Saturday, 28 March 2015

The (Roller Coaster) Tale of my Olivetti G!

The BEAUTIFUL Olivetti Graphika

Typecast - LOVing the proportionate Cassandre typeface!

Hi everyone,

I hope you've been well! :)  Recently, Nick started a poll on the Antique Typewriter Collectors' FB group asking us how many typewriters we each own... I think I am somewhere around the 50 mark, although I have to admit that I haven't been keeping track, yikes! I try to keep to a limit since my home is small (and cosy), and it is unfortunately (increasingly) starting to look like a scene from an episode of Hoarders... I feel both amused and embarrassed when I recall publicly stating that I was more than determined  to keep my collection to 16, 18 max! I will definitely have to do some "curating" soon, hee hee...

As you might have guessed, today's post revolves around a very special (and extremely loved) typewriter in my collection - my Olivetti Graphika with the Cassandre typeface!

One of the first photos I had received - the Olivetti G
being carefully bubble-wrapped in preparation for its
long-distance journey to Singapore! 
The original owner had bought the Graphika from Rowley's.
This is how the same building looks today. 
Say cheese!
The excitement is palpable! 
Playing around with the functions...
One of my first typecasts on the Olivetti G!
All was and could have been fine and dandy... But... In typical Claudia fashion, curiosity got the better of me, and I decided that I would test out the different functions. "Hey look, a tab bar! Let's see how this works!" I shouldn't have heeded those thoughts, because as soon as I did just that, the carriage moved sluggishly, then came to an abrupt stop. I then tried to return the carriage, but it was stuck. Firmly. I literally had heart palpitations and could feel hot stinging tears (yes, it was quite so dramatic). I must have crumpled to the floor in devastation when Jase came into the room. He looked at me, glanced at the typewriter and then immediately tried to console me, assuring me that he would get it fixed up for me. I still feel so appreciative that he understood that the Graphika meant quite so much to me. He picked up the machine, then immediately drove off to Uncle's.

Meanwhile, I tried not to think too much of the machine, though I really feared that it was irreparable, considering that it was a proportionate typewriter, and spare parts would be virtually impossible to find. A few days later, I met up with Uncle. He was empathetic and assured me he would do his best, but that it was a 50-50 chance... I was so upset, but still mustered a smile and thanked Uncle.

Almost a month had passed (Uncle typically only takes two to three days), and I was feeling quite so down... Until one day I came home and the gorgeous Graphika greeted me as I entered the living room - he'd been fixed, yay! It turned out that I was EXTREMELY lucky! The escapement loose dog had to be replaced, and Uncle (who was an Olivetti technician) thought to rummage through his old tool bag from the 70s... It so happened that he found the exact part needed for the successful repair -phew! When I met him afterward, he would joke that I should never (ever) bring him the ('troublesome', in his words) Graphika to fix... 

When it comes to manual typewriters, this one definitely takes the award for: Mechanical Marvel - Top of the Class! Not only does it type proportionately, it allows for kerning with the slide of the lever on the left - very cool!

Typecast after Uncle's skilful repairs! (This was before Rob Bowker's
acquired his with an English keyboard.) His blog entries also provide
valuable information on the Olivetti Graphika!
Link -
The parts which were replaced and removed have been kept well  :)

I am appreciative of having this lovely typewriter in my collection, and whilst it had been such a roller coaster rid of emotions with this one - it has definitely been worth it! 

*For more on the Graphika, Richard's blogpost will be most invaluable!

Right at home on my study desk!
On A.M. Cassandre

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Warmest regards,


  1. Congratulations on the wonderful Graphika! It looks new, and that typeface is perfect!
    Keep adding to your collection 50+ is not enough. I too have a small house. I never reached my goal when I started at one machine per quarter of a year. If so I have enough for the next 10 or so years without a purchase. 50+ here too, and there is always room for just one more.

  2. I really craved this typewriter -- QWERTY Graphikas are like hen's teeth -- but it has gone to a good home and I do appreciate my QWERTZ. :)

  3. Thank you Bill and Richard! Richard, I realised that I need to include your post on the Graphika too! I read your post over and over, and it was most helpful!

  4. I enjoyed your introduction of the new addition to your family of typewriters. It flowed like a nursery rhyme.

  5. Thank you, that is very kind of you... I like nursery rhymes, hee hee! I must say that I have been collecting typewriters for a few years now, and many of these machines that I am posting about are not new acquisitions, but almost like familiar family members!

  6. What a beautiful machine and a great post Claudia!

  7. Well, you are so lucky to be related to an Olivetti tech :D

  8. I'm with you in marvelling at the ingenious design of the Graphika - in many ways the ultimate typewriter. We are privileged who own one.

  9. I love the green too Ryan, and I do feel fortunate to have Uncle to help! :) Rob, I agree! I do apologise for the typographical error in your name! I actually do know how it's spelt but funnily (or maybe not so after all!), I am more accurate on my typewriter than computer keyboard!

    Have a great week everyone! :)

  10. I'd like to send you a request about Cassandre's typeface by email but I can't seem to find your contact on the blog.

  11. Hello and thanks for your story. I just got a Graphika as well for restoration. Do you happen to know where to get the shiny metal part (escapement loose dog) your machine got replaced? Mine is worn out too and I would like to replace it.

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