Saturday, November 16, 2019

Olivetti MP1

The machine as received, before any cleaning. An Olivetti MP1 Ico portable typewriter in glossy black.

This really is exceptionally clean. As if it was cleaned and refurbished only yesterday, e.g. as if from a typewriter collector's collection. The dust and dirt in the machine however is witness that it was not used for some decades. It must have been stored in a warm and dry environment; 'one careful previous owner'. Or in this case two careful owners, as I was told by the seller.

The case lid still holds the brushes that I think are original. Almost expecting the envelope with the user manual to be in that third clip, it is however exceptionally rare to find that still in-situ.

The right-back hinge still has the rubber grommet, though that is about to split in two and give way. A slight bend in the hinge-bracket suggests the machine did get a knock at some time in its life. A small damage to the corner of the wooden base seems to confirm this.

Some dirt on the front-feed rollers, correction-tape flakes perhaps. The front feed rollers have quite a flat to them, from having been pressed against the platen for decades.

The draw-band is thick, braided cord, unlike the waxed string of other machines. Unsure if this is original or the result of an older repair - judging from the overall state of the typewriter it's probably original.

Titling up the machine on its back-hinges, the whole mechanism is beautifully rust-free. Also here some dust and accrued dirt that is consistent with sitting idle for years - or decades.

The serial number 26524, giving the date of production as probably late 1935.

Overall a very clean example of a very stylish typewriter. By the look of it, this should require only some light cleaning and perhaps a few minor repairs such as re-fitting hinge grommets.

First text - a dry ribbon and a bit sluggish still, but the machine types - beautifully!

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