Sometimes bigger is better and in the case of my 1961 Olympia SG-1, die Schreibmaschine Große, it is certainly true. I’ve just acquired my first “standard” size manual typewriter. The standard size machines were the desktop machines of their day. They were meant to placed on a desk and left there. They were not to be moved around like a portable machine. In fact they do not come with a case, just a dust cover. This machine weighs almost 40lbs and every ounce reinforces the fact this is a sturdy, reliable writing machine. It was built to write and it was built to last forever.
When this machine was manufactured in 1961 it sold for approximately $225. Adjusted for inflation that would be about $1,896 in 2019. Can you imagine purchasing a machine like this today? I can and did although I did not pay $1,896 for it. I bought it from the son of the original owner for $40. And, despite its age (58 years old) and the fact it had been sitting dormant and forgotten (under its dust cover thankfully) for several years, if not decades, all I did was wipe it down with a moist rag, install a new ribbon, and begin typing. Try that with your ten year old Macbook Pro. Simply amazing.
Manual typewriters are mechanical machines. They have a soul and they have idiosyncrasies which need to be resolved or at least understood. However I’ve found that these machines often can and will self-heal once they are put back to work. These machines remind me of the 1958 Plymouth Fury, Christine, in the movie (and book) of the same name.
Danielle Steel has written most of her 179 books using an Olympia SG-1. If it’s good enough for her it’s good enough for me.