Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Olympia SF De Luxe Blue Script/ Cursive Typewriter (1960s)

Here she is (pictures taken in sunnier times, in August):

It's difficult to catch the precise shade of blue in photographs, even in decent light - here it appears a slightly lighter shade than it actually is. Here is a better look:

This typewriter had been quite well-preserved, and came with a fairly clean case with the pull tab on the zipper intact (this seems to be a rather vulnerable part on other machines with zippered cases). The only flaw is that the rubber washers that grip the ribbon cover have crumbled away, and while I have found a temporary solution using bits of an old bike inner tube, it is still not very secure. I should spend some time in a hardware store to find a better alternative.

In terms of actual writing ability, I like the playful and whimsical nature of the typeface. It makes a refreshing change from the elaborately looped ones with descending capitals, and does indeed look like beautiful even handwriting.

That said, however, my problem with Olympia SFs persists - I feel it takes way more effort to write on this than a Lettera 32, for instance. The keys just do not have very much give, and the tension lever seems to make little difference. Despite that, I do not regret owning two of these beauties (with different colors and fonts). Here they are side-by-side:


  1. I sold my Script Olympia Traveller to a friend once I got a Lettera 32 from a different friend. I agree completely, that the typing action is just really stiff.

    Its okay for a letter or two, but using it for anything longer is just the pits.

  2. That is a wonderful machine and the font is fantastic.

    When I first dove into the world of typewriters about four years ago, I found an Olympia SM-3 DeLuxe with script font for $11 at a thrift store. It was in excellent condition. At the time I didn't know what I had and lost interest (!) so I sold it on eBay. I was shocked when it fetched around $70. I immediately thought, "Oh no, what have I done?!" Live and learn, I suppose.

  3. Sweet little machine!

    I find on my Olympia SFs that the tension lever makes a HUGE difference. When at the max, it's so tight that typing is like punching a trampoline. But at the minimum, I don't find the machines hard to type on.

  4. Richard - "Punching a trampoline" is an apt description! The keys are tense and taut in a way that I haven't experienced on any other machine... I wonder why Olympia would produce such a mechanism for so many years. I shall try ratcheting down the tension lever on both... perhaps I need to take a closer look at where the + and - signs are!

    Snohomish - Oh dear, what a pity to let go of the script SM-3. That machine has a great mechanism too. Indeed, it is not easy to predict how much a machine will fetch and it seems to be more luck than anything... the same script Hermes 3000 that brings $300 today might get only $67 next week. One never knows.

  5. Yes, you are right. When it fetched that amount it made me realize that I had something special. Regardless of what the machine is worth, I wish I would have hung on to it for the sake of collection. Nowadays I wouldn't turn loose of any of my machines (unless it was to a fellow typospherian, of course).

  6. I had the non script aqua one of these.
    I thought it looked lovely but felt just horrible to type on. I love Olympia normally. Both my SM9s and my SM3 are lovely to type on.
    Just didn't feel it for this one.

  7. angelocarpio my name is, I'm a writer and I am very interested in this typewriter OLYMPIA SM9 DELUXE.

    Please contact me if you sell it yet, this is my mail: name is, I'm a writer and I am very interested in this typewriter.

    Please contact me if you sell it yet.

  8. Hi, I'm an old guy that was day dreaming and thought about my old mechanical typewriter which types in script. I went on a hunt and seek mission and found it tucked away. The only thing wrong with it is it needs new rubber pads on the bottom. The rubber grommet holders for the ribbon cover are okay. The letters type below the sentence base line as you described. It is pretty much identical to the two you displayed. With the exception the top is cream color with gray sides. The MR margin release on yours is four dots on mine. I have a ribbon with two spools in it, so I wound off some ribbon and gave it a try... it works fine, but faded letter due to old ribbon... like many years old. I think it was 1963 when I decided to learn how to type when in the Navy. So I bought this typewriter new in Hong Kong, China. I don't remember what I paid, but think it was about $50 or $60 US. It is in real good shape, but I don't remember me ever having a case to put it in... but I don't remember why I'm looking in the refrigerator some times... but usually if I work on it I can replay why I am there! The typewriter does need cleaning, but nothing is stuck or works improperly... and it is built a damn sight better than items are built now. Except for the keys, rubber, and ribbon, all else is metal. All I found on it was Olympa, De Luxe, Olympia Werke Ag., Wilhelmshaven, Made in Germany, and a serial number. I just thought this might be of general interest... Have a great day. Ron Davis

  9. What would a similar Olympia Delxe in ruff but working shape/suitcase go for?


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