The Filthy Platen

First Melbourne typewriter safari of 2017

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I’d escaped the circus for a day, and I felt I needed a visit to an antiques bazaar that I had yet to explore. So I downed my work ID and hopped into the car and headed over to Glen Waverly.

It was a moderate summer day with clear skies and no hint of the gusty winds that often battered Melbourne throughout the season. So with a Sunday this beautiful, why waste it?

The Bazaar was inside a sprawling shed that was divided up into stalls – as is the way with most antique sheds these days. I was certain that this would be fertile hunting ground for writing machines, and wasn’t disappointed – in quantity at least.

First cab off the rank; the usual cannon fodder – The Olivetti Dora. Or in this case an ‘Underwood 310’ variant. It had been stickered with a neighbourhood watch label from the 80’s, indicating it was amongst considered as one of someone’s most prized possessions.

Speaking of Olivetti. This adding machine turned up early in the hunt.

This is the first time I’ve had my hands on what is a very common machine – A Kmart branded typewriter. I’ve seen them before, but never cared to pick one up. It’s very heavy, as the cover-plates turned out to be sheet steel, rather than the plastic I’d expected them to be. This machine is unexpectedly well made.

But damn ugly. Why the 70’s had such and obsession with that baby sh*t brown colour, I don’t know.

“NOT A TOY” The Olympia SM9 declared. The machine is in fine operating condition, and actually quite reasonably priced, in my opinion, for a machine that is so nicely kept ($85).

And Everest MOD 90. This machine is missing its back right-hand foot, and is in very average condition.

A wide carriage Royal HH! At $50 and missing a keycap, it’s one I was happy to leave aside. But would clean up nicely for the right buyer.

A Litton Royal-something.

Yep.

This Olympia is in average condition, with a price that is above the price on the better conditioned machine at the front of the shop. The optima is in nicer condition, but only just.

Same seller as the last two – this Swiss is advertised as ‘RARE’, and the seller priced it as such. Not rare enough for me to care about though.

A sparky something.

Probably the most worthwhile machine of the day is this Commodore (Rhienmetall) KsT. At $au120 this machine should have come home with me, but didn’t. I think the Commodore branded machines are likely to exceed the original Rhienmetall machines in value in the future. But that’s a topic for another day.

This little beauty almost did come home with me. I just love the case. But… It’s not suiting the direction of my collection these days, so it didn’t.

And that’s it! Nothing came home with me in the end – and probably just as well. I have other plans this year for the money I didn’t blow.

Have a great new typing year all!

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