Thursday, 11 April 2019

my new ( old) Olivetti typewriter

olivetti lettera 22

Now here's a choice.

New dress or old typewriter?

Guess which I chose......

Meet Olive Etty. My new friend. She comes from George Blackman typewriter repair shop in Bexhill, and is a dainty little Lettera 22 from Olivetti.

Designed in 1950 by Marcello Nizzoli, she is classic enough to find a place at MOMA, and light enough to carry from place to place.

She has a tidy zip case, and a very delightful yellowed plastic cover.

Why a typewriter?

I hear you ask.

OH (my other half) has been less than enthusiastic, informing me that it will be a two week wonder.

To which I replied that it has already, in just three days,  given me much more pleasure than any dress that cost the same amount ever could.

Added to which

  • it was already on the planet, just going to a new home
  • I have wanted one for ages
  • It has many advantages over a laptop for the purpose of writing.

Just ask Tom Hanks..... he has over a hundred, and has written a book about them.

He has also made a typewriter app, which I have enjoyed in the past, but not in the same way as hitting those keys and seeing real ink on a real page, smudges, mistakes and all.

It is the physicality that appeals.

Mistakes are glaringly obvious and the smudges are apparently due to there being too much ink on modern day ribbons. I have to keep typing until the ribbon gets less inky, and then I can make something a bit more sophisticated.

And there is more.

No wires. No power required.

No software updates. No flat batteries.

And as others have said, 'all it can do is write'.

No worries about what font to use or whether my sleep will be disturbed from too much screen time.

No temptation to check my emails or look up words on the internet, leading me down a rabbit hole of exploration.

No. It just writes.

Mostly drivel, but that's my fault.

And how wonderful to have a key for 1/4 and 1/3...... I am sure there must be a use for those if only I can think of one.

So what will I write?

It doesn't really matter.

Time will tell.

And if I can't think what to say, I'll do some therapeutic key bashing.

olivetti lettera typeface

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