Friday, November 11, 2011

Typewriter Ephemera: Olympia SF User Manual


It has been a while since I put up a typewriter manual, so I wanted to share this from the Olympia SF. It pertains to the later, more angular version, but I think the instructions should be applicable for the earlier Splendid-style ones too. I have seen this being asked for on a couple of the forums, but Machines Of Loving Grace, which is my go-to site for typewriter manuals, does not seem to have it. 


So that's where the carriage lock is! *Makes mental note to use it next time.* It's never been obvious to me so I'm ashamed to say I've never used it, but I'll try it out and see if it works. Also, time to 'fess up, has anyone ever made use of the convoluted instructions for correcting errors? It has never made much sense to me - doesn't this only say that I should erase the error and type over it? I suppose the instruction is also for using half-spacing to make sure the correction fits in the same space as the original phrase. I must not care about neatness.. I don't mind xxxxing over errors and just going on!

How to justify text using an Olympia SF typewriter! Again, too fussy for me, but this must have been nice to have before the days of word processors. 

I like the sensible advice for taking care of the typewriter, especially pertaining to oiling and cleaning the type slugs. I have not seen kneaded type cleaner before, but I wonder if a modern alternative could be something like plasticine or play-doh... Thoughts?


  1. I've used plasticine on my Hermes 2000 and it worked perfectly. I got the idea from eHow...

  2. It tried Blu-Tak - the stuff kids use to not pin posters on the wall. Didn't work for me. I generally put my glasses on, grab a magnifying glass and use a toothpick to wheedle out the gunge from the counters. Very useful post of this manual. If it isn't there already, I'm sure Georg will be pleased to put it on his manuals section.

  3. Thanks for this, Adwoa, so generous of you.

    By the way, just wanted you to know that you have not been updating on my dashboard blog list. I heard that a couple of other blogs don't either so I guess it's a blogger technical glitch?

  4. My thought on the type cleaner is that plasticine might work (playdoh probably not), but that it is not necessary to use this at all - much better with brush and toothpick.
    Will retry my Olympia portable on occasion - in my memory it is a rather poor typewriter, good for next to nothing. Defenders of the Olympia SF, please stand up!

  5. I'l stand up for the Olympia SF -- it's one of the best flat little portables I've encountered!

  6. Adwoa, Thank you so much for posting this - in English! I can make sense of my German languange manual (my German is way too rusty to be of help...).

  7. I almost forgot to add this:
    Plasticine - useful, but can't beat a combination of old toothbrushs, toothpicks and some alcohol (benzine also works great).
    Blu-tak - not at all. As Rob already pointed out, the old dried deposits still remained there the last time I tried it...

    As for the Olympia SF, while not professing an opinion as radical as Georg, I must say it ranks among my "just Ok" portables; the Brosette or the Scheidegger Princess 100 or 300 are certainly much more "user friendly" - and less rattling! - machines imho.

  8. Thanks for uploading this manual. I am awaiting my Olympia SF (the rounded one) in the post and this will hold me over until it arrives.

  9. Thanks for uploading this manual. I am awaiting my Olympia SF (the rounded one) in the post and this will hold me over until it arrives.


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