Saturday, 11 June 2011

Dove grey

I just picked up this Olympia from a nice lady in Cowley, Oxford, home of the Mini. You could say it was Dove Grey - a favourite colour of the Mini's forebear, the Morris Minor. It needs some cleaning and the carriage is grinding on the bodywork, so I'm just off to the hardware shop to get some half-inch tap washers to replace the rubber mounting bushes.

The case is painted metallic Hammerite grey. From the finish, the styling and the age of the machine - I'd guessed it was fibreglass like the case for my Imperial Good Companion 5. Not so. It is steam formed beech ply and I'm tempted to strip it and varnish it! According to Schumann, the s/n 728899 makes it a 1956 SM-3. It has sprung key tops but no tabs.

It was a lazy purchase. I saw it was local and checked I could pick it up from the seller (nobody wants to package a typewriter if they don't have to) and got it for £9. The intention being to fix it up and sell it - just for fun - to see if I could turn base metal into gold like the recent Channel Blue Corona 4 proved was possible. Could be tough parting with it now though...


  1. A classic! Enjoy.

    I've long wondered exactly how Olympia created those space-age cases out of that ancient material, wood. Sounds like you know something about the technique.

  2. You can get a pretty decent 3D relief in thin ply by steam pressing it between dies - but not this deep. Suspect the lid is made from 5 pieces and the bottom too. Best way to find out is to strip it and reveal the joinery... watch this spac.

  3. Love the SM3s myself, I would come out of typewriter collecting retirement for the right SM3 or SM7.