≡ Menu

Zeta’s Remington Junior

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

01 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

The people’s press

Typewriters are durable, withstanding not only the pounding of fingers, but also political tumults and upheavals. “I would erect a monument to the typewriter,” declared Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, quoted in this fascinating piece about dissent and the Iron Curtain. Whether sitting in private collections or chattering in cafes, typewriters stand as monuments of free expression.

Typewriters are the people’s press.

Lately, I acquired a 1930s, Czech-made Remington, which was manufactured by Zeta (later Consul) and sold between 1932 and 1934, or thereabouts. I make no claims about this particular machine’s history, but unquestionably it endured much. I like to imagine that it was used to fight fascism.

Guns and typewriters

The history of Zeta/Consul spans two world wars and the Cold War. Founded as Zbrojovka Brno in 1918 (or 1919, depending on source), the company’s goals “were the rehabilitation, development and production of all kinds of weapons.”1 Its facilities were located “in an artillery workshop of the Austro-Hungarian army on the left bank of the Svitava in Brno-Židenice,”2 and it quickly expanded production to automobiles and typewriters. The company was known as “Zeta.”

Zbrojovka DiskA detailed (and, frankly, accurate) history of Zeta is difficult to attain, but it was involved heavily in typewriter manufacturing throughout its operations. The company also manufactured automobiles at some point. According to researcher Will Davis, Zeta began producing typewriters under license from Remington in 1932 — one year before the Nazis ascended in Germany and seven years before Germany partially annexed Czechoslovakia. It is not clear how long production of Remingtons persisted, but likely from 1932 through the mid-1930s.

Based on documentary footage, Zeta also manufactured the Remington Standard:

When it emerged from the war, Zeta introduced its own models — desktops in 1949 and portables in 1953 — generally under the Consul label, but also under the Zeta, Forto and Norwood labels.

Typeface specimen

Zeta Remington Junior - Typeface Specimen - SZ 10192

Advertisements

Zeta Remington Junior - From Tageblatt, Prauge, Dec. 16, 1933

A Zeta Remington portable advertised in Tageblatt, a Prague newspaper, Dec. 16, 1933. Tageblatt is a Luxembourg newspaper, which was established in 1913. Source Československá Zbrojovka as (Zbrojovka Brno).

Zeta Remington Junior - Samstag December 22, 1934

A Remington in Saturday, December 22, 1934. Source Československá Zbrojovka as (Zbrojovka Brno).

Photos

02 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

03 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

04 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

05 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

06 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

07 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

Zeta Remington Junior, serial number - SZ 10192

08 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

09 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

10 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

11 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

12 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

13 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

14 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

15 Zeta Remington Junior - SZ 10192

Zeta Remington Junior logo on paper rest 01 - SZ 10192

The Zeta logo appears twice on the machine, once on the paper table and once on the top-left of the machine.

Another Zeta Remington

This is a No. 3 type Remington typewriter, conceivably manufactured around the time of the Junior. (Note: This machine is currently offered on eBay from a seller in the Czech Republic.)

01 Zeta Remington No. 3 type

02 Zeta Remington No. 3 type

03 Zeta Remington No. 3 type

04 Zeta Remington No. 3 type

05 Zeta Remington No. 3 type

Resources

As seen at TypewriterDatabase.com.

© 2015, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

  1. Zbrojovka Brno, Wikipedia (German language). []
  2. “Consul,” http://www.typewriters.ch/collection/consul_portable.html. []
{ 6 comments… add one }
  • x over it April 29, 2015, 12:08 am

    A wonderful find!

    It’s cool to see the Zbrojovka Brno logo on this is almost unchanged from the one they used into the 1980s.

    • Mark Adams April 29, 2015, 4:01 pm

      Yes, quite remarkably unchanged. One wonders what Zeta would have been absent the communist experience. Also, was Zeta always Zeta? Was Consul only a brand?

      • x over it May 1, 2015, 6:12 am

        Zbrojovka Brno is probably the best way to refer to the company, Zeta and Consul were both just brands after WWII from what I can tell.

  • Steve K April 29, 2015, 5:11 am

    Great post!

  • Rodja Pavlik April 29, 2015, 4:06 pm

    Just for your Information: Samstag is not the name of a newspaper, it’s a weekday (Saturday).

    What a tiny typewriter. I just started to learn about these machines and I have a Hermes Baby. Is this Remington Jr. smaller than a Hermes Baby?

    • Mark Adams April 29, 2015, 4:30 pm

      Saturday! Thanks! (Will make correction.) No, the Jr. is not smaller than the Hermes Baby, but I should note that Remington did set quite a standard for compactness.

Leave a Comment