I can clearly recall the excitement, standing at the counter of the local stationery store with my mom. We had come to select a typewriter to help with my homework. I was a junior in high school, and although i questioned the clerk about the issues of parts and repair of a German typewriter, there was no question that the beautiful machine would be coming home with me. That was in 1957, and it served me through the rest of high school, college through graduate school, and into the 1980's when it was finally displaced by the dot matrix printer. Subsequently it was pulled from shelves in the garage a few times and placed in the accumulation of cast offs destined for donation. And, thankfully, every time it was pulled away from the pile at the last minute, saved by my memories of what a pleasure it was to use.
Now, when i pull the it from its shelf to write a letter to a grandchild, my fingers automatically find the buttons to push that open the case and then slide, without conscious thought, to the catches that release it for use. Perhaps because I have become accustomed to it through many years of use, it is the most pleasant and natural to use of my 20 or so typewriters. The collection continues to grow in number, but my Olympia will always be number 1.
Status: Typewriter Hunter
Almost at the same instant that the idea occurred to me of how much fun it might be for my children (7) and grandchildren (13) to get letters - real letters in the mail - i went digging through the dusty nether regions of our storage area to pull out my beloved 1957 Olympia SM3 Portable and the old Royal 10 I'd rescued from a neighbor's garbage can in the 1960's. Refurbishing them triggered a typewriter obsession. Don't tell my wife, but i believe there are now about 20 of them.
I love their looks, their intricate and precise mechanisms, and dinking around in the workshop tuning them up and bringing them back to life. i also, unfortunately, love the thrill of the hunt on eBay. But all of them are put to use for correspondence and my new hobby of decorated art letters. And sometimes they even inspire a bit of poetry.
The SM3 paper support is representative of the rest of the machine; elegant, useful, and beautifully made.
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