Pettypet Typewriter

Pettypet

ca.1930

Pettypet GmbH

Frankfurt, Germany

According to several sources, the Pettypet was invented by a person named Podleci. No other information is known of the inventor other than having hailed from Vienna, Austria. Also unknown is the original patent for the typewriter even though the back of its frame is stamped with "Patented in all Countries-Patents Pending." Information in books, journals and online is scant but I will try to aggregate it all here. With that said, what is it that we actually know of the Pettypet...

First the obvious: the Pettypet is an index typewriter that best resembles a Bennett and functions more like an American Visible but is about 25% larger than both. Its keyboard is really just a legend. The two finger cups in front of the legend are used to select characters and to print by depressing. A button below the middle of the legend is the spacebar. There are two raised shift keys for CAPs and FIGs. The typewriter uses a typewheel for print application, like a Blick, with ribbon for inking. The two red buttons on the sides of the machine are for changing ribbon direction. A strip of rubber is used in lieu of a platen.

Pettypet Typewriter

Also stamped into the rear of the frame is the company name, Pettypet GmbH, and its location, Frankfurt, Germany. Collector Flavio Mantelli writes in the Typewriter Sketchbook (2011) that the company's physical address was established ca.1930 at Bornheimer Landstraße 54 and that financing for the venture was provided by Heinrich Lissman, a successful banker. According to typewriter historian Michael Adler, actual production of the typewriter was done at the Archo typewriter factory.

Bennett Typewriter
American Visible Typewriter
Pettypet Typewriter

One long-standing and erroneous piece of information that truly needs to be put to rest is that all Pettypets were prototypes. They were not. All but one were, without a doubt, production models. As of September 2022, there are 21 known examples with unique serial numbers between 17000 and 17500 stamped into the rear of the frame. Most serial numbers have a "K' prefix but not all. Two Pettypets, one average sized and one smaller than all the rest, lack serial numbers and prefixes. Two other examples are stamped with just "Petty" on the paper table. Known colors include red, green, blue and brown.

IMG_2148.jpg

Several sources state that, in 1934, Dr. Alfred Unger redesigned and reintroduced the Pettypet as the Stylotype and that it was produced by Stylotype Kleinschreibmaschinen GmbH. I want to note that I am having a hard time reconciling this information with a direct link between the two companies.

Floyd L. Welshans

SFC Floyd L. Welshans in Berchtesgaden, Germany, 1946

Floyd L. Welshans

Wayne with his dad Floyd L. Welshans in 1946

 

As for the red Pettypet on this page, serial numbered K-17343, it belonged to Wayne Welshans before selling it to me. Wayne owned it since Christmas 1952. He even typed some papers with it during his high school years according to his daughter. The typewriter was gifted to Wayne by his father, Army Sgt. Floyd L. Welshans, who brought it with him from Germany shortly after WWII. Sgt. Welshans was stationed in several German towns including Munch and Frankfurt.

Have a Pettypet or Stylotype typewriter for sale? Please email me at Antikey.Chop@gmail.com or call +1 860 729 2252