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01-6-2013 00:21:54  #11

Re: Olympia Cleaning Kit

The metal tool - do the voids fit the tooth spacing of the carriage rack?

Those 'wicks' are stumping me, but I can point out that they fit perfectly into the wallet (which is original) and that they have never been used, presumably.  Also, that there is nothing missing from the wallet that may instead go into their wallet position.

That points to the idea that they may be somehing used only very occasionally, or after a great deal of typing.  It would also seem that they are expendable, otherwise there would be only one.  Something used to fume a volatile liquid, which is the normal function of a wick,  would not normally need three replacements.

I note too that the orange colour (or something close to it) has been used by Olympia in some of their logos.

WOA - just noticed that they are linked in pairs!  That must give the game away.  The mixture of two substances that only work when combined?

Last edited by beak (01-6-2013 00:25:32)


01-6-2013 03:56:59  #12

Re: Olympia Cleaning Kit

Uwe wrote:

thetypewriterman wrote:

BUT I do have a theory !  Could they be the original transport packing pieces fitted by the factory when the machine was new, and retained by a fastidious owner ?  Not sure where the 'metal tool' would fit, but the 'wicks' may have been fitted under the carriage to jam it and prevent it moving in transit.

I'd have to double check, but I think the Splendid has a carriage lock; if it does wouldn't having something to jam the carriage be redundant? Or is it to prevent a carriage shift mechanism from moving?

I'll have to take another look at those wicks and the metal tool and see if I can't figure out where on a machine they might be used. When I first saw them I didn't spend too much time thinking about it because I thought someone here would have had experience with them, but there's also the possibility that they weren't originally from a typewriter and the original owner used those items as some-sort of repurposed tool.


The Olympia Splendid does have a carriage lock (top left of the carriage - tiny chrome-plated lever), but makers often locked the carriage after manufacture with little plastic packing pieces as well.
On further reflection, I think Splendids of this era had small soft plastic 'spikes' that pushed into the ends of the carriage rails, so maybe the wicks were from something else or even to cushion the machine within its snap-over carry case !


04-5-2014 16:38:18  #13

Re: Olympia Cleaning Kit

Well, a long-time mystery has finally been solved and I think the prize for being closest to the right answer should go to Stevetype33 for suggesting those orange "wicks" in the cleaning kit might be infused with something.

Pelikan used to sell a special typewriter slug cleaner - those orange wicks in my first post - that used a chemical as a cleaning solution. The chemical was contained within a glass tube inside the plastic body of the wick, so to use it you had to break the veil by folding the plastic wick body over the corner of your desk before using the wick to clean the slugs. Since those in my cleaning kit haven't been used yet, it's possible that the cleaning solution in those glass tubes is still there. I'll have to snap one to find out.

I have to wonder though what the actual liquid is as the instructions for the wicks caution not to use them on any plastic parts.


The pronoun has always been capitalized in the English language for more than 700 years.
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05-5-2014 15:54:25  #14

Re: Olympia Cleaning Kit

Well I never !  That is a product that I haven't seen before (I have only been involved with typewriters since 1975 !)  I wonder if the liquid is, or contains a proportion of, acetone.  This would work very well in loosening/dissolving ink but would attack many plastics too !


05-5-2014 18:28:34  #15

Re: Olympia Cleaning Kit

I'm just happy that I finally have an explanation for the things; it wasn't that I was losing sleep over it, but I'm not one that rests easy when I have a tool that I don't know the use for. However, they must have been a somewhat popular product at some point, because here are other examples of the same type of cleaner that were offered by other manufacturers:


The pronoun has always been capitalized in the English language for more than 700 years.
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