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1961 Optima T3 Serial # 1177658 1961 Optima T3 typewriter, Serial # 1177658 Paul Seitz's 1961 Optima T3 typewriter. 2020-01-07 From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Paul Seitz: 1961 Optima T3 Serial # 1177658 I was thrilled to find this machine at a charity auction in a small town in Missouri. Spotted the case in a lot of very used luggage and managed to take a very brief sneak peek into the case when no one was looking. Purchased the whole lot (as luggage) for a great price. Was even more delighted to find (post auction) that it typed perfectly, having been thoroughly cleaned. All features worked properly AND it seems to have a NEW platen. Only issue was that the plastic card guides were extremely oxidized making them very yellow and opaque (this can be seen in some of the gallery photos, below). But I was able to sand and polish these to become clear (as seen in the main photo, above). I'm calling this a T3 because it came with the original manual which has many photos of this kind of machine which was probably also sold under different model names. Although the T3 is not a listed model for Optima in the default TWDB models list, it is included in the serial numbers listing which suggests that this machine was produced late in 1961, the final production year.

1961 Optima T3 #1177658

Status: My Collection
Created: 06-25-2019 at 09:13AM
Last Edit: 01-07-2020 at 09:43PM


Description:

I was thrilled to find this machine at a charity auction in a small town in Missouri. Spotted the case in a lot of very used luggage and managed to take a very brief sneak peek into the case when no one was looking. Purchased the whole lot (as luggage) for a great price. Was even more delighted to find (post auction) that it typed perfectly, having been thoroughly cleaned. All features worked properly AND it seems to have a NEW platen. Only issue was that the plastic card guides were extremely oxidized making them very yellow and opaque (this can be seen in some of the gallery photos, below). But I was able to sand and polish these to become clear (as seen in the main photo, above). I'm calling this a T3 because it came with the original manual which has many photos of this kind of machine which was probably also sold under different model names. Although the T3 is not a listed model for Optima in the default TWDB models list, it is included in the serial numbers listing which suggests that this machine was produced late in 1961, the final production year.

Typeface Specimen:

Photos:

Compare the oxidized plastic card guides in this photo (and below) with the cleaned guides in main photo, above.
Compare the oxidized plastic card guides in this photo (and below) with the cleaned guides in main photo, above.


This machine was, apparently, among those imported by the Low's chain of typewriter shops in London, which explains why it has a British keyboard.
This machine was, apparently, among those imported by the Low's chain of typewriter shops in London, which explains why it has a British keyboard.

The Berlin wall was built at roughly the same time that  this machine was made, so the export to Lows in the UK helps explain how it came to  leave the DDR and end up in a small town in Missouri.
The Berlin wall was built at roughly the same time that this machine was made, so the export to Lows in the UK helps explain how it came to leave the DDR and end up in a small town in Missouri.

This lovely case helped make it possible for me to buy the typewriter, as the machine, in the case, had been sorted into a lot of luggage which attracted little interest at the auction.
This lovely case helped make it possible for me to buy the typewriter, as the machine, in the case, had been sorted into a lot of luggage which attracted little interest at the auction.

Hunter: Paul Seitz (pstype)

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Status: Typewriter Hunter
Points: 234

After too many rapid cross country moves, I realized suddenly that my c. 1964 Hermes 3000 was missing - lost or stolen at some point in a move. I'd bought that machine new from a shop as I entered high school, did all my homework on it, typed all my college research papers and my Master's thesis on it, but gradually used it less and less over the years. Still, the sudden realization that it was gone felt like a really significant loss, which puzzled me. Wondering why I was so moved by the loss of something I hadn't actually used in years, I began to get more and more interested in typewriters and the many layers of stories each seems to accumulate. I started to learn a little - just enough to have a chance to find some good machines that I can afford, as I gradually try to understand the (apparently, important) place of the typewriter in my soul.



RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Optima T3 on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Optima Serial Number page and the Optima T3 By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.