The Typewriter Database

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From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Dan Johnson:
1970 Olympia SM9

Typeface Specimen:

qr code

1970 Olympia SM9
Serial #

Status: My Collection
Created: 03-18-2014 at 11:15AM
Last Edit: 06-11-2015 at 09:16PM

Olympia Serial Numbers
Olympia Typewriter Galleries
Olympia SM9 Typewriter Galleries


The attractions here were: (a) it's an SM9, (b) it has a wide carriage (and Olympias have great features for drawing and typing tables), and (c) it's an SM9.

This one is in really good shape. When it arrived, the tab-set function didn't work. I was able to repair it, and in the process acquired an appreciation for one of those odd-shaped "typewriter repair tools", the ones with the deep slots at the end. They can be used to bend parts that you couldn't reach with conventional needle-nose pliers, for example, without disassembling the machine.

Holding the machine vertically and shining a flashlight revealed that the metal arm that slides the tab stop slug back and forth was bent so that it slid between the slugs. One minor adjustment later, and the tab feature was again operational.

Things like this serve to remind us that we have lost much knowledge and skill that was stored only in the minds of people like typewriter repairmen.


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Dan Johnson
Username: rdj

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.