SS TYPEWRITER - FULL SIZE - NOT A PORTABLE
|This is a wonderful, little-used, full-size office model CONTINENTAL SS typewriter called the “SILENTA” (pronounced See-lenta, means “silent”). It is the style of machine used by the secretaries of Adolf Hitler and in the offices of people like Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, and is not a small portable machine.|
|The CONTINENTAL SILENTA was the top-of-the-line of several styles of typewriters manufactured by the Wanderer Werke in Siegmar-Schönau, Germany during the Third Reich. They made tens of thousands of regular typewriters during the Nazi era, but those that are most sought after today are the full-size machines with the runic SS key, like this one.|
|The advantages of the full-size SS typewriters over the portable ones should be obvious: they are quieter in operation, they have far more special features, and they are far better built in terms of quality. This machine is suspended on four very large square rubber legs. The hammers that strike the ribbon to produce letters on typing paper are counterweighted on this machine to make the action very smooth and reduce the noise. The 9 inch rubber roller around which the paper fits has many adjustments not found on smaller machines.|
|By depressing the shift key and striking the number 3 key, this typewriter types SS runes in any desired position among a row of letters.|
|Virtually all SS offices and offices of the Nazi Party used
this sort of full-size typewriter after the runic SS character became an
official part of the German alphabet in 1939. They were used for filling
out documents and writing letters where typing a runic SS character was
desirable. Many ordinary typewriters without the SS runes key continued to
be used in other offices in Nazi Germany right through the end of World
War II in 1945.
This typewriter is CONTINENTAL SILENTA serial number 753361 and measures about 16 x 16-1/2 inches and is 9 inches tall. It weighs approximately 32 pounds (15 kg) and comes with an original ribbon. The original ribbon spools are important because it is possible to buy a regular American typewriter ribbon, rewind it on these spools and use it in this machine.
The above was typed on this Nazi era typewriter.
|As far as we know, there are only two pieces missing from this machine and neither has any effect on how the machine works. One of the tiny round lids that covers one of the ribbon spools is missing (the second one is there) and the metal cover that hides the typing hammers from view is missing. It should be possible to find these pieces in an internet or other search of used typewriter and office equipment dealers in Europe. This typewriter shows very little wear but needs and deserves a cleaning and full adjustment to make sure that it operates at peak performance.|