Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Typewriter Collection No.4: Groma Kolibri, circa 1957

This model has no colour option for the ink ribbon. There is no setting for black, red or stencil. I do need to get a better ribbon for this machine. This one's looking a tad faint.

Beautiful design courtesy of Germany. The 1958 Voigtlander goes with it nicely, and the circa 1963 Tudor hand-wound doesn't look out of place, either.

The space-bar looks like some paint has worn off and the ribbon cover shows some light scratches where the carriage-return lever has scraped against it at some point.
I have to say that there's not a lot of height clearance between the lever and the ribbon cover, so if you ever get your hands on one of these, make sure the ribbon cover sits flush against the case.

I've mentioned here before just how low the profile of this Kolibri is. There's a better picture on my other post, but if you place your iPhone side-ways next to the Kolibri, the iPhone sits higher.

A nice typewriter. Very nicely made, light and portable, with a coolness factor that's through the roof.

Thanks, all!


  1. A charcast!

    I just love Kolibris. But one design flaw is that nearly all of them have scrapes from the carriage return lever. There is supposed to be a plastic piece wedged into the lever from the bottom which protects against this, but the piece almost always falls out, and there is no carriage lock which would prevent scratching during transport. I recommend stuffing some felt or the like into the bottom of the carriage return lever.

  2. Good call! A tiny felt sock or golf club cover. And we're talking 'very tiny'.
    And yeah, the lighter got a little out of hand.

  3. I chuckled when I saw that over-burnt part of the typecast, hard to control fire, eh? Nice Groma. And I like how you grouped it with the watch and camera.

  4. Beautiful machine! A Kolibri is high on my "Want badly, but will probably not be able to afford anytime soon" list. :P

  5. I just bought one of these in Maroon color through Etsy. I am a little concerned about the comment above that was made about hitting two keys at once as I believe my fingers may be a little bigger than average. Also, does anyone know where I can buy spare ribbons (which I assume would only be in one color ink)?

  6. There is a switch on the bottom right back cover just in front of the back right foot - anyone know what it is for?

    Mark -

  7. Unlike some other portable travelwriters such as the Olympia SF the Kolibri does not have a ribbon system that reverses direction automatically when the ribbon goes as far as possible in on direction. That switch near the left rear of the machine allows you to manually reverse the direction of the ribbon.

  8. This is the most heavy ultra portable typer ever made!!! A zenith of great german engineering ! This is the best typer that i ve ever had , so heavy i felt like it is a standard machine that has been flatten! Thanks to it super rigid cast iron body .