Wednesday, October 31, 2012

About Consul Typewriters

In 1950, Zbrojovka Brno, a Czech company which was well known for the BREN gun, decided to begin manufacturing portable typewriters. The first model, the Consul 1500 was introduced in 1950. The Consul that this blog is primarily concerned with is the Consul 1519 of 1960. It is a simple typewriter, painted in a strange shade of tan, much like that of a file folder. Unlike most of the Consul portables (except for the compact models) that I've seen on the internet, it lacks a tabulator. It does have a two-color ribbon, and a very legible elite typeface. This typewriter is about six inches tall, and is about twelve inches square. It features a margin-setting system that is remarkably similar to Royal's Magic Margin feature, and has a removable carriage (the idea being that offices could change to a larger or smaller carriage, depending on the need, and then change back. This was relatively common in Eastern Bloc typewriters.) On early models of Consul portables, the logo on the front is chrome. On later machines, it is gray plastic. By the 1960s, the script logo had given way to block letters. Another interesting feature of many earlier Consul typewriters is the thickness of the metal body. The typewriter is surrounded by 1/8 inch thick steel. (Most typewriters have thinner body panels, and as a result are lighter.)
A similar Consul typewriter, labelled as a Norwood. Robert Messenger Collection

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