I had to wait months to relish this one: the drawband snapped during shipping, and it lay idle as a wounded bear for months. My handyman fashioned one out of twine. The repair was complicated, and involved drilling a new hole for the twine in the drum. After two days, my friend got it going. I was ecstatic: it was the first time I typed with it.
It’s a gorgeous East German machine, and the touch is exceedingly responsive. The keystrokes are silky, inviting a crisp, soft touch. The rimmed glass-topped keys are alluring and spaciously arranged. The pica typeface is neat and has character. I’m sometimes put off by type that is too tidy, too upstanding. Then again, there are instances in which one wants that, such as when typing a final draft.
The biggest surprise was the condition of the platen and feed rollers: both are in excellent shape, and there are barely any marks on the backup sheet. That makes me suspect they were replaced, since most prewar machines have exceedingly hard platens and misshapen rollers. There’s also an overflow of rubber on the left platen ring, which may confirm my hunch.
Note: The poem above is one of a series of cut-ups on authors.