Erika 3004 Electronic Typewriter Instruction Guide

I like the authoritarian tone of parts of the Erika 3004 portable electronic typewriter instruction guide I picked up on eBay:

“We congratulate you on having purchased our electronic portable typewriter. You should convince yourself of the efficiency of this machine (and our political system!).”

The Erika 3004 was first manufactured in 1987 at the VEB Robotron Optima Büromaschinenwerk, Erfurt plant, GDR, mainly for export to OEMs in Western Europe.

This explains why the instruction guide fails to refer to a brand, or a model name or number, throughout. But given that the unnamed typewriter is clearly a “plain vanilla” machine, limited to 10 and 12 pitch, with an unimpressive speed of 10 characters-per-second, no LCD screen, and a correction memory of a mere 20 characters, we can safely assume it’s an instruction guide for the 3004.

The Erika 3004 is the first in a series of portables which includes:

  • a 3005 model with more correction memory and the addition of 15 pitch (1988),
  • a 3006 model (also 1988) which has even more correction memory and a small (16 character) LCD screen.

Electronic Typewriter Instruction Guides

The following guide is viewable online and is freely shared. A small donation, however, will make it easier for me to continue to add to this archive. If you have donated, a printable copy of the PDF will be made available to you on request. Thank you!


2 thoughts on “Erika 3004 Electronic Typewriter Instruction Guide

  1. Hi Joe

    Thanks for dropping by! Yes, I did come across this article a few years ago. See:


    which describes how these clear-bodied typewriters were designed to make it impossible for inmates to hide weapons or drugs inside the machine. The designs designated by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

    These are most definitely Nakajima typewriters, or at least assembled from their parts, possibly the AX-160 for the higher spec ones and the AX-65 for the cheaper portables. But that’s just guesswork on my part, based on their appearance.
    I think other Swintecs (non-transparent ones) may have been manufactured more recently by Samsung, and possibly one or two were supplied in the past by Brother (more guesswork).
    BTW, new Nakajima typewriters are still being sold today under their own brand name or (sadly) as “Olympia” typewriters. Oh how the mighty German typewriter brands are fallen …

    If you find out anything else about Swintec be sure to let me know. 😉


  2. Steve, do you have any articles or information about Swintek typewriters? They are still being sold in the States, and have what appears to be a lucrative contract with clear bodied machines for prison use. I understand they might be regarded Nakajima.


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