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1970 Olympia SM9

Serial #4135520

Clean and shiny!

As the seller noted, "Carriage moves freely. I don't see any corrosion. The keys don't stick. There are ink marks on the roller, to be expected... Shiny finish including the keys evidencing this was not used much."

No exaggeration there. When it arrived, it looked all but brand new with barely any ink at all on the platen. Almost nothing seemed to come off the typewriter when wiped down with Windex. The type bars showed some use, however, and cleaning them with a power toothbrush and isopropyl alcohol seemed to crisp up the type slightly, so it wasn't untouched, but it really seems in fine shape!

I did not know what to expect for the typeface, but I prefer anything smaller than 12-pitch. This one at 11-pitch seems a good compromise between 12 and 10. The glyphs seem slightly chunky compared with other typewriters, and I do still prefer the precise Hermes typefaces over the others.

Something else I've noticed about SM9s is that the keys seem closely spaced. I have small hands anyway, but I do feel the difference when switching between an SM9 and other typewriters. I'll need to type for a more extended time on this one to determine whether it's going to impact my typing speed.

Speaking of which, I've noticed that typewriters with space bars that do their thing upon release rather than the down-stroke are somewhat jarring enough may disrupt my cadence, sometimes posing a minor "spacing" problem at top speeds. That could be due to many years typing on electronic keyboards. I hope I will be able to adapt.

The SM9 has the wonderful half-space feature, so it "does something" both on the space bar downstroke and the release. That seems just enough to keep things smooth. (And I like having that capability.)

The only control that I don't really like so far is the temporary line spacing release: it seems necessary to change the line spacing selector then reset it to the previous setting when finished typing a superscript, subscript, or hybrid character. That's minor, though: otherwise, this machine is a joy to operate. I expect it to have a regular place in rotation!

Owned By: Dan Johnson

Username: rdj
Status: Typewriter Hunter
Points: 898
Galleries: 58
Collection: 58
Sightings: 0

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.

1970 Olympia SM9 Type Sample


1970 Olympia SM9 Photo Gallery

I am trying to remember to include a picture of the type bars with each machine. (Wish sellers would think to do that as well.)

The characteristic profile

Clean and shiny!

1970 Olympia SM9 Links

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