Not long after Olympia introduced its more angular SM7 and SM9 designs, the SF design followed suit. This typewriter, dating to circa 1963 (the online database isn't entirely clear), fits snugly inside its original snap-on cover, which came to me with a crack at one back corner. I've epoxied the crack and reinforced both back corners, and the cover is now strong and secure. I have gone through this machine carefully and thoroughly. All bodywork was removed for access to the innards for cleaning and adjustment.
While the typewriter was apart I removed the old foam and installed fresh sound-damping felt pads, 1/4 inch thick, in the side panels. Once everything was back together I discovered what a delightfully responsive action this machine has, and what an excellent impression it places on the page. Just look at this short clip of the typewriter at work. Olympia'Socialite' SF -- ultraportable typewriter demo. Apparently this model was so compact and cute, the marketing folks persuaded management to name it the Socialite.Another similar variant of Olympia's ultraportable typewriter was named the Splendid 33. Olympia's big office machines were the SG, which stands for "Schreibmaschine Gross" or Writing Machine Big; SM stood for "Schreibmaschine Mittel-Gross" or Writing Machine Medium, and then there were these ultraportables, which Olympia designated SF label for "Schreibmaschine Flach, " or Writing Machine Flat. The "Flat" is a reference to the form factor -- this typewriter stands just three inches tall on your desk. Olympia's SF typewriters feature a carriage shift, which makes the compact form possible. As befits a lightweight, the Socialite omits some features common to larger typewriters, including a tab mechanism and the ability to use a bi-color ribbon.
Every family of typewriters, ultraportables included, reflects design choices in which compromises and trade-offs have been made. The manufacturers didn't make their biggest, sturdiest office machines so large and heavy just to keep them from floating away like balloons: they are superb all-day typewriters. Few of us, however, have room for these 40-pounders in our lives. That said, this Olympia is one of the most responsive and precise ultraportable typewriters I've ever had the pleasure of working with.
I invite you to look closely at the specimen page shown here: the quality of the typed image is as good as you could hope to get from a typewriter that you can easily snap into its case and take along to your local park or coffee shop. The type you see here is elite, 12 characters to the inch; that's the smaller of the two most common typewriter print sizes. Regarding the cosmetics: Yes, there are imperfections as might be expected in a 58-year-old machine. Most notably, the cover paint bears the inevitable scratch where a previous owner tried to advance the carriage before first snapping the return lever up into its working position.
Mechanically, however, this machine is entirely without corrosion and completely free of functional issues. Every key and every control works as new. Everything, right down to the sweet brass end-of-line warning bell. The touch is light and fast.
I'm a 70 wpm touch-typist and this machine doesn't slow me down. These machines command good prices because they hit a real sweet spot -- offering the touch and precision of a larger typewriter in an easily totable package. Thanks for reading, and happy typewriter hunting!
The item "Olympia Socialite ultraportable typewriter withcase+new ribbon Working perfectly" is in sale since Friday, March 26, 2021. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Pens & Writing Instruments\Typewriters". The seller is "spanghew" and is located in Edgartown, Massachusetts. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Antigua and barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint lucia, Montserrat, Turks and caicos islands, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Uruguay, Russian federation.