The Multi-Faceted TP1
Posted on November 12, 2015
One thing that disappoints me about this otherwise excellent FACIT TP1 (P245909, 1960) is its tiny typeface.
So when a reasonably-priced ($40) TP1 came up on Gumtree I was anxious to check it out and see if it had a bigger typeface.
Indeed it had! I was also pleased to discover that this second TP1 (P418933, 1965) is different in more ways than just typeface.
The first and most obvious difference is the fact that it has a squared rectangular (as opposed to a rounded) FACIT name badge on the front of the ribbon cover …
… and square rather than round FACIT lettering on the rear of the machine …
Another notable difference is the fact that this (later) TP1 has tabulation, in other words, a Tabulator key and a rack of tab stops located underneath the tube-bearing carriage …
Richard Polt saved me lot of head scratching by describing “the facets” of his Facit TP1. As Richard explains, the left-hand lever “1” is used to set individual tab stops. Push the lever back to set a tab, pull it forward to clear. The right-hand lever “B” is used to set a series of pre-set tab stops (at positions 0, 20, 42, 64, 74, 84, and 94). Again, push the lever back to set the redefined tabs. Pull the lever forward, and all the tabs are cleared.
Interestingly, my tabulated TP1 is not like Richard’s in some other design respects, and this seems to be due to the fact that there are different series of “Facit Privat”. As V. Dromberg points out on the TWDB …
“According to the Swedes the model name is Facit Privat serie 1 ( 1958-60 ), serie 2 ( 1960-64 ) and serie 3 (new design also Bernadotte 1964-68).
These were followed by various plastic machines.
P in the serial number stand for “Privat” and not “Portable” and is inherited from the Halda P.
TP1 and TP2 are model names used in export markets, probably to get some marketing assistance from the office machine.”
That description of “three series” is a little misleading in so far as TP1 and TP2 serial numbers are lumped together under a “Facit Privat” grouping. So there are, in effect, two series of TP1, and one series of TP2.
It seems then, what I’ve got is a Series 2 TP1 typewriter that’s been given the same squared-off front badge and rear lettering as was given to the Series 3 TP2.
So what are the design variations that identify a TP1 as belonging to Series 1 or Series 2? Well the first point to make is that all TP1s (early and late examples) were sold with or without tabulation. Some were also sold with green key-tops, although most have black key-tops.
Another point to note is that not all of the following design variations are necessarily attributable to a difference in series. They may be due to the fact that the resourceful Swedes used whatever parts were available at the time.
But after looking at the two examples I own, and other examples on the TWDB and elsewhere, these seem to be the points of difference between the TP1 Series 1 and the TP1 Series 2:
Paper plate and margin scale
Series 1 machines have a Perspex margin scale screwed onto the paper plate. It’s a nice touch.
Series 2 machines have a plain paper plate with a black metal margin scale along the top. Less attractive.
This one’s interesting. In the image above you’ll see there’s a paper deflector plate directly behind the paper bail. The Series 1 TP1 typewriters don’t have one. But guess what – the TP2 does have one.
If you haven’t already noticed, two styles of margin stops were used across the two series of TP1, although in general:
On Series 1 machines the margin stops are what I’d describe as bell mushroom stops.
Series 2 machines have flatter, Bent-backward–T-shaped margin stops (usually). Some Series 2 machines may also have bell mushroom margin stops.
Also visible in the images above, are the paper support arms. On Series 1 machines the two arms of the paper support fold away in parallel to reveal 2 tabs. These tabs are located low down on each arm.
On Series 2 machines the two arms of the paper support fold away in parallel, but there’s a single tab which is located at the top of the arm on the right-hand side. A less elaborate design.
Line Finder (Card Guide)
Several variations of line finder/card guide appear to have been used across different series, although in general:
On Series 1 machines the line finders are short, mostly grey in colour and resemble the wings of a moth (some are black, exactly like those on a Halda P1) and with a broad, triangular card holder, which is missing on my 1960 TP1, but check the link (above) to Richard Polt’s TP1, which has the card holder intact …
Series 2 tend to have the same moth-wing (Halda) line finders and triangular card holder as per Series 1, grey or black, but I’ve noticed that some have a TP2-style triangular card holder which is narrower and squared off at the top like this one …
On my 1965 TP1 however, the card holder is a rounded wire loop, and the line finders are much wider, black in colour, and more like the wings of an airplane (shades of a TP2 again) …
On Series 1 machines the metal strip of the ribbon selector is black in colour.
On Series 2 machines the metal strip of the ribbon selector is light grey/silver in colour.
In summary, I think the Series 1 machines are more aesthetically pleasing, due to various refinements that were dispensed with later (rounded badge, Perspex panel over the paper plate, bell mushroom margin stops).
Having said that, typeface is the deciding factor for me when it comes to choosing which of these two typewriters to keep. The typing feel is pretty much the same on both.
Also the ’65 model is more complete in that has tabulation and a paper deflector. A final thing to note about this particular ’65 TP1, is that its been given a sensible type bar/key-top modification …
Worth every dollar and cent I paid for it!
Here’s another example of a TP1 with a squared-off front badge, TP2-style card holder, and an interesting distributor badge …
A Blikman & Sartorius TP1 (courtesy of the Oldschooltypers WordPress site)
Blikman & Sartorius is a Dutch publishing company based in Amsterdam.
In times past, they were also office equipment (typewriter) suppliers and distributors …
More Facit-related links: