Friday, October 19, 2012

A week of reviews (Part Three): Patria

How neat is this faux-snakeskin case?


  1. Congratulations on a very nice typewriter. I read that the Patria is a fine typer.

    I have grown to like the small portables after I bought my first Skyriter. I wish the Skyriter had the longer return handle. The newer ones do, but the early ones do not.

    The adjacent type bars move on my Brother typewriter also. It is surprising a German machine does the same.

  2. Congrats on your Patria! They are fine machines, and I have the mechanically nearly identical Swissa Junior, a later design with just a few things added and a squarer ribbon cover. The mechanical design and typing touch are unbelievably smooth. It's very high on my list of favorite typers. Even the QWERTZ keyboard isn't that difficult to get used to. :D

  3. Great score! That's a fine machine. If you don't hear from Georg in the comments here I would be surprised. He's documenting the Patria line, and making a study of s#'s and design/features because records are nonexistent.
    I don't have an SF either, I'm surprised you don't yet. And also, I completely agree that sticker is 10 lbs of awesome.

  4. Well here I am :) Thanks for featuring this machine. Absolutely charming. Snakeskin case! German keyboard, and also sold in Germany. Part of the Patria family, for sure. But not a "Patria" stricto sensu, although it is labelled such.
    I would say it's a relabeled Japy P.68, which is the French Patria branch. Three hints: 1. the space-bar integrated in the frame (this was never the case in the Swiss Patria line, but yes for the later P.68) 2. the location of the Patria label (just as for the P.68, whereas it would be on the paper tray for the Swiss Patria produced by Birchmeier) 3. the serial number matches with existing Japy P.68 numbers.
    From the shape of the keys and the space bar, I would place this machine in the second half of the 1950s.
    Compare here and here.

  5. Told you so! Hey Georg I think we need to visit this guy he has some great machines!

  6. Good review and good comments too.

    Just today I got a member of the Patria family myself; I'll show it on the blog pretty soon. They are quality typewriters, to be sure.

  7. Man, now you have triggered a case of typewriter lust! That is an interesting machine. I love the funky case and dang - that thing is atomic powered! No wonder the keys are so light.

  8. Ive a red swissa (sorry I haven't gotten you my serial # yet Georg!) and it is a damn good typewriter. Mine has sticky keys and I'll have to do some cleaning on it.
    It's an attractive little devil.
    Wood case. And it's mounted on the wood base.
    Not sure what kind of paint is used on it... Maybe it's bakelite/garolIte so the color is infused with the material.
    Great addition, Ken!

  9. If you look in the OMEF serial number age guide for "Patria," it simply says "See Japy." When you then go to that section you find that machines like my green Japy are contained in the first, P.18 block labeled "Japy and Patria portables" and machines like yours are in the "Japy Personelle" block that follows. So I agree that this machine is French made not only because of design peculiarities but because of the OMEF records.

    We've looked at a lot of these family members, from time to time, around here. See the following links if you haven't already:

    Above is a brief coverage of machines of this general design on our ETP site.

    Above is a link to the start of my investigation of the Voss Privat, performed some eight years ago.

  10. Congrats, Ken: beautiful typewriter. And that snakeskin case? Unbeatable. I hope you have a sharkskin suit to pair with it.

    Your review is spot-on. I recently picked up a 1937 Patria--the black, ridged 1st design. The body's perhaps not as svelt and atom-splitting as yours, but, man, what a machine. It's not a superportable by any means (similar footprint to the Hermes Baby and S/C Skyriter, yet quite a bit heavier.) But it's a revelation to write with. Gives new meaning to the revolutionary phrase 'Patria o Muerte.'


  11. Great machine! (maschine?)

    I'm not surprised that many German typewriters have the exclamation point. I remember that in German class, many sentences were emphatic that way.

    I love the little detail of the snakeskin HANDLE on that case. So cool!

  12. @Bill- I have been growing to like smaller portables more and more since I typed with that Antares for a while. I have tried a Skyriter, although I do not yet have one (although I do have a Tower Chieftain II, which is the same thing...). I will seek one out eventually, as they come highly recommended by just about everyone.

    @Ted- This is the only member of the Patria family I have tried, but I definitely hope to find more in the future. They really are great, especially for their size.

    @Peter- Thanks! I, too, am surprised that I have yet to land an SF. I just never pull the trigger, it seems. They come in such a variety of colors and's hard to choose!

    @Georg- Thanks for the info. The sticker on the back that names the country of manufacture has been removed, so I was rather curious.

    @Richard- I cannot wait to see what you have found! There are so many machines it could be... The suspense!

    @Dwayne- HA! I love to find machines with service stickers, and for this one to have such a great one (from Germany, no less) was really nice. Good luck in your quest for a Patria!

    @Michael- I love the variety these machines come in. So many to choose from! I particularly like the older Patria's, with the glossy black paint and glass keys. Very classy.

    @Will- Between Georg and yourself, I have far more information than I started with! I do believe I have visited those links before, but I will definitely check them out after leaving this comment. Can never know too much...

    @Rob- Unfortunately, I have no suit to match the case...nor shoes. Your Patria sounds like the one I am in love with. A classier looking machine than this one, in my opinion, but as you mentioned, it is not quite 'atom-splitting'. HA! It was smaller than I expected, although it is definitely bigger than a Skyriter or Hermes Baby/Rocket.

    @Cameron- I love that their keyboard has the exclamation point, and especially that it is so close to the space bar, period, commna...the whole lot. I am not sure if the snakeskin design is original to the case or not, but either way I am very pleased with how attractive it is!