Groma Kolibra

Groma Kolibra TypewriterI completely forgot to tell you about the real score at Koloportið. Rob and I collect portable typewriters and I’ve been keeping my eye out for one with an Icelandic keyboard. This little beauty is a Groma Kolibra. It’s an East German machine from the 1950s and is in beautiful shape. It comes with a carrying case and the instruction manual. Best of all, it was only 500 kronur, which is like $6.70.
Close up of Icelandic keyboard I typed our shopping list on it today and it was very satisfying. The keyboard has good action although the return lever is not as springy as I would like. One of the nifty things is the accent key. (You strike that to make letters like “Á”) The carriage doesn’t move when you strike it so that the next letter winds up centered under the accent. Snazzy.

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9 thoughts on “Groma Kolibra”

  1. ooh, swell! a much better souvenir than a shot glass with a puffin on it! Thanks for the close up of the keys, and for including your shopping list in the wide shot. It looks really splendid.

  2. Mary Robinette Kowal

    I was researching it and apparently it is one of the flatest portable typewriters ever made. It is flat enough to go into my laptop case, if I had a reason to do that.

  3. -e- can you really read her shopping list? I only see two pictures. Is there another wide shot somewhere?

  4. I just posted an exact one all maroon on ebay. Its a 1955 in amazing condition. I dont know how much one would run for.

  5. Jim Fitzsimmons

    I collect personal writing machines and own two Groma Kolibras. It is my favorite typewiter. I think we should start a Kolibra Lovers Club. Yours is a beauty.

    Jim – Yorba Linda, CA (30 miles from Los Angeles)

  6. Ooo! Two of them!

    Have you seen The Lives of Others? It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, so it is a wonderful movie, but more importantly, it features a Groma Kolibra as a pivotal plot point.

    Ours is in a box in NYC right now; we are in the process of moving there. When I am reunited with it, I can scan the manual in, if you are interested.

    1. Hey there Mary, I just bought a Kolibri from a dealer in America – very pleased with it bar a couple of issues I’m having. I don’t know if you still have the manual, but if you do is there anyway I could have a scanned copy?

      Thanks 🙂


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