On the Topic of the Top-tronic
Posted on January 18, 2019
I erred (see tag line ↑) in a 2015 post “Letters from Nakajima” by assuming that the Hermes Top-tronic 15 was made by Nakajima.
In fact, the”Top-tronics” 15, 15-1 and 16. were made by Japanese manufacturer Towa Sankiden.
Other Hermes “Top-tronics”, as well as other Hermes and Japy electronic typewriters (Hermes Palliard took over Japy in 1971), were supplied by Olivetti after they took over the Switzerland headquartered Hermes Precisa in 1984.
In 1983, 25% of Olivetti Corporate stock was purchased by AT & T, making AT & T a distributor of Olivetti products and vice-versa. As a result, several of the models listed here may have also been sold as AT & T typewriters:
- Hermes 26 portable – especially made for Hermes by Olivetti with a paltry speed of 10 cps.
- Hermes 28 (ET-109, SERD 2000) a compact machine which zips along at 20 cps per second 1986?
- Hermes Top-tronic 30, Compact, 17 cps 1986
- Hermes 31 (ET-112, REMSTAR 119) full-size, 20 cps per second 1986
- Hermes 35 (ET-116, REMSTAR 219) full-size, 15 cps per second 1986
Source: Info-Markt Ratgeber (German Office Equipment Catalogs) Editions 1984-85, 1986-87.
The Hermes Top-tronic 51 with external display screen and the Hermes Super 40, are listed (in Info-markt Ratgeber 1984-85) as manufactured by Hermes Precisa Switzerland, however I suspect the Japanese (Towa) may have been involved behind the scenes.
Hermes 60/61 full size electronic typewriters (with Video and Teletex options) are listed (in Info-markt Ratgeber 1986-87) as manufactured by Hermes Precisa Switzerland, however it’s clear Olivetti were involved.