Machines of

Loving Grace


The Machines

Catalog Brands

Master Index


Depression portables

Evolution of the Sterling
All About the Remie Scout
Typewriters as InspirationEphemera

Other pages on this site:

Collapsing World
Collapsing World: a blog

Stapler Fetish

Conley Cameras
Conley Cameras

A Trip Through Sears, Roebuck & Co.

Greetings from Rochester
a history in postcards

Ocean Liner Postcards
Vintage ocean liner postcards

My non-typewriter photography

Genealogy, with a focus on the Seaver, Bilyeu, Amidon, and Lowell branches

This site is copyrighted. Please don't use any of the materials here without my permission.


Adler ad, 1926

Adler Favorit 2
Serial # 553794

Adler Favorit 2

Adler Favorit ad
1935 ad for the model 1 Favorit
The Adler Favorit was introduced in 1935 as a "kofferschreibmaschine": liteally "suitcase typewriter" but probably best translated as "travel typewriter". In 1937, it was replaced by the Favorit 2, featuring improved carriage bearings, paper guide, and line spacing mechanism. It was priced at 155 Reichsmarks, or about $62.25. Although costing the equivalent of $951 in today's money, this was actually a moderately-priced typewriter. It sold very well across Europe, though is seldom found here in the United States. Interestingly, it still employs the thrust-action typebar mechanism licensed from Wellington Parker Kidder in 1896. (See how the typebars work.)

The Favorit 2 was the last new model built in Adler's Frankfurt factory. In 1939 typewriter production was suspended and the factory converted to military production to support the war. On May 8, 1945, the factory was destroyed by Allied bombs.

Adler Primus
Serial # 1634937

The Adler and Triumph companies merged in 1957. The Primus--which types much better than it looks--is a rebadged version of the Triumph Gabriele.

Adler Universal
Serial # 1336842
Adler Universal

The Universal is a very large machine not often found here in the U.S. Like the Primus above and most other Adlers from this time period, it was imported by the ADDO Machine Co of New York. ADDO Machine Co appears to have been a branch of the ADDO-X company of Sweden, a maker of adding machines that was later bought out by Facit. Why they were in the U.S. typewriter import business is anyone's guess.

The Universal is quite similar to the Olympia SG1 in many ways. So similar, in fact, that I have to wonder if Adler didn't license certain features from Olympia, or if the Universal was a deliberate imitation with the hope that they wouldn't get sued by Olympia. Both have nearly identical, lift-off carriages (though the Universal's release is not as quick or simple); both have big, slot-machine style sheet-feeder levers; both can switch between regular and d o u b l e character spacing on the fly.

The Universal does fall short of the SG1 in a few areas, mostly control locations. The push-button controls flanking the keyboard are a little too easy to accidentally press. Only two ribbon settings are available, in contrast with the SG1's multiple settings. The touch control is awkward and difficult to access (behind a plate underneath the machine), and doesn't have much effect anyway. I haven't yet gotten the decimal tabulator to work, but that may just be me.

Inarguably, the most important qualification--the one that the SG1's reputation is wholly built upon--is the touch. How does the Universal measure up to the SG1 in this department? It turns out that it measures up quite well! The key action is sharp and precise, and the keys glide like the proverbial knife through butter. This is not at all like the "slushy" feel that later Adlers suffer from. In fact, the moment that I began to type on it, I immediately ceased to miss the SG1 that I gave away a while back. This is a very fine machine, one of my top ten best.

Adler J4
Serial # 3997055
Adler J4

Same machine as the J2, with some minor additional features. It is a good machine, but is burdoned with the ugly yellowed keys typical of Adlers from this era, and a somewhat "slushy" touch that I personally find a bit distracting.

Download the manual for this typewriter here.

Adler J5
Serial # 15729584

Like the Primus, it types much better than it looks. Recently, I found the Adler nameplate lying in the back corner of its case and glued it back on.

Adler Tippa S
Serial # 10048378
Adler Tippa S

Serial number data for Adlers after 1973 is hard to find. Around this time, Triumph-Adler was caught up in a vortex of corporate conglomerations within conglomerations. T-A was bought by Litton (this machine bears the Litton "li" on the back), who already owned Royal and Imperial. Designs began to be licensed among Litton's holdings and brand names and model labels swapped around..

I would guess that this machine numbering over 10 million is from 1975-1980. It's possible that Litton maybe reset the serial numbers to start at 10000000...or not.

As a typer, it's not bad. For an ultra-compact portable, it's quite good indeed. As an Adler, I'd place it between the Primus and J4 for usability; as an ultra-compact, I'd say it's not as good as the Lettera 22, but much better than the Royalite or Skyriter. I did experience some problems with the ribbon's automatic reverse--and there's no switch to manually reverse the feed--but that could be a gunk issue with this specimen and not representative of the line in whole. Like all plastic-bodied clamshell designs I've encountered, it tends to be a bit "clattery" without additional padding.

Return to Machines of Loving Grace