How an fire-engine red
Olivetti ICO MP1
settled shattered nerves
after 'Typewriter-Mobile' crash
(See typecast below)
This 1939 Olivetti ICO MP1 was sold by Alfonso Silva Silva of Taller Underwood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Its serial number is 67210, The model name refers to Ingegnere Camillo Olivetti (ICO) Modello Portatile 1 (MP1). The ICO MP1 went into production in 1932.
The mask of the ICO MP1 was designed by Aldo Magnelli, of Florence.
Magnelli was not only the brother of Alberto Magnelli (1888-1971), a painter who was a significant figure in the post-war Concrete art movement, but a protégé of Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier (1887-1965), the Swiss-born (La Chaux-de-Fonds) architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture.
Le CorbusierAs well, Aldo Magnelli was a confidante of Francisco Antônio Paulo Matarazzo Sobrinho (1898-1977), the Brazil-born nephew of Italian-born Brazilian billionaire Count Francesco Antonio Maria. Matarazzo Sobrinho, an industrialist and patron of the arts, is better known as Ciccillo Matarazzo. Ciccillo and Nelson Rockefeller secured a partnership between the Museum of Modern Art of New York and the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo. Influenced by Alberto Magnelli, Ciccillo acquired various works of the so-called Novecento, of Italian futurists, as well of works of cubist tendencies, by artists trained in France.
For the ICO MP1, his second major project for Olivetti, Aldo Magnelli designed a die-cast alloy outer casing, one which wraps tightly around the inner workings. It’s a work of artistic genius in the way it seamlessly melds a beautifully tiered, high curved collar around the typebasket with straight lines down to the sides of the keyboard. And it is a design decidedly born of the love Magnelli shared with brother Alberto for the geometric abstraction style of art which incorporated cubist and futurist elements. The mechanics were designed by Riccardo Levi.
The serenity of this scene beside Lake Maggiore in Italy gives some clue to the calmness the Olivetti ICO MP1 brought me today after the "Typewriter-Mobile" incident last night. See typecast below for the gory details.
Aldo Magnelli had worked on experimental physics in Rome with Enrico Fermi, and joined Olivetti as an engineer. He first designed for the company a horizontal five-drawer filing cabinet called a Synthesis, which went into mass production in 1931.
The Magnellis had close ties with South America, and Aldo was later sent to Brazil to represent Olivetti. In 1940 he opened a steel furniture company in Sao Paulo called Securit, which manufactured office furniture systems that combined steel, aluminium and wood.