This Monpti arrived here about an hour ago and I am so excited to at long, long last get my hands on a Monpti I haven't even found time yet to put a ribbon in it, let alone test type with it. I promise I will typecast with it, but first I'll break the rule of a lifetime and actually read the instructions before using it. A very special thanks to Peter Muckermann in Germany for getting this Monpti to me so swiftly and safely. The seller wasn't prepared to ship it to me in Australia because "filling out forms is boring". Happily, his typewriter is anything but boring.
Credit for the Monpti goes to Budapest-born, German-based designer Stefan Lengyel (above), who created this typewriter in 1968 (a year before Ettore Sottsass's lookalike Olivetti Valentine went into production). The Monpti was made by Zbrojovka Brno NP in Vyškov, Czechoslovakia (makers of Consul typewriters), and marketed by German department store Karstadt in 1971, two years after the Valentine.
A very similar design to the Monpti was assigned by Richard Penney to Sperry Rand in 1969, the year after Lengyel's design.
Born in 1937, Lengyel studied design at the College of Applied Arts in Budapest from 1956-61, and in 1964 became an assistant at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, where he worked with Hans Gugelot. In 1965, Lengyel went to the Essen Folkwangschule, where he became head of the industrial design department in 1969. In between, he spent time as a guest professor in various countries, including the US, Finland, Italy, Spain, China and Japan. From 1981 to 2003, Lengyel held the chair of industrial design at the University of Essen. Since 2001, he has held the chair of industrial design at the University of Art and Design in Budapest.
Lengyel's clients included Berker, Dorma, Liesegang, Krohne, Rheinmetall, Ruhrgas, Mauser Office and Aral. For many years he was also a design consultant for Miele and Rosenthal.