This post covers post-war segment-shifted Olympias of the SM line from 1964 to the 1980s. It is part 2 in a series of 2. See part 1 here
All of the pictures in this post have been found on the internet and come from the collections of myself and other typospherians, as well as current and ended online auctions, and are presented purely as examples essential to this post. No infringement intended.
This post will be edited when new information becomes available, especially with model examples. If you have an example with a serial number and photo, please let me know because every piece of information connecting age with finish/colors helps!
The SM8/SM9 was introduced in 1964 with an all-new segment shift design and a new body. The keys were off-white with turquoise accents. The logo was originally turquoise as well.
The SM8 is an SM9 without the keyset tabulator and touch selector. It also has body-colored carriage ends, rather than chromed as with the SM9.
|SM9 - 2521859 - 1964|
After only a year, the logo went back to the traditional metallic finish in 1965, retaining the turquoise shift keys and carriage knob ends.
|SM9 - 2711423 - 1965|
|SM8 - 3372259 - 1968|
As before, a stripped-down version without a tabulator was offered, the Monica.
In 1968, the color of the entire keyboard was changed to charcoal grey, as well as the carriage knob ends. The carriage return lever now is able to fold down to fit the new smaller black case.
|SM8 - 3721460 - 1969|
Sometimes, machines of this generation have light grey keys. Sometimes the light grey keys are accompanied by green shift keys, as below. This is a peculiar instance where the new Olympia International orange logo is present with the old script logo.
In 1969, a similar but completely new body shell was introduced along with moving the tab set keys from the sides of the spacebar to the left of the keyboard. The white paint was also brightened. The touch selector was moved from there to under the ribbon cover. This marks the introduction of the new all-caps Olympia logo.
|SM9 - 3917209 - 1969|
|SM9 - 4236821 - 1972|
I have also seen one example with off-white typing keys and all the function keys charcoal grey.
As early as 1970, new carriage knobs were introduced on the Monica, while the old knobs were still being used on the SM9.
|Monica - 4117705 - 1970|
By 1974, the new knobs were used on the whole SM range. A new textured paint for the white sections was also introduced, replacing the semigloss.
|Monica - 4638501, 1974|
|SM8 - 4680632, 1974|
By 1977, the knobs had been changed to be completely black. This is the final version of the SM9 produced, and is said to be of lower quality than the previous models. It was produced until 1979.
|SM9 - 5268393 - 1977 |
|SM9 - 5976626 - 1979|
A version of the Monica with yellow paint was sold during this time as the Sunshine.
|Sunshine - 5215242|
The SM9 design lived on for a few more years as the Monica in a new plastic shell with an interestingly curved rear and bright colors. At this point, the quality has decreased significantly and is nothing like the excellent writing machine the SM9 was in the late 60s and early 70s.
|Monica - 6037267|
The Olympia SKM is another design based off of the SM9, it appears to essentially be a wide-carriage SM9 with some modifications to make it look more imposing on a desk. I have dated this model to 1971 based on the accompanying sales slip, which does not align with the numbers on the typewriter database.
|SKM - 0063973 - 1971|
During this time, Olympia also was rebranding Japanese-made machines as well as Robotrons. While I can't say the Japanese Olympias were any better than the last West German Monicas, the East German-made Robotron Olympia Monicas were excellent machines to the end.
As with the carriage-shifted Olympia SMs, there was a Colortip version of the SM9 produced. It is interesting because it had a keyboard locking mechanism that would lock certain keys in three different positions.
A black version of the SM8/SM9 was produced for the West German military for several years.
|SM8 - 4173425|
Hopefully this has helped clear up some of the confusion regarding the Olympia SM series. Again, if you have a correction or additional information, please let me know!
Also of interest
Last updated 3 October 2016
SM8 and SM9 are basket/segment shift. The SM7 and before were carriage shift or I have some special Olympias.ReplyDelete
Nice progression of the SM9s.
Opening sentence typo! I got it right everywhere else at least, haha.Delete
I have a Olympia Werke AG Wilhelm Staven/ Western Germany Electric Typewriter model C-L13Delete
I can not find it anywhere online as to the year it was made and over all value. I imagine it'd no where close to all these beauties. Can someone please help me.
I'd never seen those late Monicas. Sorry to hear that quality went down. They do look kind of like toys, with those bright plastic shells ...ReplyDelete
I was going to buy one, but I brought it up with Scott K and he said sadly his was far removed from an SM9 in quality even though it technically is descended from it.Delete
Interesting, so it seems everything up to 1970 is a safe bet, quality-wise.ReplyDelete
I think pretty much up to 1975 is going to be good, but I haven't used an SM9 newer than 1972 so I can't say. (The 1972 one is my favorite over the 60s models)Delete
I recently bought a 1975 SM-9 and it's a good machine. Of course, I bought it for a mere 10 euro, so that makes it an excellent buy. The feel of the machine is as good as my 1969 SM-9.Delete
Nice! Looks like you've got the whole range of SM's covered! (:ReplyDelete
Thanks for the series on my favorite brand! Somewhere between 1972 and the later 1970's, some pleasing flourishes were lost. These include tthe lovely machining swirls on the paper guide and support, and the red paint on the cast frame seen beneath the typebars when the ribbon cover is lifted. The carriage lock went from a lever with plastic cap at the upper left of the keyboard, to a bare metal lever at the left end of the carriage. Makes one think there must also have been diminishing changes in the mechanism. But they remained fine typers - I have - or have had - both versions, and kept the 1972.ReplyDelete
Hi. First of all, I'm French. I guess, nobody is perfect. But sorry for my poor English, hope it'll make sense. Anyway, thanks for that amazing piece of research on the Olympia SM series. Really, this is priceless. One question, if I may. Do you happen to know if the platen of the later SM 9 version (1968 – 1979) fits in the earlier version (white one with turquoise shift-keys)? And for that matter, is the shell interchangeable too? Voilà, and thanks again for your blog. As much as I can, I try to avoid soul-contact with the Internet. But here, it was worth the risk.ReplyDelete
I believe the shell is not interchangeable between the two variations, due to the way they are mounted.Delete
I don't know if the platens can be swapped or not, though. I would say yes, but I can't be sure.
Okay, I'm off to track down an 1970's variation to be sure. In France, they are very cheap. In fact, like most typewriters. At least, for now. Anyway, thanks for getting back to me!Delete
Funny you say that, I'm planning on trying to swap carriages between a '67 and a '70's I have. My '67 has an huge carriage which I do not like, the later one is normal. I'm working on a '66 for somebody and am having big trouble with the tabulator mechanism so I'm going to get out the '67 and the 70's and pull the carriages off, also to reference the tab mechanism to try to find out what's wrong with the '66. The shells are not interchangeable, the base is different as well. And I do know there are some small differences in the shifting. I do think the carriages are interchangeable.Delete
Ha HA! I knew you would come through for me. I just acquired a second SM9 - did not realize the slight differences between the 9 and the 8. Got this one for 2.50 US. It really needs cleaned, otherwise in beautiful shape. Thanks for the great series on the SM models. ~Tom~ReplyDelete
I have a 1977 SM9-13, and it is one of the best typewriters I've ever used (for some reason, I have an easier time typing quickly on it than on earlier SM9s.)ReplyDelete
While I haven't used one of the late SM9s (still haven't had a chance), in my experience, after the switch to the new logo and different shell they did become easier to use.Delete
Hi there, Can you tell me please where to find the model number? I purchased an Olympia typewriter, it is tan, in a square case, has the numbers 3591157 on the bottom. It has the manual but it does not say the model number. It does say SM and mentions model numbers 8 and 9 in it. I need to replace the ribbon and really don't know where to begin. Thank you.ReplyDelete
This post explains how to distinguish between the various SM models.Delete
Where is the serial number located on an Oylmpia SM-9 circa 1965 or 1966? I haven't been able to find it. Any help would appreciated! Thank you.ReplyDelete
It should be stamped on the frame on the underside of the machine.Delete
In the text it says, "The SM8 is an SM9 without the keyset tabulator and touch selector. It also has body-colored carriage ends, rather than chromed as with the SM9."ReplyDelete
I took that to mean that the SM8 has no tabulator, so I was initially surprised today that I bought what looked like an SM9, but with a different paper rest and manual tab stops on the rear side of the machine, but now I understand it's a 1965 SM8. Lovely typer though.
So perhaps you might want to add that the SM8 has a manual Tab set on the rear and a simple paper rest like the SM5, not the extending paper rest with scale like on the SM7 and SM9.
I have a '67 with different color green plastic than the turquoise, its more like grass green. I have another SM9 with the turquoise so its easy to tell the difference. Also on the grass-green job,ReplyDelete
the area around the word 'Deluxe' is grey and not green. I couldn't find any pics but I'm going out to storage soon to get out all the SM9s. Just thought I'd share, I haven't seen another SM8/9 with that grass green colorand I always thought it was odd
OK I just got all three together-- SM9 #3053520 has lighter, almost white top cover, turquoise shift keys, knob ends, 'Deluxe' plate, and carriage lock lever, lighter grey bottom. Paper table and erasing flap are lighter like the bottom. Almost white keys with black printing. I haven't seen any of these with the grass green instead of turquoise SM9 #3416632 has slightly darker top cover, grass green shift keys & knob ends, 'Deluxe' cover is very light grey like the top cover, carriage lock lever is same color as top cover, bottom is darker grey, table and eraser flap darker grey like bottom. Keys are medium grey with white (or very pale grey) lettering. This typewriter also has an huge platen. SM8 #4101658 (70's design) has a similar color top cover as #3416632, dark grey knob ends & keys, including shift. 'Deluxe' plate is same color as top cover. Paper table and erasing flap are the same dark grey as the bottom. Carriage lock lever and carriage end caps are body color. There's a lot there, I hope I got it rightReplyDelete
I meant in reference to #3416632, with the grass green parts, I haven't seen another SM8/9 with that color green, and I wondered if it might have something to do with it having the very big carriage. I knew I'd forget something in the previous postReplyDelete
One more thing: I left the last 3 posts about my SM8/9 variants. I'm working on the typewriters now, and I noticed something. The early one has 12-pitch type. The 2nd one has 10. Nothing odd about that at all but the part I did find interesting is the 70's SM8 has a slightly large type size, it measures 9 characters/inch. It is noticeably taller, not like the 12/ and 10/ of the other two which are the same height but one has slightly narrower characters than the other, but the 9/ is taller as well as wider. I say all this because at the beginning of this 5 year old thing it says to tell all the variants you have, so there it is. 5 years ago.ReplyDelete
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