Friday, March 6, 2020

Newly discovered Melotyp (from the shed)

In the March 4th program of the 'Tussen Kunst & Kitsch' television programme (similar to the BBC's Antiques Roadshow), a Melotyp machine was shown.

This is the music-typewriter also known as the Nototyp or the Rundstadtler machine. Seen earlier in an old magazine article (here posted about some years back) and it was the subject of a very informative post at the excellent Australian Typewriter Museum blog.

This particular specimen was brought to the show by the owners who'd found it in their dad's shed. Failing to sell it at a jumble-sale (thinking 10 Euro was just a bit too little, holding out for at least twenty...), they did a bit of online searching and then decided to take it to the show.

The fragment on the typewriter starts at ~15m into the show. The machine is shown and some background to it is given by the expert.

The decals on the top-plate are in great condition.

Same for the keyboard, in great condition for its age.

And the machine still types music too:

What looks like a rubber-band attached to the carriage (first screengrab image) in the show suggests that the carriage spring of the machine is broken or otherwise out of order. Given that it is essentially an Adler with modified type, it should not be too hard to fix or replace the carriage spring.

Unlike regular Adler's, this Melotype is very rare indeed. This newly found machine probably increases the total number known by ~10%. (And nearly sold for a tenner - who knows; for home-decoration or steampunk project?)

There are it seems still rare machines out there in sheds and attics. And for the Melotyp - maybe the company did manage a first production batch of machines beyond the first prototypes as suggested from the advertisement - otherwise another of the five remaining in Europe has now been located.