An ode to my Adler Gabriele 25

I own a mechanical typewriter. An Adler Gabriele 25. One of the last portables made before computers killed the mechanical typewriter forever.

It’s just a typewriter. But it’s my typewriter. I’ve had it since early 1983, and it’s been the vehicle for university essays, research papers, thesis, feature articles and my early books.

I haven’t used it since jumping to computers. But I’ve kept it. I got it out the other day. Time has not been kind. The ribbon has dried. The white plastic cover has gone beige at the top. The rubber bushes in the carry case have marked it. It is dusty and looks unloved.

If anybody asks where I learned how to write – well, it was at the keyboard of this typewriter. It carries memories of failures and triumphs, memories of essays I’d rather not have written, but had to. I remember sitting at an outside table in the sun, bashing out the first draft of my thesis on it while Madonna’s ‘Get Into the Groove’ broke the silence. I remember using it, a few years later, when I got my first full time job – writing history books.

Yup, I got paid a salary to write books, once upon a time.  On this typewriter.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2012


13 thoughts on “An ode to my Adler Gabriele 25

  1. Great to see you have kept it!

    Have you ever considered getting one of those custom built steampunk keyboards where they mondernise an antique typewriter so it can work with a computer? That way you’d have the nostalgia and aesthetic of a typewriter with all the functionality of a standard keyboard.

  2. Can anyone tell me any history behind the Adler Gabriele 12? I’ve just gotten one and I would like to know about it.

    1. I don’t know it myself – but maybe one of my readers does. I know my Gabriele 25 was one of the last of its kind made, with the more rounded look to the case – it had been around a while with a much squarer case. Also sold, sometimes, as the Triumph Adler Gabriele 25.

  3. Hey Mathew! I just got home with one of these Adler beauties, the 25. That Madonna song came out back in 1985, so it must have been around that time that you wrote about?

    Fortunately, time has not been that mean to my machine, everything seem to work the way it should, of course I wouldn’t know what a new one felt like.

    Feel free to check out my blog at


    / Daniel (Sweden)

    1. It’s a wonderful typewriter. I got mine new in 1983 and was indeed using it when Madonna released that song in 1985. It’s still in good order despite the use though the ribbon has dried out.

  4. Update: I’ve spent a couple of days off of the actual writing and given my typewriter a mutch needed TLC. Basically I removed every trace of old grease and dirt by using simply hot water. Then re-lubing the whole thing, pretty time consuming but efficient. Best grease for typwriters? “Chain lube”!

    1. I never thought of using chain grease – sounds very good. I’ve used CRC 5.56 every so often, but it doesn’t stick where it needs to. I pulled my Adler out the other day and checked it over – the mechanics of it still work perfectly, but the ribbon’s long since dried out and there’s no chance of my buying another, not these days. Alas.

Comments are closed.