Adventures with Ollie 21

I’ve got the Olivetti 21 cleaned up and ready to trade/sell, and yesterday I dropped by Mesa Typewriter Exchange to see if Bill would swap me the old Hermes Ambassador that he has collecting dust on his back shelf for it. No dice on that one – as soon as we pulled the Hermes off the shelf (heh, all 45 pounds of it), he started polishing the old sticker residue and paint emulsification off of the face of it and convinced himself that the Ambassador belonged on his “project list”, and that it would be a good replacement for the SG-1 he keeps on his desk.

Curses! Foiled in my attempt to get ahold of the Rolls-Royce of desktop machines. I had finally decided that I was willing to add a non-portable to my collection and figured that if I was going to go large, I oughta go for the slickest, largest, most featureful beast on the planet. I was even willing to take a chance on one with years of grime and dust on it, with a rock-hard platen that had deep gouges and would certainly need recovering – a total long-term project machine, in other words – just as long as it was the one I wanted. ahh, well – like the Stones say, you can’t always get what you want…

So, now the Ollie 21 is headed over to a nice Biker fellow who saw my glass display case of typewriters at the office and inquired if I had a “newer” machine I’d like to sell. Perhaps this will be an interesting reversal of Joe Van Cleave’s Ollie 21, where his was owned by a biker who traded a motorcycle for it. We’ll see.

The Ollie 21, all cleaned up and sparkling. I found the case key underneath the vynil cover in the case's paper slot.

And just for fun, I noticed a familiar machine while watching “That Touch of Mink” last night, and took a screenshot:

A whole row of shiny, new Hermes Ambassadors!

Updated: April 11, 2024 — 12:49 pm

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