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1985 IBM Actionwriter 1 Serial # 0818139 1985 IBM Actionwriter 1 typewriter, Serial # 0818139 Steven Blake's 1985 IBM Actionwriter 1 typewriter. 2022-01-27 From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Steven Blake: 1985 IBM Actionwriter 1 Serial # 0818139 The IBM Actionwriter 1 is a bit of a typewriter unicorn. Manufactured for IBM by Adler in West Germany, the Actionwriter was IBM’s offering for the home/education market at a time when Selectric production was ending, the business-oriented (and expensive) Wheelwriter had just been introduced, and the IBM Personal Computer packed too much punch for basic typing duty. Produced for 1985 only (sales in the US trickled into 1986), there was no Actionwriter “2.”

The Actionwriter utilizes a proprietary daisy wheel print head (a “printwheel” in IBM parlance) and like the Selectric’s type elements, several typestyles were offered, just swap out the daisy wheels. It also featured a number of slick conveniences that were becoming commonplace with digital word processors and PCs including multiple pitch options, automatic end-of-line return (eliminating the need for the operator to manually hit the “Return” key) and limited on-board memory that permitted the lift-off correction of an entire line of characters/text in rapid succession by depressing and holding down a single key.

Perhaps the Actionwriter’s best feature is its buckling-spring keyboard, which was made famous by IBM as a PC peripheral known as the “Model M” keyboard and offered in a number of variants over the years (see link below). In fact, the Model M is still manufactured and sold to this very day by a small company in Kentucky, almost 40 years after its 1985 debut.

Finally, because the Actionwriter’s pitch can be toggled on the fly between 10/12/15, there is a lot of typestyle flexibility, and most of the available typestyles permitted the user to select more than one pitch for a single printwheel. In addition to the typeface sample below in “Berlin 10,” I’ve included a second sample of Berlin with the Actionwriter set to 12-pitch in the photos below.

1985 IBM Actionwriter 1 #0818139

Status: My Collection
Hunter: Steven Blake (FloydGondolli)
Created: 01-27-2022 at 08:22PM
Last Edit: 01-27-2022 at 09:45PM


Description:

The IBM Actionwriter 1 is a bit of a typewriter unicorn. Manufactured for IBM by Adler in West Germany, the Actionwriter was IBM’s offering for the home/education market at a time when Selectric production was ending, the business-oriented (and expensive) Wheelwriter had just been introduced, and the IBM Personal Computer packed too much punch for basic typing duty. Produced for 1985 only (sales in the US trickled into 1986), there was no Actionwriter “2.”

The Actionwriter utilizes a proprietary daisy wheel print head (a “printwheel” in IBM parlance) and like the Selectric’s type elements, several typestyles were offered, just swap out the daisy wheels. It also featured a number of slick conveniences that were becoming commonplace with digital word processors and PCs including multiple pitch options, automatic end-of-line return (eliminating the need for the operator to manually hit the “Return” key) and limited on-board memory that permitted the lift-off correction of an entire line of characters/text in rapid succession by depressing and holding down a single key.

Perhaps the Actionwriter’s best feature is its buckling-spring keyboard, which was made famous by IBM as a PC peripheral known as the “Model M” keyboard and offered in a number of variants over the years (see link below). In fact, the Model M is still manufactured and sold to this very day by a small company in Kentucky, almost 40 years after its 1985 debut.

Finally, because the Actionwriter’s pitch can be toggled on the fly between 10/12/15, there is a lot of typestyle flexibility, and most of the available typestyles permitted the user to select more than one pitch for a single printwheel. In addition to the typeface sample below in “Berlin 10,” I’ve included a second sample of Berlin with the Actionwriter set to 12-pitch in the photos below.

Typeface Specimen:

Links:

Photos:














Hunter: Steven Blake (FloydGondolli)

Steven Blake's Typewriter Galleries [ My Collection ] [ My Sightings ]

Status: Typewriter Hunter
Points: 473

Lawyer and recently acknowledged typewriter addict. It all started with an IBM Personal Typewriter, followed by a Smith-Corona Galaxie Deluxe, an Adler Universal 20, and then, well, you know the rest.



RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the IBM Actionwriter 1 on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the IBM Serial Number page and the IBM Actionwriter 1 By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.