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197X Olivetti Tropical Serial # 8318654 197X Olivetti Tropical typewriter, Serial # 8318654 Uwe Wachtendorf's 197X Olivetti Tropical typewriter. 2014-12-19 From the Virtual Typewriter Collection of Uwe Wachtendorf: 197X Olivetti Tropical Serial # 8318654 Despite its name badge, and serial number that falls in line with mid-'70s Lettera models, I'm not convinced that this typewriter was actually manufactured by Olivetti.

It's a fun ultra-portable, but only by virtue of its appearance and model name. In terms of its performance it’s an average machine at best. The wooden type action doesn’t inspire long writing sessions, and even if it did, you would still have to endure the disconsolate sound it makes.

The speculation surrounding the history of this machine is rampant on the internet - as you would expect. Some claim it has the mechanical innards of a Hermes Baby (I haven't verified this yet), and many erroneously state that it has the coachwork of an Olympia Traveller, which is absolutely not true. Not only are all the dimensions of this typewriter’s case different, its profile is completely different. The Traveller is flatter, has a deeper lip at the spacebar, and doesn’t have the raised rear panel behind the carriage that this so-called Olivetti has. What I won’t argue is that someone did draw inspiration from the Olympia design.

One last thing: “Let’s get Tropical!”

197X Olivetti Tropical #8318654

Status: My Collection
Hunter: Uwe Wachtendorf (Uwe)
Created: 12-19-2014 at 10:27PM
Last Edit: 12-19-2014 at 10:35PM


Description:

Despite its name badge, and serial number that falls in line with mid-'70s Lettera models, I'm not convinced that this typewriter was actually manufactured by Olivetti.

It's a fun ultra-portable, but only by virtue of its appearance and model name. In terms of its performance it’s an average machine at best. The wooden type action doesn’t inspire long writing sessions, and even if it did, you would still have to endure the disconsolate sound it makes.

The speculation surrounding the history of this machine is rampant on the internet - as you would expect. Some claim it has the mechanical innards of a Hermes Baby (I haven't verified this yet), and many erroneously state that it has the coachwork of an Olympia Traveller, which is absolutely not true. Not only are all the dimensions of this typewriter’s case different, its profile is completely different. The Traveller is flatter, has a deeper lip at the spacebar, and doesn’t have the raised rear panel behind the carriage that this so-called Olivetti has. What I won’t argue is that someone did draw inspiration from the Olympia design.

One last thing: “Let’s get Tropical!”

Typeface Specimen:

Photos:























Hunter: Uwe Wachtendorf (Uwe)

Uwe Wachtendorf's Typewriter Galleries [ My Collection ] [ My Sightings ]

Status: Typewriter Hunter
Points: 13159

Typewriter collector based in Toronto who prefers mid-century models.



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