Note: The history of the Montana line of typewriters is posted here.
The Montana Luxe, intoduced in 1950, was a licensed copy of the Hermes Baby. It was produced by Montana SpA of Torino, Italy, and sold in European and American markets.1 It was offered with either QWERTY and QWERTZ keyboards.
Montana produced several versions of this machine. Later models, like the re-branded Packard (featured in my collection here), had plastic bodies, and were sold in discount department stores. Early Montanas, however, were better built. Writes Robert Messenger at Oz.Typewriter, the Montana “really yells out for a good workout… it simply zips along at a great old rate.”2
I lately acquired this Montana Luxe, ser. no. 22408, on eBay. The word “Luxe” is not displayed on the paper table, as on other specimens of this machine, but it is doubtless a Luxe. The platen measures 25mm, as described at TypewriterDatabase.com.3 The platen on a later model, sometimes called the 102, measures 32mm.
My Luxe is a near-perfect copy of the Hermes Baby/Rocket, with a glossy, dark green finish. The label on the top of the machine reads “Montana, Florence – Italia.”
As seen at TypewriterDatabase.com.
© 2013 – 2014, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.
- European Typewriters / Italy / Montana at Machines of Loving Grace. [↩]
- Montana Luxe portable typewriter: Such a beautiful Baby, Robert Messenger, Oz.Typewriter. [↩]
- The Montana at TypewriterDatabase.com. [↩]
I’ve always loved the looks of the early Montana. The nameplate is superb! I never knew that the Packard descended from this…I guess in the back of my mind I always thought of it as Antares-based.
I like the look of the flatter black keys. I wonder are they better to type on than (say) the green Hermes keys.
Hmmn, so Montanas have the ribbon vibrator swinging up from the left like normal Hermes. I’ve always wondered why my Empire Aristocrat was built with a “mirrored” ribbon vibrator mechanism. It swings up from the right.
That’s an interesting observation, Munk. It does appear that Montana essentially stuck with the original design, until they started adding plastic.
Steve, the keys on the Montana are more comfortable, though I haven’t done any real typing on it, as I haven’t changed the ribbon yet.
I purchased what looks like this typewriter (in above photo on this page) with the Montana Florence-Italia logo the body is a greyish color and it is a metal body , it has the cover with the black carrying handle. It has made in Italy on the back panel. Would this be a typewriter a collector would look for? Is this a common find? Thank you.
Before the age of the Internet, they were hard to come by — less so today. However, I do note that they tend to garner higher prices than the average machine. That said, I’ve acquired one or two at around $50.
Thank you Mark, also I have a Smith-Corona Super Speed very very heavy typewriter…what would your opinion be on that. I’m a paper artist and I pick up things from thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales and such to find interesting items to alter with paper, paint, epoxy and such….
Thank you again for talking with me Colleen
Just discovered your blog. Excellent! And very good pictures of the fabulous Hermes Baby family.