Adler Gabriele 25 Review

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The Adler Gabriele 25 was voted best buy in Which magazine in 1973 which no doubt influenced many people who purchased a typewriter. Best Buy does not mean best typewriter though and not everyone would agree with a lot of Which magazine opinions. The typewriter reviewed was made in 1975 and I have owned it now for over two years and used it quite a lot during this time. It has been very little used and well looked after and was serviced from time to time by a local dealer. It is in near pristine condition and was cleanest machine I have seen in a long time. I was happy to pay the five pounds asked for it!

Features

The Gabriele 25 is a reasonably fully featured semi portable typewriter which comes in a fairly substantial lockable ABS plastic case. It can be operated with the case base still on but this is a bit uncomfortable and it really is necessary to lift it out from the base part of the case. There are no pockets storage for anything in the case  except for a clip for a cleaning brush. It has most of all the things one would expect from a full size upright office machine. This is a well built typewriter and many have been used as small office machines but like all machines in this class they are not designed for the sort of year in year out use without attention of a full size office one. At first the casing looks to be made of metal rather than plastic and it is difficult to see the difference from the metal and the plastic. The keyboard is not anywhere near the British Standards Institute standard for keyboard specification being far more steeper and more like an office machines. However, I don’t think anybody will find any difficulties here and it is about the same of most other typewriters in this class. It seems only the very  lightweight portables have a really flattish keyboard layout. One nice feature is the twelve key top row which sports the number 1 and 0 key so often missing from other typewriters. The tabulator is set and removed using a single key and proved easy and fast to use. The ribbon selector is the usual three position switch for black, red and stencil. All the controls are in the usual places and few would have to resort to actually reading the manual. The Gabriele 25 is the mid range model in the Gabriele range, the 15 being the non tabulator model. There are, however, a few features missing that one might expect to see on this machine. There is no graduated scale on the paper rest, no touch control and rather surprisingly, no provision for line drawing which even most basic typewriters of the day had. For these features you would have to go to the top of the Gabriele range, the 35 which also sports go faster chrome ends to the carriage! This typewriter is however aimed more at the home user and not the office.

Performance

Loading the paper was easy and provided you put it in square then it is unecesary to have to adjust it but if you do adjust it when you return the paper release it doesn’t move the paper which so many typewriters do. One requirement for an office typewriter was the ability to take up to six carbon  copies which few home portables can manage. The Gabriele 25 is really designed as a home typewriter and I found it capable of producing two carbon copies without any trouble which was the norm for most offices and although I did not try 6 carbon copies it should, I think, just about manage that too. It should be remembered that typing paper was quite thin years ago and used mainly for carbon copies with a thicker headed top copy. So many home portables struggle with more than a single sheet and a thick backing sheet to protect the platen. I soon got used to the keyboard and I don’t think any touch typist would have any problems at all typing with the 25. Even when typing at a fair rate of knots I never found it tiring or uncomfortable to use and I liked the light snappy feel to the keys. It is a very forgiving machine well suited to anyone learning to type or the two fingered typist. So many machines produced in the 1970’s like the SCM Calypso would punish any typist who typed unevenly by rushing the mechanism by missing spaces or putting in extra spaces and producing wavy lines of typing. No matter how hard I tried, the Gabriele 25 would not play ball and steadfastly refused to print in anything other than a nice straight line. This machine is a very ‘easy typer’ as I call them like the Olympia machine I have. One thing I really liked was the silky smooth carriage return, okay most would not comment on it but anyone who has a typewriter with an awful grating carriage like the Silver Reed machines I have will appreciate the Adler.Overall, I found using the Gabrielle25 a real pleasure even after typing with it for a whole day which is more than I can say about quite a few machines I have used over the last fifty years.

Conclusions

I found the Gabriele 25 a very nice typewriter to use and I think anybody who had bought one would have been happy with it although one has to remember that few would have been able to compare them with other typewriters. I very much liked the action and general feel, not to mention the carriage return yet again. This was a very popular machine in the seventies and was generally well regarded by the typists who reviewed it. This means there are plenty around at auction sites like Ebay not to mention car boot sales where the usual price for any typewriter is around five pounds. Given the choice though I would go for the top of the range 35 if you can find one just for the touch control. Nevertheless, the Gabriele 25 is one very nice typewriter and well worth trying. It is also worth remembering that this typewriter was also sold under the name Triumph.

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