The Typewriter Database

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From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Nick Winter:
1957 Optima P1

Typeface Specimen:

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1957 Optima P1
Serial #

Status: Sightings
Created: 01-14-2016 at 12:33AM
Last Edit: 02-27-2017 at 10:21PM

Optima Serial Numbers
Optima Typewriter Galleries
Optima P1 Typewriter Galleries


This typewriter is a real stunner, but sadly it's a bit of a nightmare to use because the touch is unpleasant. It's hard and wooden; my aunt, who worked in a typing pool back in the day, found it quite impossible to touch-type with.

Curious that this typewriter came from East Germany and yet it has a dollar key. I wonder if it had some exciting diplomatic use in its past life - then again it might be stock standard and I'm romanticising it like a fool.

I am fascinated by products exported from the DDR, and I only recently found out what all the symbols on the backs of East German typewriters meant. If you're clueless like me, Google 'gütezeichen' - they're quality marks! I have no idea if it exists, but I would be so excited to read documentation of what all the code numbers found along with the marks mean. Make/model/factory designations, perhaps?

And in yet another round of 'answer Nick's amateur typewriter questions', any ideas about what the ℆ key means? I've found a reference to its use in Spanish and Portuguese to indicate item pricing which I've linked below, but that just seems so unlikely for a typewriter that had never left the DDR before I bought it.

This typewriter is no longer in my collection, having been sold.


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Nick Winter
Username: winter

Possibly the most amateur typewriter collector ever? Uni student located in Sydney, AUS. The amount of storage I have is a constant problem as I try to keep feeding my addiction...

1957 Optima P1 Photo Gallery

Click a thumbnail to view slideshow