|Typewriters from the former Soviet Union|
|Practically nothing is known in the West about typewriters manufactured inside the Soviet Union. Those machines which were built behind the "Iron Curtain," but not in the USSR proper are fairly well-known -- they comprise machines normally seen with the Maritsa, Consul, Groma, Optima, and Rheinmetall names among others. But those internally made in the USSR are unseen in any explanatory way, until now. We'll simply present known machines and give what information we have at the moment.|
|Here is Tilman Elster's oldest Russian-made machine. Note the Cyrillic name on the paper table. This word is MOSCOW. In westernized books, this is sometimes printed as "Mockba" or "Moskva," but all are the same. It refers to the capital of the USSR.
This machine, in initial investigation, does seem to display some similarities to the Italian SIM/MAS family of machines. This machine has serial number 69341.
|This machine, also from Tilman Elster, seems to be identified elsewhere in Russian-language information (on the internet) as a Model 8M. It has serial number 237317.
This machine displays some similarities to Continental portables, and in fact, Wilfred Beeching seems to have suspected this as he indicated this association in his book "Century of the Typewriter."
|We should stop here, and make two points. First -- remember that a particular model NAME, coming from a true Communist nation, means little. More than one design can be sold under a given name, and model, so long as it meets the same operational requirements. Proof of this can be found by clicking here.
Further, we have found photographic proof, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Erika machines of the early 1950's style were distributed with the MOSCOW name. Unfortunately, these photos are on Russian sites and we choose not to attempt to duplicate them here. Still, we can be sure of this, and now with the shots above, we SEEM to have MOSCOW machines that could be related to the Europa/SIM/MAS, then to the Continental, and also to the (East German) ERIKA.
|Tilman Elster sends this shot of a much later machine, named something like JAJUBAVA. It has serial number 2345148 and appears to date to the 1980's roughly.
This machine's body has more than a hint of late ERIKA design, but this is an extremely hazardous guess. It may internally contain that design, or that of the earlier 8M seen in blue above. This investigation will continue, and collectors are encouraged to send pictures of known Russian-made portables for examination.
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