Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Olympia SF De Luxe Blue Script/ Cursive Typewriter (1960s)


Here she is (pictures taken in sunnier times, in August):


It's difficult to catch the precise shade of blue in photographs, even in decent light - here it appears a slightly lighter shade than it actually is. Here is a better look:


This typewriter had been quite well-preserved, and came with a fairly clean case with the pull tab on the zipper intact (this seems to be a rather vulnerable part on other machines with zippered cases). The only flaw is that the rubber washers that grip the ribbon cover have crumbled away, and while I have found a temporary solution using bits of an old bike inner tube, it is still not very secure. I should spend some time in a hardware store to find a better alternative.


In terms of actual writing ability, I like the playful and whimsical nature of the typeface. It makes a refreshing change from the elaborately looped ones with descending capitals, and does indeed look like beautiful even handwriting.

That said, however, my problem with Olympia SFs persists - I feel it takes way more effort to write on this than a Lettera 32, for instance. The keys just do not have very much give, and the tension lever seems to make little difference. Despite that, I do not regret owning two of these beauties (with different colors and fonts). Here they are side-by-side:

8 comments:

  1. I sold my Script Olympia Traveller to a friend once I got a Lettera 32 from a different friend. I agree completely, that the typing action is just really stiff.

    Its okay for a letter or two, but using it for anything longer is just the pits.

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  2. That is a wonderful machine and the font is fantastic.

    When I first dove into the world of typewriters about four years ago, I found an Olympia SM-3 DeLuxe with script font for $11 at a thrift store. It was in excellent condition. At the time I didn't know what I had and lost interest (!) so I sold it on eBay. I was shocked when it fetched around $70. I immediately thought, "Oh no, what have I done?!" Live and learn, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sweet little machine!

    I find on my Olympia SFs that the tension lever makes a HUGE difference. When at the max, it's so tight that typing is like punching a trampoline. But at the minimum, I don't find the machines hard to type on.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Richard - "Punching a trampoline" is an apt description! The keys are tense and taut in a way that I haven't experienced on any other machine... I wonder why Olympia would produce such a mechanism for so many years. I shall try ratcheting down the tension lever on both... perhaps I need to take a closer look at where the + and - signs are!

    Snohomish - Oh dear, what a pity to let go of the script SM-3. That machine has a great mechanism too. Indeed, it is not easy to predict how much a machine will fetch and it seems to be more luck than anything... the same script Hermes 3000 that brings $300 today might get only $67 next week. One never knows.

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  5. Yes, you are right. When it fetched that amount it made me realize that I had something special. Regardless of what the machine is worth, I wish I would have hung on to it for the sake of collection. Nowadays I wouldn't turn loose of any of my machines (unless it was to a fellow typospherian, of course).

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  6. I had the non script aqua one of these.
    I thought it looked lovely but felt just horrible to type on. I love Olympia normally. Both my SM9s and my SM3 are lovely to type on.
    Just didn't feel it for this one.

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  7. angelocarpio my name is, I'm a writer and I am very interested in this typewriter OLYMPIA SM9 DELUXE.

    Please contact me if you sell it yet, this is my mail: angelocarpio@gmail.com name is, I'm a writer and I am very interested in this typewriter.

    Please contact me if you sell it yet.

    ReplyDelete

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