Where is “wasp’s nest” in
the Lexikon? In our The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical
Principles, third edition, 1974, it’s under “W” and way back on page 2390.
In this Ivrea-made Olivetti Lexikon (no serial number yet spotted), it was
found under the carriage. This is a machine that has been brought into my typewriter workshop
to see if I can get it typing again. Not alone was the shift key not
shifting, none of the other keys would budge. Nor would the carriage. I figured
there was some sort of “foreign” matter jammed in between the carriage and the
escapement rack. Sure enough, it was a rock-solid wasp’s nest - and I mean ROCK-solid. The wasps had brought
the wet red clay into the machine and made the nest – you can see from an emboss
on part of the nest where they built it on to the machine.
Watch this space for word on when I get it working again. I’m keen to save it, because it has the embossed brandname on the paper plate and nickel rings on the keytops. But it will take some saving …