|PRESENTATION portable from Italy|
|We finally have, in our hands, a machine from a line which has been under research here for four years. This began with the frequent sightings of machines in Europe whose lineage could not be identified directly, and which all appeared to be of modern, compact, and plastic-bodied design.
In other articles on this site, I've made some note of the ROVER family of machines, made in China. I also noted that this company essentially bought out the tooling and designs of a company known only as IMC SpA of Italy. This new machine is of that ilk, and is a missing link.
|This machine, named "PRESENTATION" and only carrying the mark "Made in Italy," is very apparently related to both the Chinese-made ROVER family and to the older, Italian-made ANTARES family. It is, mechanically, half-way between the two, including features of both, and obviously between them in age. Notable ANTARES carryover features include the bottom-mounted crank-operated backspace, the all-metal paper bail, keyboard layout, return / line space mechanism, and the very definitively characteristic mechanism to set ribbon color. Many other features of design carry over to the ROVER -- such as the entirely stamped aluminum frame -- but don't correlate to ANTARES machines.|
|The ANTARES machines, such as the PARVA seen here, all contain dowel-mounting of the key levers in its original form. This includes the use of a solid, bar-stock like casting, into which are machined slots (horizontally) to accomodate the four dowel rods, one for each row of keys, and other slots (vertically) to accomodate the key levers.|
|The PRESENTATION, whose key lever arrangement is seen at left, uses the final method of dowel-mounting of key levers. Here, the dowels are essentially suspended in space by their ends; note the end of one poking out at the very left edge of the picture, just above and to the left of the +/= key. The dowels can be seen running horizontally. Note the individually bent teeth on the ribbon/escapement bail, running along the top of the picture.|
|It is the statement on the Shanghai Golden Bay Typewriter Company's page concerning the IMC heritage that allows the identification of this machine and its family members (coupled with the fact that I own both kinds, and most everything else for exacting comparison.) This also opens up another line of heritage, namely that of REMINGTON. It has been suspected that REMINGTON was involved in some way with ANTARES, as there are some small parts commonalities between the latter, and the REMINGTON Holland-made machines from the late 1950's/early 1960's. It is also a fact that some IMC and/or ROVER machines exist carrying the REMINGTON name -- indeed, these happen to be quite common in South America. Perhaps this is clear indication that REMINGTON did not, after all, totally avoid the "small flat" grouping of typewriters, but rather did get involved, albeit at arms' length.|
|As this is written in February 2004, we have now identified the largest family of machines which was previously NOT identified, in terms of number of sightings. There are other small groups of machines out there (whose pictures are stored in my massive vault of information,) but none nearly as large as this one.
We can hope, in a way, that this might be the last major milestone in the path of discovery concerning modern portables. If it is, although I'll be out of work, it would certainly be fitting, as this was one of my longest-standing mysteries.
|December 2005: Tilman Elster sends us these shots of three ENGADINE machines in his collection. "Engadine" is the original root brand name used by IMC in Italy.
Here is an Engadine, with serial number 28352. It has no separate model name or number.
|Engadine 44 with close-up of front label. Serial number C50955. This machine is a mechanical match for the Presentation.|
|At right, Engadine S. This machine has no serial number!|