|Very little is known about the actual company. Its full name is Nippo Machine Company. Two trademarks were taken out, for the name NIPPO in 1954 and for the name WELLON in 1970. It is now a part of the Technol Seven Corp. and makes time clocks and check protectors carrying the same NIPPO brand. The ATLAS is a very early example of the NIPPO machine. It was obtained from Australia, so it is assumed that it was sold there. The instruction manual scans are from that which accompanied this machine.|
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|NIPPO portable typewriters
Portable typewriters manufactured by the Nippo Machine Company, Limited of Yokohama, Japan are among the rarest modern typewriters. Only five, or perhaps six are known to be in the hands of collectors -- there are more Rooy machines, and many more Barr Portables! The heritage of this design took many years to discover; it is now known that the Nippo was derived from the semi-stillborn Halberg. You can see the full design heritage on that page. Here, we'll discuss the spotting features and models.
|Three body styles are known to exist for Nippo machines. This collage, from an instruction manual, shows the body style first used at the start of production around 1954. It is similar to the (much more common) small, flat Royal portable made in Holland, but has gull-wing ribbon cover doors, and pronounced shoulders along the side of the body.|
|Left, Atlas, serial # 709985. Right, Del Mar, serial # 400455.|
|The second body style is totally different from that used earlier. It is very modernistically angled, and uses chrome accents to offset the keyboard surround. Two model series used this body; the 100 and 200 series. The 300 series employed yet a third different body style, but none are at present in the hands of a collector.
At left, my Morse P-100. This brand name was that of a company in New York which imported sewing machines from various Japanese manufacturers which were labeled "Morse" and sold in the United States. Obviously, this company tried its hand at distributing typewriters as well. 42 keys, with no tabulator or ribbon selector. This machine is serial number 2800494.
|This shot shows my Nippo Argyle P-201 on the left, and my Morse P-100 on the right. The first-ever known machine of Nippo heritage in the hands of any collector was also an Argyle, which was owned by Blake Wharton and which launched a huge research project. He offered to sell me his at one point, but I said "no" -- it then took me another several YEARS to finally find one for myself!!|
|Argyle P-201, serial number 2002876. This machine has a ribbon selector lever on the right side of the keyboard, and a carriage lock lever on the left. The P-100 carriage lock is at the carriage rail itself with no remote lever. Other than this, there are no feature changes. There are, however, some manufacturing changes between the two.|
|There are not a lot of these machines around. It appears as if Nippo may have produced these machines only occasionally, to use production space idled by downturns in sewing machine demand, or else based solely upon request for export and distribution. It would seem as if there were a short period of initial production in the mid to late 1950's, and the first serial number digits of the Del Mar and the Atlas may indeed reflect year of construction. It then appears as if production ended, and later restarted either at the very end of the 1960's or just into the 1970's for another brief run.
The machines are not among the best-made typewriters, especially the later units. Their construction is wholly less satisfactory than the essentially identically designed Royal machines, with sloppier tolerance. This may help explain why very few remain; they may have been broken, or else traded in. Whatever the case, if you are collecting modern typewriters, the rare Nippo should be on your list for no other reason than the fact that they are so hard to find today.
|Use the button at right to go to the page on the Halberg, and find out where the mechanical design for the Nippo originated.|
|More NIPPO: Many more details, a P-200 and a complete model breakdown and comparison.|