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Hermes Ambassador Pictorial

I have been working on the Hermes Ambassador renovation. I had originally intended to make it a Silver Surfer, but due to the variety of metals (both steel and aluminum) and the difficulty in making steel shine with mirror-perfection I decided to take a different tack.

Using the verdigris color of Hermes' typewriters as inspiration the Ambassador will look very different.

However, that is for another post. What I have here are a smattering of pictures of the base of this incredibly complicated typewriter. The carriage and all the shrouds have been removed for the important work, but this offers a rare glimpse inside the mechanism of this dual-ribbon monster.

Please enjoy.


  1. Wow, what a complex design, indeed! So I take it it can use both a carbon ribbon (looks like an IBM Executive spool to me) and a regular fabric ribbon at the same time?

    1. Yes, you can have the fabric ribbon and the carbon ribbon in at the same time. All you need to do is select which one you want. It's fairly simple to do. From what I hear they are the same ribbons, but I haven't seen any of them around to test. I can say that either type of ribbon is really very clear. This is a great typewriter.

  2. Dude you should totally leave it stripped down like that and not even bother putting the panels back on. It's friggin awesome.

  3. Looks like over engineering at its maximum. Perhaps that is why they have such a good reputation.

  4. Such amazing pictures. I agree that this would look awesome just so, without the side panels. I love that this can take two different sorts of ribbon at the same time, and that is definitely a selling point. I cam across one of these in the wild, but the price was ridiculous and Leila was complaining about how ugly it was. Oh well...I am sure to come across another.
    I cannot wait to see what you do with it. I eagerly await the post.

  5. Great shots. I have a parts Ambassador, so if you need a part just drop me a line.

  6. Holy Crow - those side views make me think of Terminator, somehow. Just replace those ribbon covers at the top with glowing eyes.

    This looks like an electric machine. It's not, is it?

  7. Thanks for those close-ups, I've just got hold of an Ambassador and they helped me figure out how to repair the backspace key, so its nearly usable... now if I can just figure out how to adjust the strike height on the platen.



  8. great machine have two myself used to repair them in the 70s if any one needs advice please contact me

    1. Hi, I aquired an Ambassador with a broken drawband (half of it is missing). The part which connects to the carriage is missing. My repair person would appreciate a pic of what this end piece looks like and how and where it connects. I am a collector in Denver, Colorado (about 250 machines)

  9. Hey there! Yes, Ambassador spools are the same as IBM 5/16 spools and you can get them at


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