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12-10-2020 09:32:43  #1771


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

Hi all, 2 days ago I managed to acquire a 1950 Lettera 22 serial; S643791. After using extra cutting polish to remove the extensive carbon paper stains, and dusting out the mechanism, it is in pristine condition. I am delighted, I believe I have found my ideal portable.
 I wonder if anyone knows: The serial is said on the TWDB to be early if it has the prefix S. However, I have seen earlier machines (number wise) which do not have that prefix. This machine was assembled in Great Britain. Does anyone know how the "S" relates to the dating?


Miss Brown to you...  it's Baby to me. (Anita O'day 1961)
 

12-10-2020 16:57:20  #1772


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

I do know that the 'S' at the beginning of the serial number denotes 'Scotland' - the machine would have been made at British Olivetti in Glasgow.

 

12-10-2020 20:09:23  #1773


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

Ah... that explains it... thank you thetypewriterman. I wonder if the serial numbers were centrally distributed. Given that the Glasgow and presumably Canada were assembly plants, the answer to that seems obvious, as the parts would have been stamped in Italy. Fascinating. By the way there is a very interesting documentary available on Youtube about Adriano Olivetti and his plant.


Miss Brown to you...  it's Baby to me. (Anita O'day 1961)
 

13-10-2020 06:03:10  #1774


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

zoom wrote:

.. I wonder if the serial numbers were centrally distributed. Given that the Glasgow and presumably Canada were assembly plants, the answer to that seems obvious, as the parts would have been stamped in Italy. Fascinating. By the way there is a very interesting documentary available on Youtube about Adriano Olivetti and his plant.

I wondered this myself, if serials were to an extent centrally distributed. The 'assembly plants, parts centrally stamped' theory appears to have some merit as I bought months ago a magnificent Olivetti Studio 44 with what appears to be a 1962 serial number but made in..South Africa (!) from a pretty Italian  lady that used it to type her school and university texts and then kept it undisturbed  for decades, and this 'South-African' Olivetti is exactly identical to pictures from these year models  in the typewriter database.  The fact that the keyboard is a regular italian QZERTY keyboard (with accented wovels , shifted numbers and all) adds mystery to it all.. maybe in those years Olivetti re-imported machines from foreign plants to cope with demand? Was it reworked by a reseller to change the layout to QZERTY? Mystery. The machine after cleaning (was almost clean, just  white Typex corrector fluid seeped inside and stuck until removed) is a joy to write with, the smoothest moving carriage I ever used. Still with its original metal reels.   I have to check if there are letters in front of the serial number but I don't remember any..


 

 

13-10-2020 06:50:29  #1775


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

Well, that's all really fascinating duna. I have been wondering about the studio 44. It has the same carriage transport as my Lettera 22, very smooth indeed.


 


Miss Brown to you...  it's Baby to me. (Anita O'day 1961)
 

13-10-2020 06:57:54  #1776


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

I realise that in Australia, I have never seen a studio 44 for sale.


Miss Brown to you...  it's Baby to me. (Anita O'day 1961)
 

13-10-2020 17:45:51  #1777


Re: Recent Acquisitions Thread

Yes Olivetti had exceptionally smooth carriages , running on roller bearings and a pleasure to use even after 60 years. Strange the Studio 44 isn't easy to spot in Australia, it was the Olivetti semi-standard (still portable but almost as large as a standard) and not unusual in Europe. Maybe not imported? 
I'm told that the Studio 44 wasn't  mechanically an Olivetti machine, was made by another italian company then bought by Olivetti, I cannot confirm if this is true but the cinematic of the Studio 44 is totally different from that of the Lettera 22. 
As it often happened with Olivetti, design was as important as mechanical excellence, and the 22, the 44 , along with the Lexicon 80 standard  and Divisumma desktop mechanical calculators form a formidable range of modern and sculpted designs from Marcello Nizzoli that achieved cult status as design objects. I too bought it only for the aesthetics (and  discovered a pleasurable machine to type on, indeed) as I have other machines. Nizzoli was an amazing artist, some of his designs are so iconic and copied that are now representative of  the xx century visual style. His office buildings for Olivetti Ivrea obtained Unesco world heritage status yet at the time weren't appreciated as a particularly refined or fashionable design: the real stars  were the celebrated Olivetti Shops (mostly Venice and New York) , the one in Venice-Saint Mark Square  designed by Carlo Scarpa is breathtaking and still in existence, meticulously restored.  Sorry for the OT...

 

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