My 1930's Erika No. 5 and Hunting Typewriters

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

This is my 1930's Naumann Erika Model No. 5 Typewriter. I'm not sure of the exact year, because I couldn't find the serial number, but for anyone who is interested in locating the approximate year of any model of typewriter, I highly recommend using Ted Munk's Typewriter Database.

The Erika was a lucky find, during the good old times when people didn't know much about typewriters. "You collect these things? We'll I'll be darned." I picked this up in Chicago, a couple years back for around $50.00. The decals on the typer are in excellent shape and after a good thorough cleaning, the Erika came out looking nearly mint. The first picture in the gallery is before I touched it--the other images are pictures of the machine after a deep cleaning and polish.

It's very difficult to put a value on a typewriter because the market can surprise you. I have a rough idea about the price that I could get for it, but the value is also subjective, depending on buyer and location. It looks like newer typewriting enthusiasts are buying online and having the machines shipped, which I've only done a handful of times. You should always include detailed instructions if you are going to have a machine shipped. I learned this lesson the hard way early on, so I usually opt for pickup.

I found this 1970s Hermes 3000 for $35.00 on Facebook Marketplace a few years ago. The price even included the portable typing tray. The Hermes alone is probably worth at least $350.00 now, maybe more, who knows anymore. My friend and retired typewriter repairman Larry Schultz (RIP) said it best, "They're worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them."

The typewriter pictured here is probably one of the rarest machines that I own--it's an Olivetti Valentine, which was originally posted for $25.00 on Facebook Market Place--again before anyone knew anything about typewriters. Cost included the case AND more importantly, the orange rubber straps on the case were not missing or cracked. The seller upped the price to $40.00 because another bidder got in touch with her as my wife was on her way to pick it up. That beats online shopping any day of the week for me. It's all about the hunt.


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