Unless something very unexpected turns up, this is probably the last in my recent run of gull-winged typewriters …


It’s a Nippo Atlas (196X), a typewriter I picked up for $60 on eBay, a local pickup in the northern coastal suburb of Hillarys, Perth, Western Australia.


Made in Japan, in the industrial city of Yokohama.


As Will Davis pointed out (describing a Nippo portable earlier than this one) …

“The body shape on these early Nippos is very like the shape of the last variant of Halberg Traveler, on which these are based, and the early Royal portables derived from the Halberg after Royal bought out and integrated that operation into its own and began distributing the machines made to that design all over the world — “

Robert Messenger has also documented these Nippo portable typewriters and their association with Royalite and Halberg portable typewriters.

See also George Sommeregger’s Halberg-related post


My impressions of this Japanese typewriter:

First impression, it smells great. Second impression, it looks good. Third impression, it’s not very pleasant to type on largely on account of a set of “baby tooth” plastic key-tops that would not look out of place on a toy typewriter.

It’s a shame, because otherwise this typewriter is solidly constructed and has very substantial (compared with an Aristocrat, say) metal gull wings.

I also like its dinky metal spools …


… and the way the carriage return lever can be tucked away between platen knob and platen for storage.


The paper support is elegant too.



It’s interesting to compare the Nippo Atlas alongside my Brother De Luxe. Two japanese typewriters that are nice to look at, but not very nice to use.


Before I put these two together (I enjoy match-making) I expected the Brother to be a much bigger typewriter …


It’s a tad taller, but there’s nothing in it when it comes to surface area …


The Atlas case is in very good condition, apart from some interior staining from sheets of blue carbon paper…


The Copperplate carbon paper I found crammed in the inside pocket of the case might also be the source of this typewriter’s very distinctive aroma. I’m thinking of bottling it.


Less than distinctive is this typewriter’s Elite typeface …


However, it’s a typeface that does share an important characteristic with another Atlas Typewriter typeface I found online:

Atlas Typewriter, the lovely complement to Atlas Grotesk, is described by its creators as possessing a fundamental “monospaced­ness”.

You can’t argue with that.