Showing posts with label Olivetti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Olivetti. Show all posts

Friday, January 30, 2015

They Came in the Post

Last night as the rain started to fall I heard a knock at the door. I looked through the peep hole and I was surprised to see three packages. I had heard that these three packages would be coming my way from Alabama. Tim had mentioned it in his email.

I loaded the boxes into my car and drove them to school. What could be inside?


The excitement is palpable.


An Olivetti...


an Olympia...


and another Olympia.


It's raining right now, but in my classroom it's raining typewriters. More on these great typewriters very soon.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Oscar, You Are Fantastic

Mondays are always a little blah. My Monday became far less blah when one of my former students stopped by. He had something he found that he wanted to give to me.


The racy stripe was a giveaway.


It's a beautiful machine.


It's a litte dirty with eraser shavings and such, but it works well.


And getting a gift from a student is really nice. So, Oscar you are fantastic. Thank you!

I have not posted as much as I have wanted, but there are still many days left in ITAM. There have also been some interesting developments on the Underwood in the restoration series.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Olivetti Everywhere

No doubt you have seen notagain's fantastic British-made Olivetti M44. Someone described it as looking like a coating of marzipan had been draped over the frame. I couldn't agree more. If you look at an Olivetti you can see the hours that went into desginging the product. They were the Apple of their day.

My mind then turned to my own Olivetti.


The operation is still plagued by the clicking pawls and when I have more than a few moments, I'll give them a closer look.

I tried to find some more information about this typewriter, the internet is silent. What I can find seems to repeat the same information over and over; it's electric and it came with an optional carbon ribbon attachment. I like the Italian name for a carbon ribbon; Carbongrafica.

There are a few advertisments from the era that give a sense to the size and heft of this typewriter.




The cantilevered keyboard that you can see on the front of the Lexicon 80E is replicated in the Praxis.

Olivetti's design roots really run deep.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Super Mega Capacitor of Death


You can see the extent of the electrical complexity of this typewriter. The massive motor is on the other side. The vertical piece of  plastic to the right is the power switch which is actuated by a lever assembly at the front of the machine. Three parts make this typewriter electric; a switch, a capacitor, and a motor.

Fully charged, I assume that it would hold a nice little jolt. Who needs coffee when you have this?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Peeling Back the Layers

An Olivetti Lexicon 80E gives up its secrets slowly.

When I bought it I knew the draw band had been disconnected. The band did not look broken or frayed and I assumed that it had just come loose from the pulley. Tracing the path of the band past a few rollers and guides I was able to find where it connected, but was thwarted by the case. From what I could see there were two screws holding on the whole of the body.


 I loosened the screws but the body was pinned by the carriage. I took a gamble and figures that the carriage on this machine was removable. It seemed a likely possibility. What repairman would want to disassemble and entire carriage and sub-assembly just to get to a ribbon vibrator? I looked around and settled on two screws. After removing them, the carriage, escapement, and other components lifted out easily. The whole operation is very reminiscent of what you would see on the Olympia SG-1.


After that I was able to remove the body panel (there were two additional screws) and gain access to the draw band pulley. The real mystery is how the darn thing is connected. I intend to work on the pulley today and with any luck I might be able to fire it up. I haven't even plugged it in because I really want to get in there and look around. Also, there is a very large capacitor that gives me the heebie-jeebies. I would not want to meet with it fully energized.


I have yet found a serial number on the body, but I did find this hand-scrawled number on the carriage. 2876? What could it mean? Perhaps 2876 pounds; the weight of this typewriter.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

La Macchina da Scrivere Pesante*

I plan on doing a much larger post about this typewriter, but I did want to post a quick picture of my newest acquisition. It needs some work and a good wash. I haven't even plugged it in to see what state the motor is in. Regardless, I am fairly certain that these heavy (as in 65 lb.) typewriters are unusual.




* The quality of this translation rests solely in the hands of the very clever boffins at Google. If you know better, please let me know.