Miss Friday, the Tin Toy Typist

Miss Friday Typist box

A 1950s Japanese novelty by Nomura Toys Ltd.: the battery-operated “Miss Friday the Typist.” Sitting at an 8.5-inch tinplate desk (with extensions raised), “Miss Friday” is 7-inches high from floor to the top of her head (in sitting position). Considered a complex action toy (featuring two or more actions, rather than just one), she moves her head from keyboard to her notes and back while her fingers pound away at the keyboard & you hear the clacking of keys and the sound of a bell signalling the carriage return.

Direct current batteries had been around since the turn of the 20th century, but battery-operated toys only became popular in the post-World War II consumer boom (gradually displacing wind-up toys). At the same, Japan benefited from preferential post-war trade policies on the part of the U.S. to help the country rebuild. That’s how the 1950s & ’60s became known as the “Made in Japan” era.

Miss Friday Typist 1

Miss Friday Typist 8

 A similar toy, “Busy Secretary,” was originally a wind-up made by U.S. firm, Louis Marx & Co. (known for its line of toy typewriters among other products)  and later given batteries by Linemar, a Japanese subsidiary of Marx.


Miss Friday Typist 3