1954 Olivetti Lettera 22 #027716
Status: My Collection
Created: 04-19-2020 at 08:02AM
Last Edit: 04-19-2020 at 08:25AM
The fact of not being a collector or of having commercial interests offers me the freedom to dedicate time to machines destined, at best, to be parts donor.
And this sometimes offers some satisfactions, as in the case of this Lettera 22.
This Letter 22 first series found in Romania had so many problems to make a sad future sure: some typebars were blocked, the paper support was broken, a key was missing, the ribbon reverse mechanism did not work ...
Judging by the amount of debris and dust accumulated outside and inside the typewriter, the bag was also lost long ago. After cleaning the machine, it was first evident that the paper support broke due to a violent impact on the right side of the carriage, confirmed by the broken roller knob. The knob had been repaired so carefully that the crack is not even noticeable at first glance. Unfortunately the paper support could not have been repaired at that time unless a new part was available. This problem was so common in the first series of the Letter 22 that in 1955 Olivetti changed the fixing system of the paper support to the carriage in order to avoid it.
A careful analysis of the machine then revealed another interesting aspect: the French-Italian QZERTY keyboard was ingeniously modified to write also in Romanian language, that typing the diacritical marks . The letter "c" with the cedilla has been milled, leaving only the tail so that it can also be used for typing other diacritical characters. To get the accent instead the upper half of a type has been replaced, also in this case in a very professional way.
The paper support problem has been solved by replacing the whole carriage with a correct one, that is same colour and coming from a machine of the same year.
The problem of the blocked typebars was the last to be solved. It didn't take long to realise that the problem was due to the deformation of the segment slots in the typebars guide, which required a lot of calm and patience to solve.
In the end all solved, apart from the missing key that I do not have available in my stock of pieces, but that sooner or later I will find.
The result is a machine that writes surprisingly well, I dare say that it is one of the best Lettera 22 I have ever used.
Which was not obvious at the beginning ....
Hunter: Paolo Dal Chiele (pdcox)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
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 Olivetti Lettera 22 on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Olivetti Serial Number page and the Olivetti Lettera 22 By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.
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