Iffy Electronics

The sticker on the  ribbon cover of this Olympia Carrera portable electronic typewriter marks it out as a recipient of a German industry iF Product Design Award for 1987 — a dubious honour it shared with other AEG Olympia-made ETs the same year: the ES 72i and the Mini Office 61.

The iF Industrie Design Forum was originally established in 1953 to highlight German Design as part of the Hanover Fair industrial trade exhibition. Through the late 1970s and into the 1980s, German-made electronic typewriters (not surprisingly) featured heavily in the awards.

In addition to the Carrera, other AEG Olympia iF award recipients were:

  • the ES 100 (1980)
  • the Electronic Compact and the Supertype (1983)
  • the Mastertype and the Startype (1985)

TA Triumph-Adler ETs also featured regularly:

  • the SE 1030 in (1983)
  • the Gabriele 9009 (1984)
  • the Gabriele 7007 (below, 1987)
  • the SE 510 (1987)
  • the Gabriele 100 in (1989)

The IBM 6715, with an outer shell and keyboard designed by IBM (manufactured by TA-Triumph Adler), took out an award in 1986:

Japanese ETs (those available in Germany) also featured regularly in the awards.

A range of “modular” plug-in components were available with the award-winning Silver Reed EZ 30 compact and the EZ 50 professional (1987):

Silver Reed also took out an award for the EP 10 in 1988:

Viewed from the underside, standing on its end, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a portable radio:

Other Japanese ETs came in different guises. One of the more interesting IF award recipients (1989), is the hard-to-find, Swedish designed (Roland Lindhé Design AB) Facit T 150 portable electronic typewriter, manufactured by Nakajima:


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