Typewriters, in general, are one of the longest lasting and most influential technologies in the past 150 years. The first basic typewriter was marketed in the 1890's, and despite a long and lustrous history of being a very usable and beneficial machine, typewriters have become largely obsolete. With the invention of the modern computer and all of its wonders, typewriters have been relegated to the antique shop. This is not all bad, since antique typewriters have become extremely valuable.
Adler typewriters are among the most famous in the business. Known for their antique looks and good functioning properties, Adler typewriters have formed and shaped the typewriting industry for several generations. The Adler Company was started in 1896 and began with a focus in making bicycles, automobiles, and motorcycles. Later on, the company was merged with the Triumph-Werke Company to form the TA Triumph-Adler AG company. In order to boost revenue and production, Triumph-Adler determined to enter the printing industry by producing typewriters for small and large businesses, as well as homes.
The original typewriter released by Adler was named "Empire". The Empire was released in 1898 and caused quite a sensation with its push-rod mechanism that ensured an easy-to-use typeface. One year later, Adler released its most popular model, the Adler 7 or Model 7. The Adler 7 was almost identical to the Empire but with several improvements on the orginal model. The type bars were allowed to move back and force across a reinforced plate made of steel. This motion allowed for precisely straight lines of text and also provided a high stroking power. This typewriter, with its steel 'Adler" eagle emblem on the outer covering, is still considered one of the greatest typewriters ever released to the public.
One of the more popular Adler typewriters was called the Adler Universal and was released in the 1950s. The machine was a large, heavy duty, manual typewriter with an extra long carriage. The machine was known for being extremely precise and having a smooth key action. The machine was marketed towards families who desired an affordable, yet quality typewriter to use for work, school, and other tasks.
The Adler company built it’s highly successful line of typewriters on US inventor Wellington Parker Kidder's original design. Following the company's research into Kidder's design, Adler began to create its own version of the typewriter with much more success than Kidder received during his career in the typewriter industry.
Adler began a design that would eventually yield the thrust-action typewriter. They introduced the Klein Adler and Klein Adler 2 versions of the typewriter. These machines were much lighter and more portable than the original Model 7. The Adler 8 was the company's next product and was a full-sized office machine. This typewriter was a prototype for the much more common Adler 11, which featured two double shifts and contained six characters on each of the machine's type bars. This allowed the user to write in two entirely distinct typefaces.
In 1909, the company began working on the Adler 15. Although research and development had begun, the machine was not built until 1923, fourteen years after the original development began. The Adler 15 begins to replicate many of the more modern versions of the typewriter, and even our modern computer keyboards. The model 15 contained four rows of keys and a single shift. The machine was really only one step away from introducing the regular font strike typewriters that the company would produce for the remainder of its lifetime. The final model that Adler produced was extremely successful, and was produced until the company was forced out of business in 1995. One interesting thing to note about the Adler typewriters, is that the line space and carriage return features were located on the side of the carriage, rather than on the bottom. This was very difficult for users to deal with, and is one of the main reasons that the line space button is featured at the bottom of most keyboards and typewriters.
Adler typewriters were proven to stand the tests of many years, including the Great Depression and two World Wars. Users were always satisfied with the functioning of the Adler typewriters, and some of them were still in use over 50 years after production.