1897 - 1914
Wernicke, Edelmann & Co.
Edelmann Typewriter Co.
A. Greff & Co. GmbH
Julius Pintsch A.G.
Berlin & Frankfurt, Germany
For such a well made index typewriter, which was produced for almost 20 years and is so important to Germany's typewriter history, very little is actually known of its inventor, Wilhelm Wendt, other than his name. That is unfortunate. Wendt first patented the Edelmann in Germany in 1897. He was awarded a U.S. patent two years later (patent no.627,218).
Production of the Edelmann began in Berlin, Germany at the factory of sewing machine manufacturer Wernicke, Edelmann & Company. The outfit was later reorganized as the Edelmann Typewriter Company. Production of the typewriter was assumed in 1902 by A. Greff & Company of Frankfurt. The final manufacturer of the Edelmann, until 1914, was the company of Julius Pintsch, A.G. The Pintsch had more than one factory but it was the one located in Frankfurt that produced the typewriter.
Some Edelmanns were rebranded for export as the Gladstone or Columbia. Others were modified with braille indexes for the blind. Some were modified extensively, complete with foot operated controls, to accommodate soldiers with disabilities sustained from WWI.
To this day, the porcelain material with baked-on characters has preserved the vast majority of the Edelmann index plates in extraordinary condition. Equally, the notched scale in front of the plate has kept the alignment true. To use the Edelmann, one would select one of characters by moving the wooden handle and then depressing it into the notched scale. The typewheel reacts similarly to that of a Blickensderfer. Ink gets transferred to the typewheel as it passes an inked roller.
After production of the Edelmann was ceased by Julius Pintsch, A.G., it had a resurrection of sorts about ten years later as the Gundka typewriter. The Gundka was a very stripped-down, toy-like version. Like the Edelmann, the Gundka was also rebranded for various markets which included the Frolio, MW, Easy-Writer, Scripta and several others.
The three levers in front of the left side of the carriage are for spacing, CAPS and FIGS. Towards the end of the production of the Edelmann, those three levers were relocated directly to the left of the index plate. The manufacturer, J. Pintsch, A.G., also experimented with a ribbon inking mechanism.
In 1914 Edelmann typewriters sold for about 125 Marks while the modified versions, those for the disabled (which came with a stand), were about 400 Marks.
I'm always interested in acquiring these typewriters, especially the rebranded Columbia and Gladstone versions as well as the modified versions for the disabled or blind. Email me at Antikey.Chop@gmail.com