Minesota Nice is a phrase that stereotypically describes the well-mannered warmth and hospitality shown by Minnesotans – and can be used in a derogatory sense to describe those (often customer service) situations when someone is nice to your face but clearly doesn’t mean it.

On first glance  this Montana looks to be a nice typewriter.1


Unfortunately, the more I type on it, the less I like it.1


From what I could gather, mostly from Mark Adams – who added the same typewriter with a “Packard” branding to the TWDB – this is a Italian-made (Montana SpA , Turin) Hermes Baby clone, and was also branded as “Vornado”, “Packard”, “Carlton” and “Viking”, and can be dated to as early as 1967.


It’s interesting to compare it with its Italian cousin the LP44 (Antares Compact) …


While the Montana has the smaller footprint of the two, the all-metal LP44 is a lot flatter …


What adds to the bulk of this machine is the thick plastic body that the typewriter sits in. Not exactly an attractive option, but a pragmatic one, since the typewriter lifts out easily for cleaning.


And a thorough cleaning this ‘baby’ certainly did need, as well as four new feet to replace the one surviving foot and the three that were missing from the underside of the base.


Plastic base and back-of-carriage aside, this is a reasonably attractive typewriter. The metal paper plate, ends of the carriage, and panels either side of the keys, compliment the fawn coloured keys.


What makes this typewriter less bland than it would otherwise be, is its nicely-finished Prussian-blue (metallic) ribbon cover with attractive logo …


Other ribbon covers came in crimson red …


1 At the risk of seeming slightly schizophrenic, I’ve revised my initial draft after giving the Montana more of a typing test. Definitely not the best portable typewriter in the world,  and actually not that far away from being one of the worst. Just as well I only paid $10 for it.

In future, should I make the titles of my blog posts fit the content rather than vice versa?

Oh yah, you betcha, darn tootin’!