|ALPINA page 2|
|At left is another ALPINA, which carries the AVONA brand name. (Serial #205786.) I've traced this name to Jordan Marsh Department Stores (located in the USA) -- and this makes sense, as this department store chain received goods from the Associated Merchandising Corporation (AMC) who is known to have brought Alpinas to the United States. This machine dates to 1960.
Notice the chrome return lever on this machine, as well as the metallic ribbon selector lever. There are some other small differences, too, and (of course) this machine has the normal, full case. Cases of these machines are covered in a sort of alligator-skin finish, frequently in two-tone (lid vs. base) if the machine inside is two-tone.
|As we've previously seen, there were frequent but small changes in the line over the years. On this page, we'll focus on that final period of production from 1960 through to the end.|
|At right, we have Jim Dax's ALPINA, with serial number 209778. It is the same machine as the Avona seen above, but carrying original labeling and fitted with the nylon carrige return / line space lever. This was fitted to some, but not all, standard carriage width machines above serial number 200,000 or so, and sometime between the production of the Avona and the Alpina you see here, began to be fitted to all machines except those with wide carriages.|
|The Avona is seen again in side elevation view. Notable here are the spring loaded pop-up paper support arm, and especially the depth of the machine overall. These cannot be used on a small surface due to the large footprint.|
|At right, my AMC portable, which is (of course) an Alpina. But this is no ordinary Alpina! It carries serial number 315,979 which is the second highest recorded serial number for any machine of this make. This is one of only two machines guaranteed to have been made after the takeover by Standard Elektrik Lorenz / IT&T in 1961. Official records end with serial number 242,000 at the end of 1960; with production about 40,000 units per year.
This example displays some very subtle engineering and metallurgical changes internally, and also has a different style of case. On this type, the machine's feet actually protrude through matching holes in the case base, so that the machine, whether standing alone or mounted in the case base with lid removed for typing (which is something you can do) is always sitting on its own feet. The top cover must be removed and two latches depressed in order to free the machine from its case bottom. In all operational respects, though, the machine is the same as before.
|There you have it1 You've seen all of the ALPINA machines, from one so early that it has no serial number, all the way through to the highest serial number yet found. These have always been among my favorite machines, and are also favorites of Norbert Schwarz. Norbert has assisted me time and again over the years, but as many know, our first collaboration ever concerned this very line of portable typewriters all the way back in March 2001. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as we have.|
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|ALPINA pages fully rebuilt July 2005.|
|Fellow collector and friend Richard Polt sends us this shot; it is a machine identical to that pictured above, but with a slightly higher serial number. THIS is the last known Alpina machine in the hands of any collector anywhere.
Note again the nylon carriage return lever, the toggle type tab set-clear lever on the right of the keyboard, the M-R key in line with the upper row of keys (on the right) and the AMC label on the front.
Great picture, Richard!