30 Jun 2013

Olli Folly?

1972 Olivetti Lettera 32 6391963

I could have made my title "Olivetti Lettera" 32 times, like for the Oliver #5, but that would be silly.

My only excuse for buying so many typewriters so fast was so that I could get a lot of common typewriters at decent prices so on future eBay ventures I could focus only on the more special ones.

Composed with my Olivetti Lettera 32

29 Jun 2013

Oliver Oliver Oliver Oliver Oliver

What could possibly lurk under an Oliver typewriter cover?

1913 Oliver #5 395901

This doesn't look like a butterfly, it looks like a frog! Surely this is one of the oddest-looking machines.

I've recently had a greater interest in some of the older (around WWI give or take) typewriters so this was a quite appropriate and well timed aquisition! Sometimes eBay really just works out for you.

Typed happily on my Oliver 5 with Printype.

(As a sidenote, check out this craiglist post! I have honestly never seen so many standard typewriters in one place before. The unfortunate fact is that many of them will be sold to keychoppers, as they are right in the easy price range. I may try to rescue one or two, but I have no room for standards. At the very least the Smith Premier and the Empire? must be saved. They will be at a flea market in Seattle tomorrow morning.)

27 Jun 2013

The Tragedy of The Baby Empire

1936 The Baby Empire 2574

It felt so old, so unique.
A relic from the past.
There was something about it that appealed so strongly.
And I loved it.
I never realised that The Baby Empire was such a good typewriter.
I had it for a few hours.
I didn't even type a whole page with it, but what I did type was amazing.
I brought it back from being a rusted, completely unusable typewriter to one working fine.
And then the 374th Baby Empire ever made broke. Right in front of me. All my work was lost.
The clock motor broke. I broke it.
I didn't even take a picture of it after I'd cleaned it up. But as soon as it broke, I took it apart and tried to fix it but there was nothing I could do. So the pictures you see are not the working, cleaned up, beautiful typewriter I knew.
I thought I was so lucky, and so clever.
I dumped my heart into it.
Not only was it special and so very old, it typed amazingly.
It won't any more.
And it hurts.

You don't have to say anything. I just had to get that out. You know how that sometimes helps you get over it. I'm getting over it. I'm still really sad, though. I was looking forward to taking this typewriter with me as my go-to travelling typewriter. The spring in the motor cracked near the end. I suppose if I could somehow get it open it might be fixable? I don't really know.

26 Jun 2013

2 Projects: Techno Olympia and Baby Empire

Some questions...
Olympia SM4

Baby Empire

Have you ever seen anything like it?

I used to dislike Senatorial. Now I only love it.

It even came with both original crinkle paint spools!

I am curious how this made its way to the United States.

My Baby Empire seems to be identical to this one on Robert Messenger's blog.
(In worse shape, with the different decal, and minus the travelling case of course!)

Forgot to mention about the Olympia--I'm going to sand down the existing paint first, but I'm not sure if that would be enough considering what is happening to it now. Should I therefore try to remove the paint entirely? I don't want my hard work to come undone.

Typed loudly on my Olympia SM2 with two backing sheets on a rock hard platen.

25 Jun 2013

From Czechoslovakia with Elegance

1960s Consul 221.1 103729

Consul 221.1 Manual
Elegant is such an inelegant word. It really is.

You can see the fairly big difference between indoor lighting and sunlight on the paint.

Especially viewed in the last photo, I think the Consul 221 is one of the most attractive pieces of design work that exists. Everything is just...perfect. Lines, colours, logo, even the return lever. Design perfection is hard to come by. That said, I think this typewriter looks better than it types. But saying so doesn't really say that it types poorly at all.

Typed with my new Consul 221.1

(Mr Polt, you are free to add the manual to your site if you like.)

23 Jun 2013

The Great Feeling of Loss / Consul and Olympia


It's difficult to capture the beauty of this typewriter. The lines are pleasing and it is painted a very glossy rich cream colour that doesn't show well in photos. It tends to look a bit washed-out. When it was new in the late 50s, it was doubtlessly very dated to the eye of the American consumer.

If you'll remember, the Olympia SM3 was thoroughly caked with dirt. I finally gave it a fairly rough scrubbing that seems to have got most of it out! The pictures are not ideal as the sun began to set during this mass photoshoot.

Thus ends Typewriter Day 2013 for me. Two posts is hardly sufficient to devote to typewriters, which is why we have all the rest of our lives. :) "I raise my ribbon in a toast to Typewriter Days for the rest of the days typewriters exist."

Typed with and from my Consul Silent.