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|In all of the research I've done surrounding portable typewriter manufacturing, distributing and exporting/importing, there have been a few times where I've had to collaborate with someone else to get to the bottom of a story. Such is the case here, with typewriters carrying the name 'COMMODORE.' Noted Commodore Computers collector Bo Zimmer and I carried on a lengthy series of e-mails and investigations over a month or two in order to reach a conclusion about the number of machines seen carrying this name.|
|At left is Bo Zimmer's COMMODORE portable. It's a desk model, and is actually a Canada-made copy of the Czech CONSUL 221 machine, from Zbrojovka Brno, Prague, Czechoslovakia. This kind of machine, complete with the 'chicken head' or 'C=' logo, is that which most computer collectors think of. However, this variety of logo was first used in the late 1970's; the name COMMODORE was first used on typewriters by Commodore Business Machines Inc. in 1958. Why then aren't there more typewriters around, one may ask?|
|Of course, the answer is that plenty are around; they just don't have the newer style C= logo. Most of them have a cursive, or script-type logo which in fact is made of very light plastic or metal and is extremely fragile... and often found damaged.
At right is Jay Respler's COMMODORE standard. It's actually a copy of the REMINGTON SUPER-RITER, and was made in Italy. This may explain several statements that Jack Tramiel, the man behind COMMODORE, tried to get deals with an Italian company to produce machines in Canada.
|The machine at left, from Leslie Zysman, is yet another variety bearing the script logo. It's actually a CONSUL 232 from Czechoslovakia; this would become one of the models actually produced under license in Canada by Jack Tramiel.|
|Yet another variety of machine imported by COMMODORE was the machine seen here and at the top of the page, a unit in my collection and which was made in Spain by Industrial Mecanografica SA. It's their model C85, and is a member of the "Euro-Portables" family.
All the machines seen here with the script-type logos are either late 50's or early to mid 1960's machines; well before the introduction of the new style logo. All were found in the US or Canada, and none was made either in the US or Canada.
|This revelation then gives COMMODORE collectors something new to think about... the fact that there are very many kinds of typewriters out there which passed through the hands of Commodore Business Machines, Inc. and which were previously not assumed related. It also explains to typewriter collectors why these machines are found at all; it was Jack Tramiel's continued importing of machines which created enough volume, and capital, to begin license production of the Czech ZB machines later on.
Thanks to Bo Zimmer, Jay Respler, Leslie Zysman for help with pictures and information!