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Kosmopolit

First year of production:
1888
Company:
Guhl & Harbeck , Hamburg , Germany
Serial nr:
n.a.

Six years after the introduction of the Hammonia, Guhl & Harbeck sewing machine company of Hamburg, made a second attempt to conquer the typewriter market, with the Kosmopolit, a machine literally based on the paper cutter design of the Hammonia.

The Kosmopolit has the same heavily decorated cast-iron base that is so typical for the Hammonia. But even more typical is the large, semi-circular comb on the front of the machine that adjusts the index pointer. Althoug much more complex, the operation of the Kosmopolit is similar to that of the World typewriter. Like the Hammonia (and the World) the printing mechanism moved across the paper while writing.
The large index pointer was turned to the correct character and pushed down. Attached to the pointer is a rubber type strip (missing from this machine). The rubber type was stamped down onto the paper. The type strip was fitted in the open frame that is clearly visible on the left in picture 3.

Paper was fed into the machine from the front and gradually rolled backwards, where it slid under the rear guide rail.

The characters on the type strip were place in alphabetical order, making the index machine all the more clumsy to work with. At the time, each machine came with six different type strips. Type strips were produced for a total of 13 different languages. The machine was exported and there was even a special model for the blind. Sales however, were not impressive and the machine is very rare today.

Courtesy of: Mantelli collection