Thanks for this report. I added one to my collection a few years ago. As you suggest, it's clearly inspired by the Hermes Baby, yet not a clone. It's bigger, for one thing. Like you, I find the shift to be "spongy" and the action in general to be unpleasant. However, it's at least better-looking than any Baby.By the way, Bar-Lock still had another 20 years of history after this machine was made. In the end they changed their name to Byron. And if you count the toy typewriters made by Byron Jardine, the company had another 50 years!