Olivetti Lettera 36 sq
August 29, 2008
Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.
As predicted, my foray into typewriter is growing. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because they are reasonably cheap on Craig’s List and Ebay. Maybe it’s my need to rescue them from the recycle junk pile; or having spent some time looking at the photographs on the internet and then wanting to test drive these machines. It’s like automobile collecting only less expensive. Each machine has a different feel and mechanism and idiosyncrasies. Like any collecting habits, it’s the thrill of the hunt and the fun of restoration. For me, I wish I was more mechanically inclined to fix them but I don’t. I don’t collect many things. Some cameras and journals have amassed on the shelves. I’m not an oenophile. There was a time when I tried my hand at collecting modern first editions. It was always a gamble and my instincts were not that good.
The Olivetti Lettera 36 electric typewriter was designed by Ettore Sottsass. Circa 1972. Built in Spain Facility. Though this particular model has square instead of the oval key. The black cover part comes completely off where as the Oval Key version, the black cover swings forward on a hinge.
Then there’s the typeface.
I don’t think about hyper text so much when I’m writing on paper or typing. One good thing that came out of it is that I have typed up some of the journal entries from 1994. I was surprised at how many dreams I recored that seem to be vivid as today. Looking back I should have kept up with this method as it is so tangible a record of that time. After the internet and blog era of on-line or computer journals, I often forget to print or didn’t think they were that important to print. Most of which were lost. Handwriting in a journal bound seem to me more permanent. At that time, I wrote in all capital letters, practicing my architectural handwriting.
UPDATE: I recently sold the Olivetti with the oval keys to another local typewriter collector, Rick Seifert. Here’s his post about the repaired Olivetti