ITAM – Mignon Goodness



I have a suspicion Mignon’s were made for the handicap.


But this post isn’t about what I have on the way, it’s about this beautiful Mignon 4! (which I think was one of the first few typewriters I purchased into my spiral.)



Mignon 4, serial number 230746, 1925


Terrible profile picture

Appreciating different designs in different sorts of typewriters, this is part of what the ITAM is about.

I’m really pleased with this Mignon 4. The design is simple and functional – the flower like gears ensures that the type cylinder corresponds to the exact letter in the area the pointer is at. Only one word echos in my mind every time I pull the walnut wood lid off — “Ingenious.” The versatility it provides with interchangeable indexes and cylinders make this typewriter just incredible. Just a pop under da’ hood and a change of the cylinder and it feels like you have a whole new typewriter.
It’s design is simple, and is one I’m sure typewriter designers in their day have forehead-slapped themselves for not thinking simpler.

This set I got from Germany was really expensive, but it was worth every cent. Pristine working condition and came with extra goodies:


Oh the goodies! Original manual in German, brushes and the other two type sets.


Bulletin, Fraktur and Italics

Three index-cylinder sets?
Oh yes pleases.

The Fraktur and bulletin typeface is gorgeous, and that’s two typefaces off my wanted list.
Fraktur is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m sure I’ll be churning out some correspondence to a few lovers I know soon. My letter pile has been growing and I really should just dive in and reply! I promise, soon!

I’ve been meaning to get back into the swing of typewriter things but the rains in Darwin has been pretty severe. Laundry is taking two and a half days to get dry, and I’m not ready to deal with rusty or mouldy machines.  The air feels a little heavy, but nothing like what it was in October/November. I swear I felt like I was drowning in air.

Oh crumb, I just realised one of the cases in the to-clean-cabinet is covered in mould.
Time to get a move on, got a couple of posts lined up for the next few days. Hopefully it’ll see the light of day sooner than later.
Happy ITAM guys, can’t wait to read more awesome posts, and thanks for reading ;)

P.S. Mignon Manual download here:







  1. I saw my first Mignon in person last fall when I was in Georgia–the poor thing had a Georgian alphabet insert but a Russian type cylinder. Either way, I was captivated, but the seller wouldn’t let me touch it. I think I really want one some day.

    Maybe we ought to send letters. But then again, I’m really behind on the two I’m supposed to reply to…


    1. Georgiana and Russian? That is an odd mix!
      Hahaha, two isn’t that bad! I got caught up with travelling on the holidays. Hopefully this weekend I’ll have some postcards done at least. I love to send you one!


      1. Well those were the two languages commonly used there, so it makes more sense than any other combination. I expect at one time, the machine had full sets of equipment for both languages.

    1. Awww thanks! I see why people don’t use it — it’s a little bit on the slow side and there is not much logic into the arrangement of the alphabets in the indexes.
      They are very handsome machines.


  2. Spot on about ITAM being the right time to be exploring the limits of the world of typewriters. There’s a few of them around, so they must have sold a bunch right? It looks fab and is well collectable, but in practicality surely it’s a strange, slow, fiddly little thing to use right?


    1. There seems to be heaps in Germany… I saw a red Mignon 2 not too long ago on eBay. Sold for arm + half a leg.

      I suppose it is a little slow because we’re used to boards and having a general idea which alphabets are where — in the case of the Mignon there isn’t tail and head of how they arranged the letters.
      I found myself typing pretty quickly after awhile. Practice makes perfect no? ;)


    1. Ouchhh! Cutting legs is pretty bad too. I managed to rake bike gear teeth into my ankle. Worst ever!
      The cut on the finger has developed into two medium sized blood blisters. One of them I had to rip the blister skin off. :(
      It’s a little sore still but it’ll be right in a few days or so. Thanks for asking Rob!


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