Acquired: 1970's Olivetti Lettera 35i Typewriter

At the bulky end of the ultra portable typewriter spectrum (as near as I can tell, since I don’t have a lot of ultra portables to compare it to) is this made in Mexico 1970’s Olivetti Lettera 35i I bought on eBay. You can see a sideways photo here.

This was something not quite an impulse buy, more of an opportunity buy. This typewriter was listed as “New” by the seller. It was still in it’s original box, yes it had been sold and the box opened, but the typewriter was still wrapped in the original clear film and inner packing. Somebody had bought it over 40 years ago, inspected it, and then tucked it away in a closet for decades unused.

And there is no sign of it having ever been used. The roller has no marks on it and the thing is as pristine as the day it came off the assembly line. Only the ribbon did not survive. No case, just an original Olivetti vinyl tote bag and instructions.

The body is cast aluminum, not plastic and everything just works. It might need a little lube and it definitely needs a new ribbon. What the heck, I pounced on it. The seller was not fibbing, it really is in New condition. I’m glad I took the chance and bought it.

The nice bit is it’s not so valuable that I would be afraid to take it somewhere and type, like in a park.

So this is #3 in the collection.

Brad Enslen @bradenslen

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