Orphan Black

Of course, I knew Juki 2100 and 2200 portable electronic typewriters took an Olivetti Praxis compatible ribbon (and a TA Triumph-Adler print wheel, and quacked like a duck, see my Juki New Year blog post of January 1st, 2017), but who knew the Juki 2100 (or is it the 2200?) portable electronic typewriter was also sold as the Olivetti DAISY BLACK?

This imaginatively-named typewriter appears to have been unique to Japan (this is a sighting on the Japanese Yahoo auction site).

While Olivetti collaborated with several major Japanese electronics and computer companies throughout the 1980s to produce photocopiers (Sharp, Canon) and office automation systems (Toshiba, Hitachi), I cannot find any evidence they entered into any kind of joint venture with Juki Industries.

On its own, the existence of an Olivetti ribbon, hardly seems like proof of anything. Many electronic typewriter manufacturers used third-party consumables.

But an “Olivetti” branded typewriter and operating guide (rather than the “no name” generic booklet you normally get with an OEM machine)?

Hmm… Maybe Olivetti was more than just a supplier of ribbons? Is it likely Juki came to an agreement with the Olivetti Corp. of Japan to produce a Praxis clone, in the same way they came to an agreement (presumably) with IBM, to put Selectric ribbons in their daisy wheel printers, and unadulterated IBM Selectric golf balls in their Sierra 3300/3400/3500 golf ball typewriters?

Apart from taking the same ribbon, the Juki 2100 and 2200 do share a number of features in common (for example, they share the same see-through top cover, and the same KBI and KBII selector switch to the left of the keyboard) and were manufactured around the same time (circa 1983).

Olivetti Praxis 20 (above)

Below, a Daisy Black is listed as an “Olivetti” alongside a Nakajima AX-150 … which shows how much care and attention went into this Japanese online listing.

A second Nakajima thumbnail image is also shown (above) for the Olivetti ET 101. Not that an association between Nakajima and Olivetti is completely erroneous – if you ever wondered why this Olivetti CX-880 takes a Nakajima AE-series compatible ribbon ….

The answer is simple …

… it’s a clone.

Helena (Tatiana Maslany) and Sarah (Tatiana Maslany)

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