Mercedes Elektra Electrical typewriter

Mercedes Büromaschinen-Werke AG, Zella-Mehlis, since 1921

 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Information & Communication
medien.welten (media.worlds)
1920 - 1929

Office routine

In 1921, Carl Schlüns develops a typewriter which is powered by a small electric motor.

Due to the economic upturn in Europe, mechanical typewriters and calculating machines soon become an integral part of the daily office routine at companies and government agencies. In 1921, engineer Carl Schlüns develops an electrically powered typewriter for the German office machine manufacturer Mercedes in Thuringia. The Mercedes Elektra is also a frontstrike typewriter with the same basic mechanical design as the manually operated Mercedes machines. However, a small electric motor on the right ensures that the respective type bar is activated as soon as a key is pressed lightly.

The company history of Mercedes Büromaschinen-Werke AG reflects the radical developments of the time. At the end of 1927, the company is founded as a subsidiary of the New York based company Underwood-Elliott-Fischer. In the course of the Great Depression after 1929 it has to reduce its number of employees drastically. From 1933 onwards during the arms build-up of the Third Reich it can expand again.

Inv.Nr. 50491

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