you look at the photo of the sample text, you will notice that the space between each letter on the first few lines is fairly small and tight. Whereas the spacing between each letter on the last few lines of text is much wider.
This feature is very rare and unique; perhaps it had a specific use in the German Navy at the time, as there is a stamp on the side in German with the words ‘Kriegsmarine’. After dealing with hundreds of typewriters over the last six years, this is the first typewriter that we come across which allows for variable spacing between each letter.
The lever on the left side of the keyboard switches between regular spacing and extra wide spacing.
Secondly, as mentioned, on the right, side panel, the Erika typewriter has ‘Kriegsmarine’, imprinted on the metal and this was the mark of the German Navy from 1935 to 1945. We believe this is the original engraving as it has signs of age and the appropriate patina.
There is a label at the front of the typewriter, which has ‘Ernst Reimers, Kiel, RUF 382-383’ written on it and this is probably the credentials of the navy personnel that this typewriter belonged to. Kiel was an important strategic port for the German Navy on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
What makes this Erika typewriter even more interesting is that it has a modified QWERTY keyboard. Most German typewriters made for the German market have a QWERTZ keyboard layout, whereas with this typewriter, the letters “Y” and “Z” have been modified and switched around, making it easier for an English typist to use. This modification of the keyboard could have happened during WW2 or after, which makes us suspect it could have been a ‘spoil-of-war’.
With the label and the engraving, we believe that this is a genuine typewriter from that period and ultimately a piece of history of the time.
Disclaimer: we do not support nor endorse the political beliefs or the history that this item might represent. The typewriter is for a collector to enjoy using and appreciate.