Erika 3004 Electronic Typewriter Instruction Guide

Released in 1987 and weighing 7kg, the Erika 3004 is a dual pitch machine with an average speed of 10 cps and a correction memory of 20 characters. Upgraded typewriters with more correction memory and the addition of 15 pitch, the 3005 and the 3006, followed in 1988. The 3006 model has a narrow (16 character) LCD screen.

Parts of the instruction guide strike an authoritarian tone:

“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 model name or number, throughout.

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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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