Who knew typewriter keys were the perfect drying rack for small prints?
Typed on Olympia SM3, 14cpi
This lockdown A4 foldout inspired by a Farrow and Ball colour chart
Last weekend I spotted this Olympia in a charity shop by the sea
I had paper in my bag and asked to test it out
After a few minutes of idle chat with the volunteers in the shop I asked if I could take it away and clean it up for them. They said yes straight away, so I took it back up the hill. Bloody hell it was heavy, carrying it all the way when I already had a full bag of groceries!
It had that old Olympia smell, weird how some brands seem to cultivate a distinct aroma over the decades. The previous owner was keen on erasers. All the gunk I cleaned up was old greasy eraser crumbs:
I took the whole shell off. The easiest shell removal I’ve encountered so far. The whole front is the ribbon cover and pops off without hassle
The rest is secured with four screws on the base
Can’t help but admire that naked hulk in the evening light. A thorough careful clean with long handled brushes and a bit of canned air. Actually the air was useless on the eraser crumbs. There was just one loose spring we had to fix back. I’m guessing it was the tab set. It went back in place easily with a pair of tweezers.
I revitalised the ribbon with a bit of WD40. Easily the most hurried and slapdash operation I’ve ever done on a ribbon, taking me about ten minutes. I gave the unravelled ribbon a light spray and didn’t wait to let it soak before winding it back on the spools.
I left it overnight. The next day was St Patrick’s Day…
I cleaned the typeface with blue tack and the key tops with a soapy rag. I also cleaned the case with a soapy jute scrubber outside
Ok great! I fully intended taking some nice shots for the database before taking it back to the shop this weekend. However!
The SM9 got adopted before that could happen yesterday. It’s now sitting happily in its new home, and I have to take a twenty down the road to the charity shop when I’ve finished my tea, which is like…. now
Happy to have found a home for the SM 9 I was starting to get attached to. I know it will get lots of use, and I’m so pleased to be able to help out with sourcing a really fine machine.
Up The Revolution! Type on, my friends 🙂
This sketch was made on an Olympia SM3, 15cpi.
Last weekend I was down on the south coast again and on Saturday I made another jaunt to Bexhill.
Huzzah for George Blackman Business Equipment. A kind of secret typewriter shop! There’s not much on the outside of the shop to say what treasures are waiting inside.
The first item to greet you as you walk in at the moment is this lovely Continental.
Gavin Eldridge, partner in the business, gave me a warm welcome and was happy to show off some of the typewriters in the shop. The standard of work done on their machines is extremely high. Look how sparkling and bright the interior of this Olympia is.
Gavin was also very obliging when I asked if I could see inside some of the closed cases, and I tried out this next gorgeous Olympia.
There were more machines ready for sale in the shop than there was time for me to see them, and there was a healthy pile of machines waiting for repairs behind the counter. If you live in the UK and need expert help with repairs, or supplies, check out their website.
I had a good chin wag with Gavin and stocked up on ribbons and paper.
It was so heartening to visit a typewriter shop in such good fettle. I forgot I had a hangover while I was there!
Unfortunately it was raining when I came out of the shop so I didn’t fancy wandering about taking snaps of the seafront in the rain with my pack of A4 paper under my arm.
Back to St Leonard’s on the train. For once a fare I can’t quibble about, £3:50 round trip. Seagulls go free 😉
Sunday was gorgeous and sunny, and I took the Lettera 22 out onto the roof terrace. Typing and tea for two. Perfect.