This Olympia typewriter was advertised recently on Gumtree for $30 …


Those of you with a keen eye for typewriter detail may have already noticed something amiss. Yes that’s right, what was advertised as a “Vintage Collectable Olympia Typewriter SG 3 De Luxe” turned out to be a wide-carriage SM9!


It wasn’t just the ad that had me fooled. I was also fooled by the operating instructions that came with it …


Only later, did I cotton on to the fact that the typewriter in the instruction booklet was much larger than the typewriter I had in front of me!


SG 3 De Luxe

The SM9 is a model of typewriter that is owned and vouched for by many Typospherians, and as Alan Seaver points out on his Machines of Loving Grace: Olympias page, it’s an SM that can no longer be called a portable, even if it does travel around in its own suitcase!


Alan also points out that there are four SM9 variants. This one’s an example of the earliest SM9 variant, dating back to 1964. The essential difference between this and, say, Ted’s 1965 Fat Betty  (also with wide carriage) or Brian Brumfield’s recent 1965 SM9 entry on the TWDB, seems to be a flatter chrome (SM7) carriage lock lever and a green logo …



What impresses me about this SM9  is how quiet and effortless it is to type on compared with, say, my Studio 44.


Which is NOT to say an SM9 is better than a Studio 44. No, that’d be like comparing a gelding with a mustang when we all know it’s horses for courses.

I’m happy to have two such workhorses in my stable – but whether I want to keep an SM9 with a 15 inch wide carriage, elite typeface, faded green plastic, and in otherwise not-so-good cosmetic condition, is a different matter.


Still, for $30 it was worth a try, and what I do know after typing on an SM9, is that I do want one, only not this one.

(I’ll be keeping the SG 3 instruction guide though)