Sunday, 2 March 2014

Quirky Portable Olympia

What is it they say about good things coming in small packages?

This delightful item arrived today as a much-appreciated gift. Not sure at first what it was as there were no markings except for the Made in West Germany label on the back. Never even noticed it, it is that inconspicuous. Upon opening the case by pressing the two black squares on either side of the handle, the Olympia Traveller de Luxe was revealed. Condition would be said to be excellent. Hardly used at all.

This is odd because portable typewriters, especially ones that are named Traveller, would have been expected to have been taken all over and been well-used.

The secret of this machine's pristine qualities were discovered when upon inspection, the keyboard is not a QWERTY but rather an AZERTY board which is indigenous to France, Belgium and a few other European countries. To we who are used to what we consider the standard, if not the only keyboard configuration, the QWERTY, this odd French keyboard would be usable by someone who hunts and pecks but it would stymie a touch typist.

France and Belgium, in blue, are 
two countries who would use this
 keyboard version; also, Lithuania. 

The platen or rubber roller around which
your typing paper rolls is still
 pliable on this machine indicating that
it has not seen much light which inevitably
hastens the hardening of these rollers.