Rheinmetall KsT

Rheinmetall KsT portable
When I found this beatuful Rheinmetall KsT for sale I knew nothing about Rheinmetall. Then, after asking fellow typewriter collectors* on the Yahoo TYPEWRITERS group, I decided to purchase it. People told me they are nice typers and they really are. It doesn't feel as solid as my Consul Portable, but doesn't weight that much either.

The company itself was founded in 1889 as Rheinische Metallwaaren- und Maschinenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft. Their main profile was manufacturing military products, but the terms of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I caused that they had to switch to more peaceful products like steam locomotives and office equipment. Military production was resumed later. After World War II the (remains of the) Sömmerda factory became a state-owned company in East Germany and they continued producing office equipments until they had failed to keep up with the changing circumstances so they had to stop production at the end of 1991.

The serial number on the right, just below the cover
When this machine first came into my attention, I was like "Oh, it's so sixties!". The serial number can be found next to the right-side ribbon spool under the cover. It says 529942 which means it's made in 1960 according to Typewriter Database. On the same website one can see that Model KsTs were produced since 1945. I haven't found any information about whether they changed the shape of the housing during the production period (apart from changing the position of the ribbon color selector), but apparently I was wrong when I thought it's an original 60s' design.

I got the machine a few days ago. It was in great condition, all I had to do was some cleaning. At first the Tab key was not working, but I guess it hadn't been used for years, since pressing that several times freed it up and it's fine since then.

Tab set/clear lever on the back
The Tab Set/Clear lever is positioned on the left side of the carriage which is a little bit incovinient placement, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't really matter on a portable. As I was playing with it, I realized that it did not always stop at the same location, but for most of the time it worked pretty well. Maybe I hadn't hold down the Tab key long enough the first time?

Carriage lock and margin set levers
Unlike my Olympia Splendid 99, this Rheinmetall has its carriage lock lever put to a pretty straightforward position, so it haven't took me long minutes to find it.

Some other (probably older) variants have a rotary knob as color selector
It can't be seen on the pictures, but the left paper holder misses its spring. He's not alone: I miss it too. So sad it's gone. The keys are easy to touch, so I really like typing on this one. Actually this machine made me start practicing touch typing on a manual typewriter for the first time in my life. Our school had electronic machines, so I haven't really tried typing more than a few words on a manual till today. Like most portables, it has carriage shift.

Ribbon placement
I noticed an interesting thing about the ribbon placement. Unlike my other machines, this Rheinmetall's ribbon cover leans under the actual level of the ribbon. This means you can reach the ribbon reversers without taking off the cover. It also means that eventually your ribbon cover can get some ink on it. I guess one reason for this decision could have been the intention to have a rounded cover which I really like and makes this olive (greenish-grayish, depending on the external light) machine nice.

Case closed.
It came with a wooden case, some brushes and a cleaning cloth, but without the plants. Those came separately from the machine.

* I guess this is the first time I call myself a collector in public. Once you get in touch with these beauties, you can't resist anymore. Sigh.