Vintage end of 1970s "Petite International" toy typewriter. FrenchAZERTY keyboard.


Here is a great 1970s "Petite International" toy typewriter that collectors will be interested in. This is the French version of this British toy, so the keyboard is an AZERTY one.  In original cardboard box.

The ribbon is dry, at least on the part that is exposed. I do not know if the parts that are still inside the reels are dry or not, but I suppose they are. It will not be possible to use it as it is.

It will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find a new ribbon for this typewriter, first because it has been discontinued for a long time, and second because this object has been considered as a toy and not as a real typewriter.

If you really wish to use it, you can follow the advice that some people give on the internet about this typewriter, which is to remove the ribbon from the reel and spray it with new ink.


How to re-ink an ink ribbon is explained on this website.


You can also contact a company specialised in typewriter ribbons as they may be able to refill it for you.


And even if you do not wish to use it, this is a great collector's item for those who love typewriters, and everything in relation with writing in general.


Apart from the dry ribbon, the typewriter is in very good condition. The box is damaged, moreover there are two pieces of tape on it, a white label has been stuck on one corner, and someone has written a word on the box (see photos).



There is written 1979 on the box (probably the date this one was made) and 1976 on the typewriter itself (certainly the year the product was launched). 


Dimensions of the box : 31 cm  x  29 cm = 12.20"  x  11.41"


Weight of the item (without protection and packaging) : 1570 g = 3.46 lb


Reference of the item : CB(NT)-W-005




This item is now for sale on Etsy.


The "Petite International" was a very popular toy in France at the end of the seventies and begining of the eighties. Many TV adverts were dedicated to it. Here are three of these French TV adverts : 1979, 1980 (a little girl writes a fake absence note but unfortunately signs "my daddy" and gets caught red handed by him) and 1985 (the best one according to me).



This website shows a biography of the company who made Petite International typewriters and its founders. It is in German, but I have entered the text in Google Translation, as I do not understand German. Here is the result :

Byron Jardine Limited - from barlock to Petite

The children typewriter shown here was made by a company that can refer to famous historical roots in the typewriter manufacturing in Nottingham, England. Inextricably linked to this is the name of the Jardine family.

 The central figure was Ernest herein Jardine (1859 - 1947). His father John Jardine (+ 1895), a trained watchmaker, founded in Nottingham a bit Maschinenfabrik. (3)

 After his death took Ernest since 1919, Sir Ernest Jardine, 1st Baronet of Nottingham (4), the factory and led her further success.

 1925 Sir Ernest invested in the flagging barlock Typewriter Co., the (1925) Co. was reorganized as Bar-Lock. (5) Later renamed the company as Bar-Lock Typewriter Co. (5)

 In 1953, the company was renamed in Byron Business Machines. (3, 5) The name is probably inspired by the poet Lord Byron, on chien its profile as a company logo. (3)

 The Byron turned et al the now very rare Byron Mark I here that you can see on R. Polt's blog. (2)

 However, the business course was obviously not a good one. 1958 bought the British Oliver Typewriter Co. the company. (6) Oliver himself but appears shortly thereafter to be around 1960, perished. (2, with reference to Beeching)

 However, this was not the end of the story. R. Polt presented on his blog one of the "big" Byron Mark I very similar sighted children typewriter. This was made by "Petite Typewriters" in Nottingham (2), and was probably the first of "Petite Typewriters" displaced children typewriter. It was sold under the name "KAMKAP". (10) The full name of the company was likely "Petite Typewriters (John Jardine Limited)" (11)

 On the "Petite Super International" shown here seems "Byron Jardine Limited" as a producer on the 1976 produced "Petite 600" is at identical addresses (Chelsea Street, New Basford, Nottingham) "Dobson Park Industrial Products Limited" is specified. (1, 8) Before purchasing by Dobson Park Industries seems to have the name "International Byron" exists. (12)

 According to W. Davis of the "Petite" design has also been adopted by the American Western Stamping Co., but sold the machines under the name of their traditional brand "Tom Thumb". (9)