Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Found in the Wild: Olympia SM-7 with Congress Typeface


The serial number is just over 2,005,000 which should date this as a 1962 model.  Other than a hard platen, this typewriter performs flawlessly after application of PB Blaster.  Not bad for a 50-year-old machine!


The ribbon is old and will need replacement at some point as the red is really dry.  The platen is as hard as a rock.

This is the first time I have seen the "Made in Western Germany" statement so prominently displayed.
Isn't this machine pretty?  I have seen plenty of photos of the Olympia SM-7 online and honestly had not been impressed.  The in-person experience is much different.  As it turns out, the semi-random looking textured panel above the keyboard is well pressed metal and its look is mirrored in the bottom wedge paint - hammertone in a nice metallic grey.  The paint texture is similar to the 1959 Olympia SF and the Socialite that live with my girls.

The SM-7 shape is similar to the SM-9, but has more personality.  It does lack the basket shift and super-light touch that defines the SM-9.  The keys appear to have the shape of the SM-3's keys with the matte texture of the SM-9's variety.  These have a pleasant feel.

As nice as this machine looks, I would have left it behind had I not looked at the type bars.  I love the look of Modern Congress Pica.  My oldest daughter, Hannah, loves it as well and has started typing to catch up with a summer worth of activities on her blog.  As for performance, it feels the same as our SM-3 machines, also with special typefaces (Italic and Professional Elite).  The main difference is that those came from ebay and this looker was found in the wild.  That is a satisfying experience.

More typewriter porn.  I hope this helps some wayward SM-7s find good homes.  It is a machine deserving of our affection.
 Once again, thanks to Ted Munk for posting the NOMDA Blue Book Olympia Type Styles guide.



15 comments:

  1. excellent find in the wild! I also like the looks of the SM-7 over the 9, if only it weren't for the carriage shift. Glad it has such a nice typeface - I expect if your household is like mine, once the female in the house sets her sights on your robin's-egg blue typewriter, she'll find a way to make it hers.

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    1. You are absolutely correct about the teen girl love of pretty things. A few months ago, I showed her a photo of the blue Royal QDL that Tom Furrier's daughter uses and she fell in love. I expect this Olympia will mostly be in her possession as long as I get to use it for typeface variety on occasion. I do have a few alternatives to pick from ;)

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  2. very nice! My congress typer is troublesome, I'm glad yours works so well.

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    1. May your typewriter become untroubled. Having a machine with a great typeface that doesn't work is a total bummer.

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  3. I LUV that typeface! Reminds me of the print in the "Dick and Jane" books I read in 1st grade.

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    1. Thank goodness kids are reading something a bit more ambitious! Still, I get all nostalgic when I run into Dick and Jane books.

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  4. I didn't know the name of the typeface. I have an Adler Tippa that is is terrible cosmetic condition that types in this typeface. Found it at a thrift shop in Northern Virginia for $20. They didn't even know what it was since it was missing the ribbon cover. I will typecast with this machine soon, so keep an eye out for it!

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    1. Now there is a Tippa with character!

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  5. Congratulations for this great find, Dwayne. It's even in the more attractive blue-and-gray combo.

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    1. Thanks! This is one of those cases where I'm glad that first impressions aren't entirely right. I admire any machine that looks this good and works this well after a half-century.

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  6. Here it is:
    http://totallyyourtype.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-cool-typeface-on-topless-tippa.html

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  7. Pretty typewriter and gorgeous typeface! Nothing like finding something special in the wild; it is an immensely satisfying experience.

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  8. Congratulations on a great find! That typeface is beautiful.

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  9. I have several typewriters with these typeface styles, for example my Studio 44, and I like the typeface quite a lot.

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  10. I don't see the impression control to left of the keyboard. Does this machine the impression control under the cover?

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