Groma Keytops (and the Three Bears)

There are some stunning Groma Modell N’s on the TWDB. Real beauties such as Nick T’s and Scott K’s. Groma N’s with square and round keytops respectively. This one (part of the stash of German typewriters I discovered in Fremantle) has oval keytops …


Not quite in the same league as some earlier Modell N’s, but drab crinkle has its place …


Actually, when you get the sunlight on it, this Modell N looks spectacularly less drab …


Nick T’s Post-war Gromas post is where I found this Modell N’s place in the Groma scheme of things.


The serial number (297911 = 1952) confirms it as an example of Groma’s second post-war Modell N with the “all-new body style” (1952-1957). Far from being anachronistic, it’s hard to imagine this austere post-war Eastern Bloc machine being made in any other time or place.


What to make of the Modell N? I go along with what Richard P says about his 1953 fourth version Modell N:

“… the carriage shift is heavy and there’s quite a bit of resistance to the keys.”

The typing feel may take some getting used to, but I get the sense this typewriter can only improve, from good to very good, once it’s been cleaned and loosened with use. A new ribbon will help to accentuate what is a very nice typeface.


Apart from some light scuffing on the left-hand side of the ribbon cover and at the rear, this typewriter is in reasonably good cosmetic condition.


I like the way the carriage return lever hugs the curve of the ribbon cover, and how when you lift the ribbon cover, the type bars goose-step to attention in true DDR fashion.


Nice architectural lines. In this picture, it looks like the Sydney Opera House …


But I’m not sure I like how the over-long dagger of a paper rest folds away yet still protrudes from the left side of the machine. When I bought this typewriter it had been jammed down behind (instead of in front of) one of the tab stops. A design vulnerability in my view.


Another gripe I have is that the quietness of the typing action is spoilt by the clatter of the mandible-like space bar – an anatomical detail which could alternatively be described as this typewriter’s Achilles heel. Some strategically placed heel rubber may be in order.


Speaking of rubber, the platen on this 1952 typewriter is surprisingly rubbery. The feet are good too, and I wonder what conditions need to exist for a typewriter’s rubber to be longer lasting? Not too cold, not too hot, just right?

This blog post is starting to sound like a fairy tale …


No Prince Charming, just a reasonably handsome frog.


4 thoughts on “Groma Keytops (and the Three Bears)

  1. I actually have one of these. They look great, however be mindful of the metal at the back of the typewriter. Groma swapped out quality metal for softer metal on this version of the machine, so there’s a couple of points that are a bit prone to damage. That said, they are wonderful machines with a great typing feel.


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