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It is a small, movable typewriter, one of the most classic typewriters of the 1st half of the 20th century. Its production, on the basis of the patent purchased from the Paillard company of Switzerland, was commenced by Fabryka Karabinów (FK) [Warsaw Rifle Factory] in 1938.

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It is a small, movable typewriter, one of the most classic typewriters of the 1st half of the 20th century. Its production, on the basis of the patent purchased from the Paillard company of Switzerland, was commenced by Fabryka Karabinów (FK) [Warsaw Rifle Factory] in 1938.
The device was equipped with the then common bar linkage mechanism with a double-register keyboard. Only golf ball typewriters could be lighter and smaller. Because of their mediocre power of hitting the keys, movable typewriters were not suitable for office work, yet there was a group of universal typewriters suitable for typing several copies by means of carbon paper.
Thanks to its small size and weight, this typewriter did not require to be carried separately and could be packed and easily transported in hand luggage. Although it allowed one to type two good quality copies (by means of carbon paper), the small spaces between the keys made it difficult to type fast. Thus, it was suitable just for private letters and the preparatory process of writing press articles and short texts. Because it was movable, it allowed for outdoor typing, so it was especially favoured by journalists and writers before World War II.
The typewriter was produced in the late 1930s and its design and pattern were very interesting and innovative for those times (like Hermes Baby, the identical and popular typewriter). Prior to FK, the common elements of typewriters were soft, with oval edges concordant with the streamline trend. FK stormed in with its sharp edges and expansive body; these motifs did not become popular in their industrial design until the 1960s.
Approximately 1,000 units were produced until September 1939. Unfortunately, production was interrupted with the outbreak of World War II. After the war, within the new political system, typewriters were not produced in our country for over 25 years, as people working in offices and bureaus mainly used German machines left by the Nazi administration, or devices imported from Czechoslovakia and East Germany. Purchasing a typewriter for private use was very difficult in communist Poland as it required one to obtain a special permission issued by local authorities. In the late 1980s typewriters could be bought in Pewex hard currency shops. Generally these were AEG typewriters produced in Yugoslavia.

Elaborated by the Municipal Engineering Museum, © all rights reserved

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Small typewriter FK (“efka”)

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