Because I have an abiding interest in vintage Swedish typewriters, and information on said typewriters is somewhat thin on the ground online—especially in English—I’ve put together a page of links to various manuals, guides, reviews and videos about Facit and Halda typewriters. To be added to as I go.
The Facit Man
Chris Sandström’s slideshow charts the history of the Facit Man. This was the slightly disturbing mascot of Facit, the Swedish company that made mechanical calculators, office equipment and my favourite typewriters. Basically an elf on a shelf with a pointy cap adorned with either numbers or the Facit name—a Clippy for the mechanical age—the Facit Man was more about promoting Facit’s main business, mechanical calculators (in comparison, typewriters were just a side hustle); when electronic calculators came along Facit just got clobbered.
(A million Facit Man figures were made; I need at least one.)
The Art of Swedish Typewriter Maintenance
I have recently become obsessed with Facit typewriters. Made in Sweden, with the most unusual carriage rail and tab mechanisms, they’re impressive machines that are an absolute joy to type on, but they’re not necessarily the easiest to work on. I’ve acquired two Facit portables so far and each has one or two issues that we’re a bit scared to tackle because of the Facit reputation for being difficult to repair. At least neither suffers from the dreaded “frozen Facit” issue (where the typewriter’s original lubricant has hardened and seized up the escapement), but there’s a fix for that, which Nick describes here and Tony has put to use: repeated applications of solvent to dissolve the old lubricant. As for other issues, Ted Munk has posted a PDF copy of a Facit repair manual, which is helpful but doesn’t cover older models or every exigency. Charles has posted tutorials on how to remove a Facit portable’s carriage—which we’d all been warned not to do—and how to remove its platen. All of which help, but more is needed.