My First Erika typewriter: The Erika 10.

This Erika 10 arrived from Germany today. I first encountered an Erika 10 at a friend’s house. I instantly was drawn towards its curves and lines. Once I produced some words with its keys, I was smitten. I had to have one. It has an amazingly smooth action, and it is at once sturdy and light to the touch.

I found this machine for a great price. The mechanics are very smooth. I am not sure, but it might be missing a type bar disentangling key and a touch selector, but there doesn’t seem to any gaps or hanging levers where these might be found. I also have no idea how to dislodge the machine from the case’s base. There are no release levers under the hood.

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Lastly, upper case and lower case are badly out of alignment. I’ve made this kind of adjustment on Olympias, but an Erika is different. I think I found the screws, but they won’t budge. I added a little oil to loosen them. Perhaps I’ll have better luck tomorrow.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Very nice. Erikas are fairly common in Europe, and everyone talks highly of them. I can’t help you with the alignment issue, sorry. The type looks very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John Cooper says:

    Some portable typewriters, particularly European ones, are meant to stay attached to their base. Are there feet between the base and the typewriter body?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      There are–feet between and then more feet under the case. My problem is that I want to do some maintenance on the machine. I can’t remove the body without removing the base. The shift key does not raise the carriage far enough to produce an upper case that aligns with the lower case. I’m not sure, but I think I need to adjust and tighten a cross bar connected to the carriage.

      Underneath the base, there are two screws I can remove, but, yes, it looks like I need to unscrew the case feet. That problem is that there are no screw heads, just these discs for which I have no tool to remove.

      I just need to take things slowly. I can do stupid things when I get frustrated. I’d love to keep the case base on. It looks great, but you can see my problem.

      Do you have experience with this? I’ll post a more detailed photo if you are free to offer any advice?

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      1. John Cooper says:

        Unfortunately, I am a mechanical moron. I only remembered that some typewriters (either Imperials or Continentals, I think) had that idiosyncracy where they were intended to be kept on the base. Someone wondered why his typewriter didn’t have feet. Wish I could help further!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mcfeats says:

        Working on typewriters has been frustrating and rewarding for me. One week I begin to think I’m a rocket scientist; the next week I realize otherwise and nearly take a baseball bat to the machine and my head.

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      3. John Cooper says:

        I’d probably take a swing at the machine and hit my head.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. mcfeats says:

        By the way, John. I was mistaken. The machine pulls off the base, but it took a lot of effort. Stuck from age, I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Zachary T. says:

    Interesting…I will have to take a look at my 10 when I get home, but this almost sounds like a bastardized Erika 10/Erika 12 hybrid, given that there are no levers to remove it from it’s case and no strike force adjustment or dejamming lever… Very odd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      I’ve noted that the Erika 10s photographed on the serial database often don’t have the dejamming key. I took a closer look to find out if there was a difference between the early and late models. If the photos are reliable, there seems to be no pattern. I’m not sure about the other features.

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      1. Zachary T. says:

        Woops. I didn’t see this before my post below. I’m a little surprised at the fact that there isn’t an early/late pattern…I wonder why the difference exists…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mcfeats says:

        I am going to post some images tonight: of the case feet and so on. If you have the time, I’d love to hear your input. Cheers!

        Like

    2. Zachary T. says:

      Ah–excuse me. Apparently the lack of a de-jamming lever and etc. are features of the early model 10s–the change seems to happen sometime during the 1957 production run. While I can’t be sure, I imagine removing the machine from the base would be about the same as it is for the Erika 12 and I know there’s a manual for that model out there somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mcfeats says:

        Oh! Thanks for that. I’ll go look up the Erika 12,

        Like

      2. mcfeats says:

        By the way, Zachary. I was wrong about the base. It took a lot of force, but the machine pulls off the base. I just didn’t want to break anything.

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  4. Piotr says:

    There are release levers for the base under the ribbon cover – check the manual here: http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/Erika10.pdf – step 17.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Thanks, Piotr. It turns out that there are two different versions of the Erika 10. Some don’t have latches or release levers. I had to snap it out of the base. I was not sure at first, because it took some force to pop it out.

      Like

    1. mcfeats says:

      I’m looking forward to doing some serious typing with it. I fixed the shift key mechanisms and aligned the cases yesterday. Now the escapement is grinding from all the pressure I applied. Hopefully I can address that.

      Like

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