The Alpina typewriter, a West German make, was marketed in the United States as AMC or Avona at Jordan Marsh department stores.1 As portables go, this machine is heavy. Robert Messenger at oz.Typwriter describes the Alpina as “semi-portable,” and that is certainly an apt description. I must admit that when I received my AMC in the mail, I was taken aback. It looked pretty and petite in the photos, but it is a much larger machine.
That said, the AMC is stylish, to the point of astonishment — I spend more time admiring it than typing. Its vast, roundish proportions remind me considerably of 1950s automobile styling. One can really go places with this typewriter.
In terms of build quality, the AMC is mostly metal, with some hard plastic components. The carriage return lever, a swooping cream colored element, is made of plastic, but has a very solid feel. The keys amplify the sense of roundness this machine embodies.
See the AMC in action:
An Alpina similar to the AMC lately appeared on eBay. It seems to have gotten its “buy it now” price of about $200.2
One last bit of interesting reading comes from Will Davis’ web pages: PORTABLE TYPEWRITER RELABELING…how and why. Simply put, not all AMCs are Alpinas.
In my collection: AMC, Ser. #284280, West Germany, circa 1961
Per Ton S. (I dream lo-ech)’s request:
Note: See comments for context.
Bach’s “Kaffeekantate” on YouTube:
© 2013 – 2014, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.
- It appears also to have been sold at the Boston Store, which was owned by the same corporation that owned Jordan Marsh. I’ve located several advertisements for an AMC typewriter at the Boston Store (see sample here). You can read more about Jordan Marsh at Wikipedia. [↩]
- I’m working strictly from memory. [↩]