Friday, September 25, 2015

Ranger Elite

Normally not my cup of tea, but this looked clean in the listing and was really literally just round the corner. And the case still had the key.

This contained a Ranger typewriter, model Elite.

No markings on origin or manufacturer anywhere, two small holes but no type-plate on the backplate. Nevertheless it clearly is an Optima produced Elite based on the original '33 Olympia design. (Many thanks to Nick's great write-up on Optima's.) Spruced up with some olive drab crinkle paint to make it look '52. And as further modernization the control levers that were chrome on the pre-war Olympia are now blackened with bakelite knobs.

Likely branded as 'Ranger' to hide its Erfurt, Germany origins, as also described on Scott's item on 'Anglicised' Schreibmaschinen. Nevertheless the 'Elite' decal is the regular Optima type and includes the Optima company logo.

Taking the machine out of the case, putting in paper and it typed away very decently already. Dutch keyboard.

(Not used to typing with an actual 'ij' key, obviously.) Also typing was not helped by the ribbon having been threaded wrong through the vibrator. This wrong way round it snags on the type-guide at avery shifted character. (Thank you for the clear images that made me realize the cause of snagging.)

Some more light cleaning, righting the ribbon and it should be fine :)


  1. What a great find! Those Optimas are fine machines, and that's an attractive rebranding.

  2. Very neat! Upload to TWDB this unique branding, plz (:

  3. Wow, rare! I have seen only one other "Ranger," which looks pre-war:

  4. Uncommon label on a fairly common machine :)
    Have now cleaned it a bit- it's solid enough but still not sure I like it.
    That other Ranger could also possibly be post-war Erfurt machine. Has the late type-guide design (not yet seen on pre '41 machine) and has a UK keyboard.

    Will take some extra pictures (with ribbon right-way round) and upload for sure (-: