The typewriter shown here was made by the State owned Plovdiv Typewriters Works in Bulgaria. The name of the model, the Maritsa 11, is taken from the name of the river that flows through Plovdiv. This manual typewriter has been described as a clone of the Princess 200, which was manufactured in West Germany in the 1950s and 60s. The Maritsa Works probably obtained the rights to the manufacture of the machine when the original makers Keller and Knappich of Augsburg ceased production to concentrate on other products. The Princess 200 was described by the manufacturer as ‘a marvel of precision mechanics’. It Measured just 64 mm in height and weighed five kilograms.

Production of the Maritsa 11 commenced in the late 1960s or early 1970s and maintained the quality of its German predecessor. It is described as an ultra-portable machine, but is one of the larger typewriters in this category. It has an attractive, lined, leather case, from which the lid detaches leaving the machine conveniently sitting in the bottom of the case, which has feet. The lid of the case has a pocket for holding paper.

The model shown was designed for the British market as can be seen by the pound sign in the top row of keys of the QWERTY keyboard, but there was a model with the American keyboard and others featuring the Cyrillic alphabet for the Russian and Bulgarian markets.

Reviews indicate that the Maritsa 11 has the feel of a much larger machine. The platen roller is a good size, more than an inch, and the typewriter is solidly built. There is a knob on the left side of the machine which can be set to type in black or red, or to cut a stencil. This feature is not common on ultra-portable machines.

Key theme(s):

Home & GardenWork

More information:

Date 1970s
Material(s) MetalLeatherFabric
Item number MBPO199

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • When have you used a portable typewriter?
  • What did you use it for?
  • Did you take it from place to place or did it stay at home.
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  • If you knew that this typewriter was made in a Communist country, during the 'cold war', would that have influenced you in whether or not to buy it?

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