|Tin toy typewriters are seldom seen in such beautiful condition as this A Imperial model, complete with packaging box and instructions. This West German-made pressed tin-plate toy typewriter was made by TippCo based in Nuremberg from 1912 to 1971. It is featured on Georg Sommeregger's Flickrstream and belongs to his good friend Alfred Wepf who owns most of the toy typewriters featured here. Sommeregger's own collection tops 300 portable typewriters in addition to a couple of much larger standard office machines. His oldest one dates from 1893.
Although TippCo manufactured their pressed tin toys in West Germany, the A Imperial typewriter was redesigned by the leading US toy designer Samuel Israel Berger in 1950 to include a pivotal typehead, for which he received a US patent. It was then distributed under an exclusive licensing arrangement in Britain after TippCo brought in tooling from the US and leased the American moulds. In short, this allowed TippCo to overcome stiff post-WWII restrictions on toy importations in Britain and the states. You can read further explanation of the complex toy licensing arrangements and the colorful history of TippCo at Oz Typewriters.
|The TippCo brand logo. Designer unknown.
Another TippCo toy dial typewriter from the Alfred R. Wepf collection includes
this striking Apex Standard model. In 1962, Berger's son Edwin modified the
A Imperial model, and it was imported to the US and the UK. Not only are the
colors more kid-friendly, but it prints red AND black.
Many thanks to Georg Sommeregger who kindly has shared all this
typewriter goodness and more. Find a nice collection of early 20th century typewriter company letterheads belonging to him here.