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1957 Olympia SM3 #932969


Guess I have a "thing" for typewriters with math-specific keys.

This one has less-than (''), and square brackets. Its half-line spacing, which my Model P does not have, makes it easy to type exponents as well as the "+/-" symbol.

Unfortunately, unlike the Model P, its "square root" glyph is not designed to be extended to accommodate multi-line math expressions. It can be done, however, doing so leaves a "jaggie" in the resulting symbol.

Nevertheless, this typewriter seems good for all-around typing that involves simple math expressions.

This one was really grimy when it arrived with lots of cigarette smoke residue. I've cleaned most of that off, but some detailing remains. Also, the platen seems to have hardened, so it types somewhat noisily. Otherwise, it seems to be in fine operating condition!

The typeface sample is on â…›" square-ruled paper, so this is a 10-cpi typeface which seems to be Congress Elite. Other than the variation between thick and thin stroke widths, the "3" and "Q" glyphs distinguish this typeface visually from others on the Olympia SM series. The top stroke of the "3", for example, is flat while its bottom curves upward in this typeface.

Typeface Specimen:



Hunter: Dan Johnson (rdj)

Status: Typewriter Hunter
Points: 901

I have always loved typewriters along with other kinds of well-engineered tools and devices such as slide rules, calculators (particular HP), radios, cameras (particularly Nikons), and microscopes. In addition to appreciating their intrinsic beauty and utility, they represent "things that need to be figured out to be understood". That's how I first learned about computers and programming in the 1970s, by figuring things out for myself. It's activity in which I never seem to tire of engaging.

Although communities have arisen around other collection interests, typewriters have the advantage that those who use them also typically enjoy communicating through words, whether those words are about the machines themselves or their lives, hopes, dreams, or expressions of beauty. There's much to be appreciated here.

RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Olympia SM3 on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Olympia Serial Number page and the Olympia SM3 By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.