VINTAGE AZTEC 700 PORTABLE TYPEWRITER W/ CASE - RARE!!
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Sold Date: 06/03/2011
Channel: Online Auction
THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL RARE VINTAGE AZTEC 700PORTABLE TYPEWRITER WITH THE ORIGINAL LEATHERETTE CASE IT IS IN GREAT WORKING CONDITION WITH ALL OF THE KEYS AND FUNCTIONS WORKING GREAT THE CASE IS IN GOOD CONDITION THE LATCH WORKS AND KEEPS THE CASE CLOSED IT WAS MADE IN EAST GERMANY IT'S A REAL RARE TWO-TONE BEAUTY AS YOU CAN SEE IN THE PICTURES HERE IS SOME MORE INFO: Pictured here is the enigmatic Aztec 700 type writer, a type writer made in East Germany during the fifties and early sixties and marketed under a variety of names. In Europe it was sold as the "Erika" and as "Boot" in England. Initially, because I couldn't track the name down in either Beeching or Adler, I was under the impression that this was a rare and little known variety. However, after chatting with Bob Aubert of Riverside, New Jersey, a skilled restorer and collector of type writers, I discovered that he had sold these in the early sixties when it was illegal to import items from Iron Curtain countries. His boss was able to make arrangements in East Germany to bring the machines into the country (perhaps through Canada) and then he would drive to New York, fill his trunk with them, and return to South Jersey to sell them. The conservatory's own restorer, Jim Wenderoth of Keystone Typewriter, remembers servicing the Aztec in the seventies.
The Aztec came in at least three versions, the 700 pictured here with tabulator, the 500 without tabulator, and a desk model electric machine. The Conservatory's example has a Leatherette case, but cases also came in bakelite, referred to as "Glakresit" in the instruction manual. It had an amazing number of features, some not found on desk size machines of better quality. ()
At the lower right side (as you're facing the machine) was a lever to open the hood of the machine.Bringing the lever forward popped the hood up, revealing the typebars and ribbon spools. On the right can be seen a touch selector lever going from "+" to "-". By pressing two metal tabs on the underside of the hood just above the ribbon spools, the entire hood could be removed without tools. This facilitated the installation and removal of ribbons. At the left side of the machine was a carriage lock lever. Pushing the lever to the rear and centering the carriage locked the carriage for travel. The picture above shows the position of the carriage lock. A feature found on this machine and only a few desk models was the typebar unjamming lever to the left of the shift lock, shown here as the odd, unmarked, brown key noticeably protruding to the left. Here the Aztec is removed from the case bottom by pushing forward on the two levers, one each in front of the ribbon spools. The Aztec fits nicely into its leatherette carrying case. A clear indication that the Aztec's provenance is East Germany is the "made in Germany" logo at the rear, lower right. At the time this machine was made, any type writer from West Germany would have said 'West Germany' as its place of origin. The keyboard of the Aztec 700 with special function keys labelled. The tabulator clear key is located on the carriage at the right side, between the carriage release and paper release. This view displays the function keys on right side of the carriage. The variable release is activated by pulling out the left platen knob. The Aztec has a paper support not unlike that found on Olympia portables from West Germany. The line space selector spaces at single, space and a half, and double space. One The Aztec is an amazingly robust machine with all metal construction. The keys have a nice solid feel but are not as responsive as a Royal or Smith-Corona of the same generation. The type face is excellent and well aligned. For a sample of...
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