.Davis Typewriter Works

.Davis Typewriter Works

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bijou in Bombay

One of the more interesting pieces in my collection is this delicate folder you see at left; click the photo to enlarge.

This is a price list for various kinds of office equipment being offered by The Office Applicance Corporation, Bombay, India in September 1936.  This folder is printed on exceedingly thin and delicate paper, and frankly it is a wonder that it survived.

On the front, we see a Woodstock standard machine; the company was offering both brand new Woodstocks (this is still the tried and true No. 5, which as of this date is the 5N variant) and Factory Rebuilt Woodstock machines at roughly half the price of the new ones.  The company also sold a very wide range of duplicating machines, adding machines, and many various office supplies including different kinds of paper and carbons.  The firm must have been a major outlet in that city.



The company also sold portable typewriters, but Woodstock never made any (although it did design and patent them) and thus couldn't supply them.  The market for portables in Bombay at the time was satisfied through Office Appliance Corporation by the "Bijou," which was a product of Seidel & Naumann in Germany.  The machine normally carried the label "Erika," but for the wide export market was relabeled in this fashion.  Inside the folder is this page:



Included with the folder you see above was another one, specially printed by S&N to advertise the features of its latest No. 5 model of the Bijou and the extra-cost 5M or "Master Model."  The brochure is itself a great piece of advertising visually and practically speaks for itself.  First we'll see the front cover.  Click any photo to enlarge (photos quite large for this piece.)


Next, the interior of this tri-fold brochure.  I've tried to ensure that the original colors of the brochure are reproduced on the internet as closely as possible.


Below, the two panels of the other side that we have not yet seen.  Of particular interest are the added features of the Master Model.


I find this brochure of interest because of the name variant; I first became aware of the multiplicity of export name variants applied to many varied German-made machines during the European Typewriter Project days, and had been interested by some of the S&N machines that carried the name "US Mirsa Ideal" and others.  As a historical snapshot, it's interesting enough; its delicate nature convinced me that I should scan it and get it on the internet before it can disintegrate further.

We'll see a bit more of the Office Appliance folder in another post, on another subject.

11:15 AM  10/3  Will Davis
PORTABLE TYPEWRITER FORUM / 10 YEARS 2002-2012  Click here

10 comments:

  1. I got the identical brochure in French - here, the name is "Erika". I'll post it later.

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  2. Excellent piece of ephemera. Now I really want an M -- those are some neat and unusual features for a portable. See what you've done?

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  3. A great looking machine and a great piece of history. What a neat find. I cannot wait to see some more of the folder!

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  4. Whoa... are the "M" features less common?!? I think I have a VERY special machine in my possession now...

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  5. Very nice advertisement. Add an M to my wishlist -- hopefully with Consular typeface.

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  6. Very nice typewriters advertised and excellent brochure! The color is still fantastic, given its age and fragility. I do love typewriter ephemera and have started collecting a bit myself. A current favorite is a Remington ad. I have them all scanned (save for my Adler manual); I should share soon.

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  7. You can find the French version of this brochure here.

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  8. Thanks for posting the literature! Now I finally know how the extra keys on my Erika M are supposed to work. I want that Consular typeface!

    Richard: The M has a really cool tab set mechanism. It sits down below the carriage with a very low profile.

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  9. Thanks to your publication I do now know more about my usMIRSA IDEAL with czech type.

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