Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Cloud [SM] 9

I have a few little theories about typewriters, and for most of the time they work really well. One of the theories that I enact quite regularly is "if the typewriter is praised amongst others it is a safe buy". This theory has served me well, as it did Sunday.

You mightn't be surprised to learn that typewriter and reel to reel tape player cases can look quite similar. Especially some of the larger, older typewriters. It was for this reason that I nearly missed an Olympia SM-9 on Sunday. It looked like a reel-to-reel tape player case, but I insisted, my "just in case" thoughts kicking in, and I revealed an SM-9. Quite a stark difference from a reel-to-reel tape player, let me tell you.

This same day, at the same establishment, I also found a Lettera 32, and a Kofa 200 (which is exactly like an Adler Tippa S). What made it even better was that I cam home with these three machines for $50 - a swell price in today's world of $85 Nakijimas.

Since then I've found one real issue with my SM-9. It refuses to be taken off my desk. It just stays there, an imposing presence, begging to be used. So, in the two day and a bit since I bought it the only thing I could do was oblige. I've been using it a lot.


2012-11-18 18.08.37

Yes, that’s a real image of my desk. A red expanse of organised chaos. Eagle eyed readers might notice the original instructions for the SM 9, and a dried, hardened typewriter eraser that the machine also came with. I often wonder whether it would be worth carbon dating a typewriter eraser, or whether we should inform David Attenborough of a new branch of fossils. He could make a documentary, I reckon, on rock hard platens, erasers, feed rollers, and paper bails…

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  1. These are truly great writing machines. Enjoy!

  2. Interesting, so many miles apart, we seem to have had the same experience on the same day. Or roughly so. Last weekend, I went to a random browse of a local thrift-store /*salvation army to be precise, one of the best in town*/. They had two typewriters in stock, one Japanese portable in fine condition, the other one a white middle-sized machine labelled "Olympia" only. I started some random typing on it, and was caught immediately by its smooth action, nice print, all just fine. 21 CHF was the deal. Later at home I immediately started typing on it and - with the usual breaks of going to work - have used it ever since. Something magic about it.
    Mine is a later version of the SM9, the one you can see on Will Davis' site.

    1. The typewriter gods must have been aligned on Sunday. I've found Sundays to be good typewriter days before, too. I wonder what it is about a Sunday?
      I'll have to agree that there really is something magical about the SM 9, subtle though, but definitely magical.

  3. Replies
    1. It works too! ...these phones are my other little vice. I've been naughtily acquiring them for a while now. I've got six now, but the one that you've cunningly spotted is the only one that works properly.
      One day I'll turn one of the handsets into one that you can plug into a mobile phone... One day...

  4. If I stumble upon another SM9, and it works, I'm going to give it a go. The last one I acquired was in rough shape but I can't hold that against it since the typewriter has such a large reputation among writers.

    I bought a Voss recently. That, so far, is my favorite. It makes me giddy.