Olivetti Lexikon 80 Elettrica

At the time of going to press, there are two Olivetti Lexikon 80 Elettrica typewriters on the TWDB. Each listed separately: a 1958 ‘Elettrica’ owned by Uwe Wachtendorf, and a 1959 ’80 E’ sighting by Guillermo Fernandez Boan:


These typewriters either had standard tabulation or a row of decimal tabulation keys …


Image from il Laboratorio-museo Tecnologica@mente


Wilfred A Beeching (in his book Century of the Typewriter) says the first year of production was 1955. Guillermo and the TWDB tell us:

“Short lived, the Lexikon 80 E production span ran between the years 1956 and 1961.”

In fact, the Lexikon 80 E production span was a lot longer than that.

I know this because I have (in my collection) an ad for a Lexikon Elettrica which is printed on the reverse side of the cover of the July 1952 edition of Le Vie d’ Italia


Whatever floats your boat …


According to the Finish Typewriter Museum, the Lexikon Elettrica (80 E) was first produced in 1948, however given this was the year that the non-electric Lexikon came out, I’d prefer to believe the Italians (Olivetti: Storia di un’ impresa) when they tell us:

“Between 1948 and 1960, Olivetti sold approximately 800,000 Lexikon 80 typewriters, including the electric Lexikon 80E, first produced in 1950.”


The Olivetti: Storia di un’ impresa site (link above) also features a rare derivative of the Lexikon 80 E, the Olivetti 84 which was first produced in 1961.



The fotogalleria has other interesting specimens, including this Olivetti Forum:


On the Lexikon 80E, the back of the machine protrudes out beyond the back of the carriage, to accommodate the large electric motor …



Here’s an eBay sighting from last year (I forget which country) …



An interesting machine to have in your collection, even if only on paper.


(Above) From my collection and a February 1956 edition of Le Vie del Mondo magazine


Collector and Typewriter Talk admin Uwe Wachtendorf owns the real thing, and gives his first impressions of the Lexikon 80E here.

4 thoughts on “Olivetti Lexikon 80 Elettrica

  1. I’ve been fascinated by the 80E for a few years. Its shape is just so weird and enticing. I got to try one in London, and I experienced Guillermo’s in person when I was in Buenos Aires this February. The 80E weighs a ton, so it is not the most practical typewriter for a collector … especially not if it has to be imported from Italy.

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  2. hmm, one bit of extremely useful data here is that the 80E started in 1950 – which, since we have production numbers for 56-61, it seems likely that approximations can be made from 1955 back to 1950 fairly reasonably. Heck, it would make pretty good sense if the extrapolation took us to 1000000 as a starting number in 1950: that’s less than 40k units to spread among 5 years when they were building about 13k a year after that. works out pretty good, actually.

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