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17-1-2014 17:35:21  #1


Olympia SG1

Finally. After waiting patiently for a very long time, I finally got my hands on an Olympia SG1. I've had an SG3 for a while, and although it's an outsanding typewriter, the Made in Mexico late model machine is not very inspiring to look at. Enter the SG1, which brings classic '50s looks to the table. and I'm practically speechless; this machine could very well be the best typewriter I've ever used.

I'm still familiarising myself with the typewriter and its numerous features, but my favorite so far by a long shot is the paper injector system. Pulling the handle, which immediately reminded me of the charging handle on a heavy machine gun, is not only extremely practical, but fun to use to. Just drop a sheet of paper behind the platen and rip back the big lever, and voila, your page is ready to type on the first line. Astounding.

The typer came with a plastic cover, not an OEM Olympia cover, but some aftermarket product that looks big enough to hold a large dog or a six-pack of babies. It never occurred to me that gag covers must have existed until I saw this one, and now I'm wondering how many other joke typewriter covers are still in circulation.

http://www.vorg.com/typers/1955_Olympia_SG1-Injector_Lever-Uwe.JPG

Give her a rip. It' the fastest way I've ever come across to to load a sheet of paper; why this feature was dropped on the SG3 is beyond me, but I'm willing to guess that it had something to do with cost.

http://www.vorg.com/typers/Olympia_SG1_Cover_Uwe.JPG
Big enough to carry a Weimaraner, protect a small BBQ, or just cover the massive Olympia SG1. It's corny as hell, but maybe there are funnier ones out there? 


https://i.imgur.com/OZeuKtA.jpg
 

17-1-2014 18:39:11  #2


Re: Olympia SG1

Nice.

I'd like one too, but imagine the postage to Australia.

I'll keep looking for a local machine - who knows; one day, perhaps.


Sincerely,
beak.
 
 

17-1-2014 21:59:03  #3


Re: Olympia SG1

Weight was the reason I waited so long to find one locally. I can't imagine mailing one of these things anywhere - and even if you did - what kind of an absolute beating would it take with all that weight being thrown around? If it was packed professionally it would be fine, but that kind of packing would easily add another 10-20 pounds to the equation. 

I just weighed both SGs and they're even heavier than I thought: 
SG1 = 39.4 lbs (17.9 kg)
SG3 = 37.2 lbs (16.9 kg)


https://i.imgur.com/OZeuKtA.jpg
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18-1-2014 06:44:36  #4


Re: Olympia SG1

I saw an Olympia SG typewriter at a local flea-market about a year ago. And they are DAMN heavy! 18kg is a lot for a typewriter! But I think I like the smaller portables rather than the desktop Olympias. 


"Not Yet Published" - My History Blog
"I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit" - Sir Pelham Grenville "P.G." Wodehouse
"The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon" - Robert Benchley
 

18-1-2014 12:41:48  #5


Re: Olympia SG1

Unquestionably, the portables are the main attraction for most typewriter collectors, myself included. But I have a dark secret: I really prefer typing on a standard. It's rare that they'll look as good as their smaller-sized counterparts, but they lack in looks they make up for in performance. I have almost every Olympia model made from the '30s onward and without hestitation I can say that the SG1 is a better typewriter than the rest, which is saying a lot when you consider just how remarkable the SM3 and SM9 portables are.

Portables are great for collecting and enjoying the myriad design differences, but when it comes to working I'll take a standard any day. 


https://i.imgur.com/OZeuKtA.jpg
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18-1-2014 15:15:30  #6


Re: Olympia SG1

Just a correction about the paper injector.  There were two versions of the Olympia SG3 (in England at least) - The SG3N (Normale ?)  and the SG3L (Luxe?)  The SG3L had the paper injector, as well as the 'double spacing' key.  But I think that by the time the Mexican version was being built, the 'L' has indeed been dropped.  In some ways, the Mexican version was an improvement on the last of the German models.  On these, tha cast aluminium side frames had been replaced with thick mild steel plates with very few access holes, making cleaning a nightmare.  The Mexicans reverted to the latticework cast aluminium sides.  Mind you, there were more plastic parts inside !

 

18-1-2014 17:41:34  #7


Re: Olympia SG1

Uwe, I agree with your assessment of the SG1. I recently got one (locally, after a long search, like you) and am still working to get it back into shape, but already I think it's a contender for the best ever. At least among those that I have typed on; there are many highly revered typewriters that I have not even seen yet, much less used. Also agree with you about office models being better to actually use, so long as you don't have move them.

thetypewriterman is right about the SG3's paper injector. I have an SG3 with that feature and the double letterspace key. I like the SG1 better for both feel and looks. IIRC, my SG3 lacks the sprung keytops that the SG1 has.

It's interesting that Olympia did better than most makers in maintaining a family resemblance among the various models and I think that contributes to the surprise and awe you experience when you see your first SG1 after all those SM2-5s and the SG3 after the SM7-9s. They are big!

Last edited by M. Höhne (18-1-2014 17:42:20)

 

18-1-2014 21:21:09  #8


Re: Olympia SG1

I'd have to see that paper injection system in action- it looks super cool!

 

18-1-2014 22:36:07  #9


Re: Olympia SG1

thetypewriterman wrote:

I think that by the time the Mexican version was being built, the 'L' has indeed been dropped.

That's good to know and thanks for the information. Unfortunately, for me, that also means I'll have to hunt down an SG3 with the injector system now. And although the double-spacer is a neat feature, it's one that I don't miss on my Mexican SG3, which by the way is an excellent typer.
 


https://i.imgur.com/OZeuKtA.jpg
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18-1-2014 22:43:36  #10


Re: Olympia SG1

M. Höhne wrote:

It's interesting that Olympia did better than most makers in maintaining a family resemblance among the various models and I think that contributes to the surprise and awe you experience when you see your first SG1 after all those SM2-5s and the SG3 after the SM7-9s. They are big!

You're absolutely right. I'm looking at all my standards right now and only the Olympia looks to be an overinflated version of its portable. There is no connection between the standard and portable Underwoods, no resemblance between the smaller and bigger Royal machines - well, not until you get to the FP and the Futura 800. Actually, Remington did a good job too of maintaining design lines across its '50s machines: The Speed Riter is almost identical to the smaller Letter and Quiet Riter models.


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