Typecast #2: Olympia SM-3

So here’s the second official typecast. (The post previous this chronologically doesn’t count because it wasn’t primarily a typewritten thing.) I’ve started it with a text intro because I decided I hate having a huge image on the front page, no matter how awesome it is. However, if you’re reading this post via either RSS or directly, then this comment makes no sense to you, in which case I would tell you to move along, skip this paragraph and jump straight into the typecast because there’s nothing to see here. And if you’re reading this on the front page then click the link and do the same.

Typecast #2 from the Olympia SM-3
typecast #2-1

Olympia sm-3

10 thoughts on “Typecast #2: Olympia SM-3

  1. Paint scuffs == badges of honor. I love-love-love my SM-3, and I’ve got one side scribbled all over in magic marker. And it’s greygreenugly. And a great typer.

    You won’t regret it.

  2. @Pelf: No stickers. If anything I may just repaint this thing. Or sell it to anyone who’d want it: $150, with free shipping. It works really, really well. (Maybe I should go on eBay to sell it…)

    @Mike: You know, it’s a nice typewriter to work on, but I gotta be honest, between this and The Beast (the Smith Corona Silent Super), I think I’m liking the Smith Corona better. Probably has to do with my fingers being so fat they hit multiple keys simultaneously on the SM-3, where the keys are spaced closer together than in the Smith Corona. The fact that I don’t yet have a nickname for it, that it hasn’t seemed to give anything up to me is a bit disturbing. i keep wanting to call it “The German”, but I suppose that would only feed into the stereotype, as well as seeming unimaginative because Olympia is a German company.

  3. Thank you for posting about your experience with the SM3. I just bought one and really enjoy typing on it so far. (Mine pinkies, zay are strong like purebred Deutche oxen!)

    Unfortunately, mine didn’t come with a manual or case, but it was a steal at $40. Can you tell me what the key below the plus sign does? Mine looks like a #4 domino or dice — four circles. Most of the SM3s pictured online have “HB” written on that key. I can’t figure out what it does, but with the caps lock key depressed it seems to do superscript. The little lever next to it has also got me perplexed.

    I hope you keep typecasting!

  4. Thanks for the comment, London!

    As for the key you’re talking about, you can’t see it on the pic, but on mine it say “M.R.” — Margin Release. (It might be “Magic Release”, but I haven’t seen any bunnies pop out of the basket when I press it.) No superscripting there, so what type of keyboard you have I don’t quite know.

    The little lever next to it, however, is the lock. Pull this lever up, then press the carrier release (it’s the little similar looking lever on the right, next to the knob/dial to turn the platen) to center the carrier. It’ll lock in place, along with the keys and hammers. It’s so that when you travel with it, the carrier won’t slide around and the hammers won’t bunch up and get stuck. If you don’t have a case, then this can serve as the equivalent of a password protected screensaver lock on your computer, except this one’s a bit easier to get around by pressing things and eventually getting it right.

    As for a case, I’m sure you can find one on eBay. There are certainly enough dead SM-3’s out there that there should be some lonely cases available. As for a manual, well I didn’t get one either. Haven’t felt the need for it, though, so that’s a good sign, I guess.

    Keep typing, and yes, expect more typecasts!

  5. The Olympia I just bought looks like the SM-3 and I’m trying to determine what year it was made but the thing that keeps tripping me up is that it says “Made In Germany” and not “Made In West Germany”. Does that mean it was made before WWII? any help would be appreciated.

    1. That’s a good question. Actually, I just looked at mine and it also says “Made in Germany”, not “West Germany”. I don’t know the reason behind this, but I doubt that what you have dates to before the Yalta Conference, at least if it looks like an SM-3 (or if it’s part of the SM series at all). If this is the case, it’s probably from the late 50’s. Maybe you can check the serial number (found at the bottom, near the back) against an online database? (http://www.tw-db.com — WARNING: AUTO-PLAYING MUSIC!) For example, according to this database, my typewriter was made between 1957 and 1958, way after the separation.

  6. One more question. I read your information about the carrier release above but I think the carrier release on my typewriter is not working correctly. (since I can not move the carrier regardless of how I press it down) any ideas on how to fix that problem?

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