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Groma Gromina - East German laptop typewriter

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    Posted 11 years ago

    (1 item)

    This is a Groma Gromina from the early 1950s, made in East Germany. The goal of this design was to create an ultraflat typewriter, and the engineers succeeded. Only the Rooy, from France, rivals the Gromina in slimness. The typewriter is meant to be mounted permanently on its base, which fits neatly into a case. The odd design features gullwing ribbon covers and garish square keys. The typebars make an arc of almost 180º and have a geared linkage similar to that used in some Remington portables of the 1920s and '30s.

    Around 1953 the body of the Gromina was redesigned to look more sleek, and the hardware was changed. Then the company introduced the Kolibri, which looks similar to the later Gromina but is actually taller and uses a very different mechanical system. The ultimate evolution of the Groma "laptops" was the Kolibri Luxus (around 1960), with refinements such as bicolor ribbon and touch control. Maybe this story represents the corruption of the egalitarian, anti-luxury ideology of the German Democratic Republic!

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    1. Klassiklehrer80, 11 years ago
      The color choice is delightful, especially against the backdrop of contemporary typewriter aesthetics. Its engineers seem a bit behind the times in mounting this one on a board when several other manufacturers were using steel, aluminum, or fiberglas with good effect. And with such a high arc, I wonder how fast one could actually type on it. That question is affected, of course, by such complications as maintenance quality and the quirks of an individual specimen. Still, I want to type on it!
    2. typerkid typerkid, 11 years ago
      whoa, this typewriter is so flat! i love it!
    3. Shane Slater, 11 years ago
      I think Groma designed and produce some of the most beautiful machines, the Model N apart from being well engineered is also great to type on as well as great line. I also own a Gromina which believe is 1956, all but identical to the one above apart from the red keys, mine having classic black keys with white inlay. but reading klassiklehrer80's comments about Richard's Gromina being mounted on a board, mine came in a beautiful light tan leather case. I think case type may have been optional. Also having many Olivetti MP1's in wooden leatherette cases I was very surprised recently to see an original advertisement from 1939 in an Italian magazine showing that model also in a semi rigid "Zipped" leather carrying case, the ad did not mention price but I imagine it was far more expensive.

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