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Pettypet

First year of production:
1930
Company:
Pettypet GmbH , Frankfurt , Germany
Serial nr:
K-17414

The Pettypet is one of these machines that is so rare that references to it are not easy to find. It was a late, and very peculiar index machine, that seems to be a cross-breed between the Bennett keyboard typewriter and the American Visible Index machine. The following is based on Ernst Martin's 'Die Schreibmaschine', and on input from several collectors.

The Pettypet was invented by a Vienna engineer called Podleci. The invention was supported by a Frankfurt banker, Heinrich Lissmann, who made it possible for the machine to be developed further at the Archo typewriter factory. In 1930 the Pettypet GmbH company was established, on the Bornheimder Landstrasse 54. However, according to Martin, none of the machines that were actually produced were ever offered for sale.

Only a handful of Pettypets are known to exist, in two colors, with either a blue or a brown cover shield. All the machines have serial numbers in the 17000s range, with a letter K as a pre-fix. It is not known what the letter stands for.

The Pettypet has a typewheel that is brought into position with two inter-connected index pointers for the left and right hand. Either pointer is used to bring the slides in position over the picture of the QWERTY keyboard that is on the cover of the machine. Printing is done by pushing the handle down. The carriage is pushed forward by the action of printing, similar to other cheap index machines. The size of the Pettypet is 200 by 120 by 40 mm (ldh).

It is quite likely that the Pettypets that are known now are in fact pre-production models. One collector reports some minor design problems in the machine, which indicate that it wasn't quite ready for the market. For instance, when selecting the outermost characters on the keyboard, the printing and spacing mechanisms interfere.

Courtesy of: Costa collection