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Monday, 5 August 2013

Never Scorn the Humble Olivetti Lettera 32 Portable Typewriter

My Russian keyboard Olivetti Lettera 32

9 comments:

notagain said...

The 32 has always impressed me with its feeling of quality. I'm not surprised it stood up to your career use.

Peter said...

Thanks so much for the inspiring post! It's so heartwarming to know your efforts may be the thing that triggers one of the next generation's great writers! Bravo for your efforts above and beyond the call.

I, too, read the Tom Hanks piece this morning. I'm glad to see a celebrity make the point that I -and most typewriter enthusiasts- have previously made regarding the permanence of typescript. Hanks is a good guy to have in our corner!

Miguel Ángel Chávez Silva said...

I share the passion. In fact, it was a Lettera 32 the one that started my own collection. That machine was bought new by my father for my siblings and me, and even though we hardly managed to score as much words on it, collectively, as you did by yourself, the machine saw a lot of use until it fell in disrepair and was stored. I rescued it a couple of years ago, had it refurbished professionally, and the rest is history.

I think that one of my favorite machines of all time is definitely the Lettera 32. And among all the Letteras 32, *our* machine is at the top of the list, with its worn typeslugs and all the fantastic memories associated to it.

Joe V said...

Another great story, thank you Robert.

I have a 22 and a 21. While the 22 is a great portable machine, the 21 is larger and I feel types better. But it's a bear to lug around.

TonysVision said...

The heck with the typewriter; that's a lovely font. I had a letter from Andrew Gaudin in Louisiana a few days ago commenting on the nice font produced by my Hermes 3000. It gave me the glimmer of an idea that learning a bit about the various typewriter fonts might be interesting - now I am convinced. Hermes alone used about two dozen different fonts, based on a sample page in a manual that came with one of mine. I wonder if anyone has done any sort of overall compilation. Anyhow, now I have another quest - to find a Lettera 32 that produces that lovely font with the varying widths. (There must be a designation for that characteristic - obviously I have a lot to learn)

Robert Messenger said...

Thank you Peter, Peter, Miguel, Joe and Tony for your comments.
Tony, if you really want to lash out, it costs $775 for a DVD of the Haas Typewriter Atlas and Catalog, which has about 300,000 typefaces on it!

Bill M said...

That is a great report on the Letter 32. I've yet to add one to my collection.

I'm sure Ton would agree with the durability of an Olivetti.

Byron Estes said...

Well, today at work I mentioned that I've begun to collect typewriters and, lo and behold, a colleague asked me to accompany him to his office where he proceeded to pull out a 1971 Olivetti Lettera 32, with case. He's been using the typewriter since the beginning of the 1970s in his capacity as an archaeologist for the State Museum here in Tucson. But for the past years, it's sat in his office unused. He made a gift of it to me and I'm ecstatic! It joins my very small collection consisting of a 1973 Adler J5, a 1959 Smith-Corona Silent Super, a 1949 Royal Quiet De Luxe, a 1976 Hermes 3000, a 1934Triumph Durabel, and a yet to arrive Remington Quiet-Riter of unknown 50s date - if the ebay gods are kind.

Thanks for another one of your great posts!

Hannah said...

Hello :)

I just bought my first typewriter after wanting one for years. I found a Olivetti Lettera 32 in an antique shop for $45. I've been researching them online and can't seem to find my exact mode until I stumbled upon this post and the one in your picture at the top looks to be the same as mine.

I was just wondering if you can tell me the year of this model or any information that you have on it?

Thanks so much!