Saturday, September 17, 2011

Olympia SM9 Typecast Introduction and First Story

Hi. My name is Dwayne, and I am a type font addict.

Hi, Dwayne!

That sums up the latest addition to the vintage tech stable: an Olympia SM9 equipped with what is commonly referred to as the ROBOT font. Until reading entries on and retrotechgeneva, I had no idea that typewriters came in anything but courier fonts and variations thereof. I have since discovered the joys of Hermes cursive/script, Olympia's Senatorial (robot) and a variety of Bulletin/Display (large and larger all caps) on a ROYAL that is somewhere on a UPS truck.

A fixation on cool type faces should keep this technology acquisition cycle in check. Any typewriter I consider has to be awesome AND be equipped with a unusual type slugs.

Since I am trying to do the introduction partly through typecast, I will keep the digital portion short. In summary, Olympia typewriters are highly functional and intricate pieces of German engineering. A good bath, some lube and the replacement of one gimpy spring brought this machine back to a state of perfect health.

These 50 year old machines were designed for hard service and to be maintained for long years of use. They are not the expendable digital technologies of today. I highly recommend finding one of these and playing with all the tasty metal bits. It is a rewarding experience. Bonus: these type really well.

And here is the story, in pictures, mentioned in the typecast entry.  My family is awfully funny.  Finding the little raccoons on top of the Olympia before coffee was an interesting experience.


  1. Hello, fellow typeface addict! Welcome to the obsession... I am glad you enjoyed my blog :-)

    You seem to be making very good progress; you already have a couple of typefaces I don't have - like the Oliver Printype and all-caps Royal Quiet Deluxe (reading from your post on PTF). *tries not to get too jealous* I also haven't come across Olympias with Senatorial, although I have had many a techno in my day so I can't complain...

    The best way to get known within the community is by following and leaving comments on blogs you like and read (hopefully including mine :-)), and fellow typecasters will see your name and find your blog. You might also want to put up a blogroll on this site and contact Clemens over at clickthing so he can include you on the blogroll at

    Looking forward to seeing your typeface collection!

  2. Welcome to the Typophere!

    I am new to it myself. It doesn't take long to get connected to other typing aficionados if you follow Adwoa's suggestions.

    Your Olympia looks so very clean!

  3. Thanks for the comments and advice. This is my first blog outside of occasional entries on a work sustainable building blog. I'm having fun with it and realize I will need to put up a blogroll and tags.

    I had gotten lazy about just picking up feeds off of the main Typosphere blog. Got to remember that individual bloggers want the love as well.

    Yes, the SM9 cleaned up well. This speaks to the quality of the machine. There are many metal machines that I would not dare wash in soapy water. As mentioned, this typewriter was filthy with gummy nicotine pretty much all the way through. Full immersion cleaning is an extreme measure. During the first wash cycle, the water was so brown I could not see the bottom of the sink. Yuck.

    I will get a type sample log up from each of the machines after I get the QDL running. So many projects, so little time.


Dang. My blog was hit by Spam comments. Comment moderation has been turned on for some time yet to be determined.