|Italy -- Page 2 Everest and Antares|
|Portables bearing the EVEREST brand name were made from 1938 through about 1968, and although this company's portable offering was unique among postwar Italian-made portables in that it was the only machine of fully regular, or normal, size compared to others, it was far inferior in quality. These machines, even in top condition, have a dull, almost dead feel. Yes, they're durable, but unfortunately they're not great to type on. They're also more than a little odd-looking.|
|Left and above, my EVEREST K2. This is the model you're most likely to find. Even though they're fairly unusual, few people would actually seek out one of these machines.|
|At right, my 1961 EVEREST K2c. The two-tone paint does improve the look; and you may be able to discern the change to a flat-surfaced enamel paint as opposed to the crinkle paint on my earlier machine.
These are, again, fairly bad typewriters -- carriage controls are another problem, being inconvenient (the carriage release, left and right, is totally different, for example) although you DO get the impression that they would not fail often in service. They're not entirely flimsy.
|These machines were produced in Milan, and when OLIVETTI bought the company, it continued to produce the machines for several years to run down the stock of parts to reduce its write-off. The company had a long history, first producing a unit of the SABB/JUVENTA family, later adding a range of standards and conventional portables, but it was never a major world player.|
|The ANTARES family of machines were produced beginning in 1954 by a concern known as Pozzi SpA, which through the success of its design became Antares SpA by the early 1960's. These machines are small and look unassuming, but they're significant as they're the very first 'dowel plate' key-lever machines designed and built anywhere. It is possible that there was some involvement on the part of REMINGTON-RAND, as one odd feature on these ANTARES machines (the ribbon selector) can be found duplicated on certain Holland-made REMINGTON machines.|
|For being a small concern, this outfit produced a mind-boggling array of models and body styles. Seen above and right is an ANTARES PARVA; seen below is an ANTARES COMPACT. Other models are the ANNABELLA, the P59, the DOMUS, and the MERCEDES. There is at least one body style older than this (and very uncommon) and there are also numerous newer ones, some larger. All contain the same snappy-feeling mechanism, with key levers that have little resistance and a rather short radius. This actually operates best with less typing speed than the small overall size might indicate, but the machines are efficient and highly portable, and are fairly high on my list of portables to actually both carry around and use.|
|In these machines, the dowel plate construction consists of a metal casting, which is then machined with horizontal slots to receive the dowels for mounting the key levers, and vertical slots to allow key lever motion. This is the simplest execution of the design; "Phase II" as seen identically in the Litton/Silver-Seiko machines and the CONSUL machines contsists of a metal stamping rather than a casting. The last evolution, seen on a variety of machines, simply suspends the four dowels in space, held at the ends, with slotted plates providing key lever alignment. MESSA-made machines (Portugal) with dowel-plate design are closer to the ANTARES in concept, with a larger but simpler casting, which was cast with the dowel slots already present. There are many others. Yes, the ANTARES was, in fact, the progenitor of a whole myriad of later machines from all over the world.|
|Tilman Elster also owns an Everest K2, which was manufactured in 1957. Note the blocky, vertical shaping of the whole top end of the machine surrounding the type basket. Also easy to see are the curved and bulged sides of the machine. This styling treatment is absolutely unique, and is one that collectors seem either to hate, or to appreciate as "different."|
|Ninety-nine percent of the Everest portables you will ever see will be variants of the K2 model as seen above. There was also a small, flat K3 made very late, and before either K3 or even K2, there was the EVEREST 90.
Tilman Elster owns one of these machines, seen at right, and this machine was actually one of those made during the Second World War. Everest machines of both standard and portable sizes remained in production throughout, although often in limited numbers due to supply problems; this machine dates from 1943 and is serial number 119910.