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31-8-2019 09:08:42  #1

SG 3 keyboard layout

a) Does anyone know the purpose of this keyboard?
b) Is this keyboard one of the so called 'exotic' Olympia keyboards (the special keyboards they offer) or is it custom build?

This machine was used at the Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands.


31-8-2019 11:31:15  #2

Re: SG 3 keyboard layout

Olympia sold typewriters in over 140 countries, so when you ordered a typewriter you not only had the option of a large number of specific language keyboards, but a number of specialty keyboards too such as chemical, pharmaceutical, mathematical and even library oriented keysets. On top of that there was a large number of typefaces you could choose from and over a hundred special symbol keys.

The keyboard in the photo looks to be a standard Dutch version that was ordered with four special of those special symbol keys: the male gender, female gender, greater than, and less than characters.

Did you know Olympia also offered a special order character to represent a bisexual person too? That has to be a true rarity. 

To answer your question(s), it's a special order (versus a "custom built") keyboard assembled from off-the-shelf parts. Given all of the ordering options I listed above, it can be argued that every special order keyboard is exotic, particularly when the majority of typewriters sold used standard language keyboards.

31-8-2019 12:45:03  #3

Re: SG 3 keyboard layout

Hi Laurenz

I don't know if Olympia ever made them, but I'd venture to say a really rare keyboard or key map would be a true Dvorak layout. From what I understand, the US Dvorak has the number keys in numerical order from left to right, but the true Dvorak has zero in the middle with odd numbers going up from center on one side and even numbers on the other. I have only ever seen one 1940's Royal Quiet Deluxe come up on eBay with the Dvorak key map, and that one went for close to $2,000.00. Keep your eyes open and you never know what you might find. All the best,


We humans go through many computers in our lives, but in their lives, typewriters go through many of us.
In that way, they’re like violins, like ancestral swords. So I use mine with honor and treat them with respect.
I try to leave them in better condition than I met them. I am not their first user, nor will I be their last.
Frederic S. Durbin. (Typewriter mania and the modern writer)

31-8-2019 15:59:23  #4

Re: SG 3 keyboard layout

@Uwe: Thanks for your comprehensive answer, much appreciated. I used the word 'exotic' in my question because I saw it on an Olympia price list, it was used to describe a keyboard for an SM 9 with a carriage that works the other way around, for Arabic languages I suppose. So I assumed all special keyboards were called 'exotic'. With 'special' I meant other then standard language keyboards.

@skywatcher: the link below is an article about the history of Olympia, it states they experiment with Dvorak keyboards but they were to expensive. 

Last edited by Uwe (31-8-2019 21:24:20)

     Thread Starter

31-8-2019 21:24:00  #5

Re: SG 3 keyboard layout

Sorry Laurenz, I had to remove that link. I couldn't in good conscience allow the website of a keychopper to be given traffic from our forum of typewriter enthusiasts. And it's not a surprise that the person running that website had posted a copied article without crediting the source.

01-9-2019 03:48:23  #6

Re: SG 3 keyboard layout

No problem! And a good reason too. Kudos.

     Thread Starter

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