The Rule of SM3s

They say things happen in threes. The day after WordsAreWinged blogged about visiting a previously undiscovered antique shop and finding an Olympia SM3, the same thing happened to me.


On my latest trip to the nearby town of Guildford to check out the antique stores, I paid my first ever visit to Annie’s Vintage Wondrland


Waiting to greet me, was this unassuming green Olympia SM3 …


Unlike the fancy falutin’ antique stores on the main drag, the prices in this Aladdin’s cave were reasonable. The SM3 was on sale for just $75 AUD.

In an antique shop just 500 metres down the road, another green SM3, in possibly worse condition (I didn’t play with it) has an asking price of $260 AUD …


Yes, this is the same shop that, after several months of trying, is still trying to sell a $275 Erika portable. Worse still, they’ve taken possession of an Underwood Universal and judging by the price, intend to keep it …


I wish I could tell you that I bought the $75 dollar SM3, and that it ruled, but there was a problem with the carriage, and since I have a backlog of typewriters with similar problems, I left without it – but not before photographing the booklet that came with it …


Apparently, for a little extra, you could buy a new SM3 with an elegant leather case. I can’t say I’m a fan of the wooden cases …


But I am a fan of Woody Allen’s …


Ideally, I’d like an SM3 the same maroon/burgundy colour as his, but preferably with the ribbon cover intact …


As things turned out, I didn’t have to wait long to find myself another typewriter in another previously undiscovered vintage store …


The Vintage Emporium, in the eastern suburb of Maylands, offered up an Olivetti typewriter in excellent working and cosmetic condition. But more on that later …


Allen with Lettera 22, working on the screenplay for What’s New Pussy Cat, Paris 1965

8 thoughts on “The Rule of SM3s

  1. Now this olivetti has a me intrigued. I hope to see it soon!

    Well, that SM3 is worth that $75. Even if it isn’t in a particularly attractive colour. I did love my Burgundy SM3, but I have since acquired a white glossy version with red keys (Nick flashed it up on his blog before I featured it on mine) so I wasn’t too sad about selling it… for a very nice price.


  2. For the oddest reasons, some stores seem to think some poor sap will shell out such ungodly sums of money for very common machines. It irks me every time I see a beaten up, mothballed and rat infested Royal 10 with a sticker price of hundreds.
    And I must concur with David, the “Please don’t play” signs are unnecessary. I can only assume that the shop=keeps think that the children irreparably broke the machine when they pressed two keys at the same time and they locked together. I dropped a machine off a bookshelf once (woops) and barely damaged it. I doubt a curious child could tear one apart with his/her bare hands.
    And I must also concur with Maryech. Typewriter Safari posts are very intriguing, as I love to see what sort of finds other typosphereians, well, find in their respective parts of the world/country/what-have-you.


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