June 6, 2010


  1. Is that the typeface? How many characters per inch does it have?

    It's a beauty. So how much does the SG-1 weigh? Also, what is that propeller shaped knob on the lower left-hand side of the machine?


  2. Its not elite. My first guess is 10 pitch, but I wouldn't be surprised if its 11 characters per inch, as Olympia has been known to have that hybrid pitch.

    Yeah, she is beautiful. I'm not sure the exact weight, but I'd think between 30 and 50 lbs. It felt just as heavy as a Selectric.

    The propeller shaped knobs (one on each side) twist to unlock the whole carriage assembly. From the manual, it said that you could get different carriage lengths, from 9" to 35" and swap them out. With the carriage off, it makes the typewriter extremely easy to clean inside.

  3. Oh, and yes, that is the typeface. The thing I do for my typecast blog is type, scan and then reduce the image to between 32 to 37% of the scanned immage.

    I try to get them to look consistent between different machines and pitches, but none of them have been actual scanned size.

  4. Deek, you know the old joke about the typewriter in the back seat, right?

    A collector parks his car with a typewriter in the back seat. Hours later he returns to find the rear window smashed -- there's glass everywhere! With knots in his stomach he looks in the back to see his typewriter still there, with two more beside it.

    FULL of envy about the SG1.

  5. Haha...I have never heard that one...its a good one!

    Yeah, I am still quite envious of myself and I get so giddy sitting in front of it. Last night, I typed around on it and then went downstairs and read the manual twice.

    I really had nothing to clean up on the exterior. The interior I sprayed with some canned air and cleaned up some old ink by the ribbon guide, but really, it is in great shape. I got all the cleaning brushes, original manual, a bunch of correction film (one in its original package) and an old "how to type" manual from the 40s. I even got the original sales receipt from 1957, bought in Indianapolis, so I'm thinking this was a single owner machine and stayed there until it was sold at an estate sale a couple years ago.

    I still have a little research I want to do, but I have been so impressed with how clean and complete everything is!

  6. Wow, it looks spotless! I'm impressed that it still has the plastic paper support - those haven't survived on most SG-1s. Looks like the only real signs of wear are those "love marks" on the edges, where you might rest your wrists when pausing as you write.

    Congrats! Welcome to the fold. ;-)

  7. Yeah, I was concerned about the paper support as I've seen plastic from that time period that was in really bad shape, but this looks feels really good.

    Those love marks are interesting, because I could see the wear in the original listing's pictures, but when I saw it in person, I didn't see them at all. Then last night, as I was inspecting and cleaning, I had to really look hard to notice, but after I posted the picture, they were pretty obvious with the flash.

    Same thing with the "Z" key. Underneath you can see a little discoloration not found on the other keys. There are a couple screw heads and random parts that I noticed a little bit of surface rust and then the foam inside is pretty brittle to the touch, but yeah, overall, it seems to have survived quite well.

    I'm happy to be an SG1 Club Member:)

  8. So now that you've typed around on this and the SM9, can you do a short comparison between the two.

  9. Here's a short comparison, noting that I have only typed less than an hour on the SG1 and over 50,000 words on the SM9.

    The first thing I remember noticing on the SM9 was the light pressure needed to type and the exact precision the typebars swung and struck the page. It felt like nothing I had typed on before and I felt like I could type just as fast, without issue, as I do on a computer keyboard.

    I also noticed how fluid the carriage return was. Everything just moved so smoothly, yet felt extremely sturdy and well-built.

    The SG1 continues that feeling of well-built, but takes it up several notches. After setting it on my desk and typing, it felt like a tank. First, because I don't think there's any way that thing is going to move as a write, whereas the SM9 does slide a bit after a page or two. Second, because even though each key press needed very little pressure, its like I felt the power of a sledgehammer behind each keystroke.

    Everything just seems to robust and powerful. The type, much like the SM9, is clean and precise.

    The SG1 has a lot of neat extras, too. The paper guide is nice and there is an auto-paper feeder lever. The paper roller is set up so it doesn't need to be lifted to insert paper. It has a lot more spacing options, vertical (single to triple space at half space increments) and vertical (a key to put two spaces between each letter and if you type with the spacebar depressed its some sort of half-space advance). There are some extra keys for fractions.

    And the looks are very different. Now I have a late model SM9, so it have a grey base with white, crinkle top and the Olympia International orange logo. So, its very business of the 70s feel to me.

    The SG1, is elegant and reeks of class. You know how much I love the look of my Royal QDL. Well, its got some similarities. The crinkle paint finish in grey and the chrome trim just looks fantastic.

    At this point, I have three Olympias and one in each class of typewriter: standard (SG1), portable (SM9) and ultra-portable (Traveler de Luxe/SKM). I'd certainly say that if I was going to type a little at a coffee house or bookstore, I'd want the SKM. Its just so small and light. If I was traveling and/or needed to write more than a couple pages in one sitting, the SM9 wins hands down. But, if I'm at home, I can't see using anything but my SG1, unless I'm wanting to rotate typecasting duties.

  10. That was a short comparison? lol

    I'd love to see the SG-1 with the same charcoal black color scheme as the RQDL.

  11. Haha...yeah, I can get quite wordy while I'm at work.

    I have heard that earlier SM9s, the ones with Olympia in script font, are supposed to have the best feel of the SM9s, but I've yet to play with one of those.

  12. I have one of those script-front SM-9's (from 1969), and it's completely Awesome. I am trying to mentally arrange the cosmos so that one appears in my area AND my wife will let me get it.

  13. Wow! Congrats! I should have poked around here yesterday. I missed all of the excitement. How are you liking one it a day later? You found a really nice one man good job. Time to get to work on some long writing sessions and and you will know why people are in love either their SG's,,, if you don't already.

  14. Thanks, James!

    Last night I was typing on the SG1 from the time the kids went to bed, around 8:30pm, to the time I went to bed.

    There's just nothing I don't love about it. The look, the feel, the smell, the sounds...everything!