Thursday, November 15, 2012

Very Nearly Perfekt

Sunday I had the opportunity to visit a few antique stores while Toddler Magic Margin was taking a nap. I usually don't find much and what I do find is rather expensive or junky. Such was the case Sunday when I saw the regular assembly of Underwoods, Smith-Coronae, and Royals. Everything was really beat-up and invariable in the $70 price-range. 

This antique store is more of a mall (why they would purposely call an antique store a mall is beyond me) where individuals can rent stalls. Most of what you find in just junk; junk with a patina. In Ohio or Pennsylvaia it would only be worthy of dusty junk shops, but here they are antiques worthy of the Hermitage. 

I was browsing through getting ready to leave when I thought to go into one of these little stalls. There wasn't much, but my eye did catch a little fawn colored typewriter poking out from a shelf. 

It was this Triumph Perfekt 

and it was 

The price was high, but in the years I have been hunting down machines I have yet to see an early 60s Triumph for sale. I consoled myself with the knowledge that shipping plus sale price on Shopgoodwill, eBay, or Etsy would be much more than the asking price of…$58. 

I know, but given that typewriters of this style are as rare in Valley shops as a rainy day in Phoenix, it was prudent to just bite the bullet. 

That bullet nearly prevented me from buying this typewriter all because of a small, non-mechanical, cosmetic blemish. 

No H. I found no trace of it in the case. I also checked inside the typewriter. Nothing. It was nowhere to be seen. I will, however, not be daunted by something so trivial. I went to ACE and bought myself a piece of aluminum sheet and I will attempt to craft my own H. I'll keep you posted on this project. Any comments with ideas on fabrication of the missing 'H' would be very much appreciated. 

Back to the typer. The Perfekt-Norm line was recycled many times into what would become my nemesis; the Adler J5.

My dislike of my J5 is well documented and based solely on a dodgy ribbon advance and auto-reverse mechanism. 

This Perfekt is the exact opposite of my old J5. The all-aluminum body of the Perfekt gives this little machine a very tight feel. When I use it I am reminded of a spring wound very tightly. This manifests itself in some very responsive action. The touch is quick and the key tops are very well balanced. It's fun to type on because of the taught feel. 

The experience of using this typewriter was worth the price and it has shifted my opinion of its progeny.

If you are interested in reading about the Triumph line of typewriters, Robert at ozTypewriter has the best information. Check it out for more.

Next post: I have some interesting facts to share about the CTP and one of our young novelists.


  1. One of these or a same-era Gabriele and that's it, methinks. Congrats on a nice machine!

  2. I have a Triumph Perfekt in the design a bit older than yours. I really like the design of yours - is it carriage shifted?

    1. It is. And for a carriage shift, it's pretty light.

  3. Is the antique "mall" you're talking about happen to be the Brass Armadillo? My lady likes dragging me there to check out things, but they seem to have very few typewriters and the ones I do see are typically your generic junky machines almost beyond hope of salvage. I also see you're a NaNo participant? How's that going? I'm halfway through. Thank goodness I used up my vacation time at the start of November. Any word on the next type-in?

  4. Hi Nick here..hope you get this(I'm a typer addict-user-collector-restorer) Now I have been using two Triumphs..a Norm...pale green base cream top all metal...and a Perfekt..reddish-maroonish-rustish metallic base with the same lovely cream top..both all metal..(I must give u the histories of course).the red one w english keyboard..bout for $38 in the STICKS..the +,= key missing...the Norm from german ebay..near mint...seller did not obey my shipping flew around in the case scratched it up a bit...escapment dead....well i opened see how the red escapement worked....and they were somewhat different inside??(one has tab)...i spritzed some pb blaster in the green day all was fine)..They are lovely typers...with a super feel and precision guts..and those fantastic metal cases...
    so today a customer(I sharpen knives at farm markets)..brought me two typers..a late Royal(its in the car..not sure of the name..) and her mother's (german) old is cream top and that dentist office oogly beige base..she was happy to pass it on..well cost $30..I sat it next to the triumph Norm...the guts are identical..keys..action...etc..plastic levers.. COOL..ive cleaned it up some and just tested perfektly it's labelled # or's a 158XXX # just shy of the i guess its about 58-'59...It looks identical to your..just lighter brown -beige base and shifts...and with an ADLER label on the front...the metal carriage side covers and plastic knobs are the same....
    the case is plastic..and I have not yet loosened it from the base..i open the levers but its stuck..
    I opened the typer case and typed a half page..(after what 30 years)..types superbly..
    best regards Nick