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Home » Olympia » Robust » 1943 #461125
1943 Olympia Robust Serial # 461125 1943 Olympia Robust typewriter, Serial # 461125 Paolo Dal Chiele's 1943 Olympia Robust typewriter. 2019-11-22 From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Paolo Dal Chiele: 1943 Olympia Robust Serial # 461125 This is an Olympia Robust, made in 1943.
Before entering into the details of this specific machine, I have to say that I have read many comments on the typewriters made immediatley berfore and during WW2 in Germany and Italy that were fitted with the infamous rune symbol.
In general, these machines arouse a sense of unease that leads many to judge the object rather than the idea, as if a typewriter could be held responsible for the crimes committed by the men who used it. This leads to the paradox of many who get rid of these machines almost to avoid some evil influence (on who, on us, on the other typewriters of our collection?), and so selling them on ebay to anonymous buyers, maybe to someone who really sees a sense in those two broken lines.
As a person interested in technique and history, I consider these machines interesting objects, and the fact that they are in my custody a guarantee that they are used only for what they are and not for what they can represent.
I have met several of them in the past, and of all, this is certainly the one whose past should arouse the greatest sense of rejection. This machine, after being used by the German army on the eastern front and then abandoned, was modified to write in Romanian. The history of Romania in the immediate post-war period and then in the fifties was marked by the consolidation of Soviet influence, the establishment of a regime of control and repression of public opinion, in which the use of typewriters was strictly regulated. Each machine was registered, and the typing characteristics scrupulously filed so that it could have been possible to identify the author starting from any document that the machine had written. The possession and use of unregistered typewriters was strictly prohibited and regarded as a serious act of conspiracy.
Considering the nature of the established regime, it is therefore not improbable that this machine has been modified and used by some institution linked to the security forces, which would make its "second life", if possible, even more disturbing than the first.
Therefore, the one that I am presenting is a machine that has had one of the most controversial lives, which was heavily used and that survived all that, forgotten at the bottom of the warehouse of an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Bucharest, which is where it was found ...
As can be seen from the photos, when the Robust was found it didn't look very good: characters and keys replaced, missing pieces, obvious signs of abuse and who knows what other mechanical problem made the prospect of crossing the whole city to go and see it unattractive. The lack of enthusiasm I had when I finally decided to go turned into an aversion when, looking for the entrance to the abandoned factory, I destroyed a tire in a hole in the roadway, which would have made the miserable Robust one of my most expensive purchases, and even if I hadn't paid a euro to get it.
Once the anger had passed and I examined the Robust more carefully, I began to appreciate it. First of all, the keys I thought had actually been replaced had simply been covered, the new letters being attached to the pre-existing keys with metal rings. Moreover, despite the high degree of wear and tear, the mechanics were blocked by layers of grease and dirt that had solidified, and after a thorough cleaning the machine started to work well again.
By disassembling it, I realized how much work has been done to make the model from which it was derived, the Progress, a machine capable of operating in extreme conditions.
The pictures illustrate the most important modifications, including, in addition to the obvious armoured segment cover, the one-piece body and the protection of the undercarriage.
Overall, an interesting piece of history, and still a good typewriter.
I have opted for a conservative refurbishing, keeping memory of both lives, not replacing the modified type bars.

1943 Olympia Robust #461125

Status: My Collection
Hunter: Paolo Dal Chiele (pdcox)
Created: 11-22-2019 at 11:53AM
Last Edit: 11-22-2019 at 12:21PM


Description:

This is an Olympia Robust, made in 1943.
Before entering into the details of this specific machine, I have to say that I have read many comments on the typewriters made immediatley berfore and during WW2 in Germany and Italy that were fitted with the infamous rune symbol.
In general, these machines arouse a sense of unease that leads many to judge the object rather than the idea, as if a typewriter could be held responsible for the crimes committed by the men who used it. This leads to the paradox of many who get rid of these machines almost to avoid some evil influence (on who, on us, on the other typewriters of our collection?), and so selling them on ebay to anonymous buyers, maybe to someone who really sees a sense in those two broken lines.
As a person interested in technique and history, I consider these machines interesting objects, and the fact that they are in my custody a guarantee that they are used only for what they are and not for what they can represent.
I have met several of them in the past, and of all, this is certainly the one whose past should arouse the greatest sense of rejection. This machine, after being used by the German army on the eastern front and then abandoned, was modified to write in Romanian. The history of Romania in the immediate post-war period and then in the fifties was marked by the consolidation of Soviet influence, the establishment of a regime of control and repression of public opinion, in which the use of typewriters was strictly regulated. Each machine was registered, and the typing characteristics scrupulously filed so that it could have been possible to identify the author starting from any document that the machine had written. The possession and use of unregistered typewriters was strictly prohibited and regarded as a serious act of conspiracy.
Considering the nature of the established regime, it is therefore not improbable that this machine has been modified and used by some institution linked to the security forces, which would make its "second life", if possible, even more disturbing than the first.
Therefore, the one that I am presenting is a machine that has had one of the most controversial lives, which was heavily used and that survived all that, forgotten at the bottom of the warehouse of an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Bucharest, which is where it was found ...
As can be seen from the photos, when the Robust was found it didn't look very good: characters and keys replaced, missing pieces, obvious signs of abuse and who knows what other mechanical problem made the prospect of crossing the whole city to go and see it unattractive. The lack of enthusiasm I had when I finally decided to go turned into an aversion when, looking for the entrance to the abandoned factory, I destroyed a tire in a hole in the roadway, which would have made the miserable Robust one of my most expensive purchases, and even if I hadn't paid a euro to get it.
Once the anger had passed and I examined the Robust more carefully, I began to appreciate it. First of all, the keys I thought had actually been replaced had simply been covered, the new letters being attached to the pre-existing keys with metal rings. Moreover, despite the high degree of wear and tear, the mechanics were blocked by layers of grease and dirt that had solidified, and after a thorough cleaning the machine started to work well again.
By disassembling it, I realized how much work has been done to make the model from which it was derived, the Progress, a machine capable of operating in extreme conditions.
The pictures illustrate the most important modifications, including, in addition to the obvious armoured segment cover, the one-piece body and the protection of the undercarriage.
Overall, an interesting piece of history, and still a good typewriter.
I have opted for a conservative refurbishing, keeping memory of both lives, not replacing the modified type bars.

Typeface Specimen:

Photos:

The typewriter as it was when I first saw it.
The typewriter as it was when I first saw it.

Not a great looking machine....
Not a great looking machine....

When I discovered the original keys under the metal ring covers...
When I discovered the original keys under the metal ring covers...

After the first cleaning.
After the first cleaning.


Note the one-piece body, which is very strong and represent a great improvement in comparison with the Progress body and, as all "civil" Olympia, has the separate rear panel.
Note the one-piece body, which is very strong and represent a great improvement in comparison with the Progress body and, as all "civil" Olympia, has the separate rear panel.

The undercarriage metal sheet protection. Note the wear of the carriage lever, that were originally black painted.
The undercarriage metal sheet protection. Note the wear of the carriage lever, that were originally black painted.



Machine taken apart for detailed cleaning.
Machine taken apart for detailed cleaning.

Almost ready for cleaning bath.
Almost ready for cleaning bath.


Reassembling.
Reassembling.

La macchina dopo il montaggio.
La macchina dopo il montaggio.

The signs of wear...
The signs of wear...




Hunter: Paolo Dal Chiele (pdcox)

Paolo Dal Chiele's Typewriter Galleries [ My Collection ] [ My Sightings ]

Status: Typewriter Hunter
Points: 2417

Interested in historic motoring and vintage cars, I received a typewriter as a bonus when I bought and old off-road car. The previous owner had found somewhere a typewriter produced for the German army and when he sold me the car he gave me the typewriter too. As I learned later, it was a1961 Olympia SM7 Robust..
Of the typewriters I value more character than perfection, the signs that time has left and the stories - or fragments of stories - of those who used them ...



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