Though not at all unique, the 2-row keyboard of the Helios was its most interesting feature. From just 20 keys it could produce 80 various characters. This was possible because the Helios utilized an aluminum-cast, 4-tier typewheel for its print element, similar to that of a Blick except that the Blick element had just 3 tiers.
The Helios was first sold for 98 Marks and then the price was raised to 135 Marks. Its name variants included the Ultima, Portable Ultra and Bamberger. A prototype with a 3-row keyboard had been reported and may now be hidden in an attic somewhere.
Justin W. Bamberger (1879 - 19??) was not just the head of the company named after him, he was also the inventor of the Helios as well as the Liliput and a few adding machines. He first applied for a patent in the US for the Helios on November 2, 1909. He was issued patent no.987,103 for it on November 26, 1909 which was after his original Helios-manufacturing-company had already failed. After typewriters, Bamberger began selling a portable vacuum cleaner which he also invented.
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1908 - 1925
Justin Wm. Bamberger & Co.
Kanzler Schreibmaschinen A.G.
A. Ney & Co.
Munich & Berlin, Germany
Justin Wilhelm Bamberger & Co. of Munich, Germany, the same company that produced the Liliput, introduced the Helios in 1908 and produced it until the company went bankrupt. From 1909 to 1914, production of the typewriter was assumed by Kanzler Schreibmaschinen A.G. of Berlin but sold by Bamberger's new company, Helios-Typewriter-Gesellschaft. In its final iteration, after Bamberger's and the Kanzler companies ceased to be, the rights to the typewriter were acquired by A. Ney & Co., also of Berlin, which produced a slightly more enclosed version of the typewriter from 1914 to 1925. A. Ney renamed it to the Helios-Klimax.