Welcome to the newest member of the family. The Hermes Baby…

hermes baby

A quick search on line revealed that when she hit the market she was the Mini Cooper of typewriters, becoming the world’s lightest portable typewriter perfect for students and people on the road – the MacBook Air of her day in fact… According to the Classic Typewriter Store the “totally appealing Hermes Baby gained instance success since its introduction and garnered a loyal following among stylish writers of the day.”

I first laid eyes on her on a Sunday afternoon walking past my local Shelter charity shop in Morningside. On testing all her keys she was mine for £20. Who could resist the large keys…

typewriter keys

The vintage, 1940’s compact, slimline casing…

hermes typewriter

And who says you can only type on paper? Thick calico seems to offer no challenge and offers all sorts of possibilities for creating unique cloth…

calico and typewriter

Writing with her is a pleasure. The weight of the whole machine, the physicality of punching the keys and of course the fabulous noise. So fantastic in fact that someone has even dedicated a short film to the pleasure:

No wonder perhaps that the Hermes Baby was also reputed to be the prefered typewriter of Ernest Hemingway (reference). She forces me to slow down while typing compared to my computer keyboard. I am also forced to have far greater acceptance of my mistakes, embracing them as part of the process. As I plan to manipulate the resulting text I feel no pressure to type perfectly (which is kind of fortunate)…

Surprisingly (?), but also gratefully, I had no problem sourcing a new typewriter ribbon on ebay – what did we ever do before the web…

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