Sunday, 31 July 2011


Not nearly as pretty as a Valentine - or a house brick - the new Olivetti I have is, I think, a Linea. That's about all I can guess at, on the assumption that the only other desktop Olivettis I can find reference to are Lineas. The serial number is B03 0537 which, with inference from the Typewriter Database, possibly makes it a 1969/70 Linea 88. Advice to the contrary welcome!

It is actually a pretty good typewriter. The keys and tabs work fine. The left spring-loaded margin setting needs some oil and the paper table needs a good scrub - I'll find out how to re-fit it properly. As well as weighing a ton, you can comfortably 'park' a portable under its extended carriage! There's even a little bounce in the platen rubber. And the plastic shines up OK with lighter fluid and a soft cloth.

Thanks to Robin for the photos

Surprising as it may seem, it doesn't really hold a lot of appeal. OK, it types really well, but it is pretty soulless. The best part is the return lever and the smoothly restrained action of the carriage as it glides under braking all the way to a long-set tab.


  1. What's the typeface? It seems to me that the Olivettis I've tried have a feeling midway between Hermes and Olympia - neither as smooth as one nor as crisp as the other. I find it an enjoyable compromise. How does this one feel?

  2. My, that's a tall one! [/gnomeregan]

    I get the feeling that with Olivettis, the touch tends to be all over the map depending on the model. I love the action on my L32, but have been ambivalent about the touch of almost every other Olivetti I've tried, with the sole exception of another L32.