Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The ICO Cometh!!!

From Koln, Germany or anglicized: Cologne.
I've been waiting on this since July 24!
Packed with german newspapers and peanuts

Underneath all that lay our prize,
simply marked "ICO"

I took it from the box and it was much lighter
in weight than i expected. And good thing: no
sound at all means no loose moving parts!

I felt like a surgeon here, cutting away layer after layer thick with tight and sealed
bubble wrap. This typewriter was certainly mummified for its voyage. This experience somewhat reminded me of when my wife gave birth to our son last November - she had him naturally (not Caesarean) but there was a bit of that same hold-your-breath anxiety and even that forget-to-breathe anticipation and as the moment gets closer, your heart speeds to this pulse where it's basically short circuiting but somehow you keep conscious because this is one of those rare pivotal and monumentally substantial junctures in your life where you realize that things will be forever changed after this. 

Box in good shape - latch and key work!
And it was certainly cleaned for me
Talk about good packing! this was perfect.
She finally emerged!

Behold, the sexiness! This machine was cleaned and repaired before it came to me.
Serial # 4733 which puts it at 1933

Italian keyboard, even though it came from Germany. I thought it gave this machine even more authenticity to be in its native language. Keys are in good shape. Sorry for the shit pics - used the dumb iphone.

shiny happy typeface - reminds me of how my baby's smile lights up the room

So nice i took 2 pictures.

Interesting that the numbers are the secondary function so you have to actually hit
"Mauiscole" er, Shift to access the numbers. Also notable is that the period is also secondary but the comma is primary.
This typewriter also features an exclamation point! I guess that's expected since there's probably lots of stuff in Italy worthy of exclamation! Lets see... back then there was sophia loren, claudia cardinale... i once saw a photo of ornela muti looking pretty good but then i saw some photos where i just thought she was alright. I am probably missing a bunch from the 50s. But hottest italian of all time has to be Monica Bellucci!!! She's just ridiculous.

Everything functions wonderfully as it was promised!

Damn Italians have to make everything so dang beautiful.
I wish i had David's Lytro but then that would be copying him too much:
Much better photography for sure though

btw - i could also possibly have a reconditioned platen because this is easily the softest platen i have out of all my typewriters.  I will contact my new German friend to find out if he happened to do anything with the platen but my guess is i am either the owner of a newer platen or just lucky that this platen somehow withstood the effects of time.

i am shamefully inept at typing on this italian layout but i certainly will be practicing! :) Thanks for reading and sharing my joy!


  1. Hi.
    So in the USA you look for italian typewriters, and here in Italy we look for American ones :)
    Let's say Remingtons and Smith-Coronas have a nicer Pica typeface, but i think Olivetti used the most durable platens, I've never seen one with a stiff platen, so yours maybe original. The problem of Olivetti portables is precision... I've never seen a good aligned one.

    Greetings from Italy

    1. David - i guess we always want whats more exotic hahaha

      and i get what you mean about alignment: but i dont mind it - i think for now, it just adds to its character... one day though, i bet i will want it perfect and then i will work on it.

  2. I've got a 1965 Lettera 32 and its platen is so soft and smooth to type with.

    Oh, and there is nothing wrong with typing on lined paper like that. It actually scans pretty nice!

    Congrats on the ICO, very pretty!

    1. deek - my lettera 32 platen is just okay. and i have a couple of 22s with decent platens. i guess we got lucky with our platens every now and again!

  3. Bella macchina!!

    What's best -- an ICO, a baby, or a BMW? ;)

    1. well Richard - you speak from experience: how many ICOs do you have? one in each color, maybe?
      i thought about going for one of the flashier colors but in the end, i wanted the classic glossy black!

  4. Congratulations! Such an elegant machine.
    There's no stopping Michael, is there?

    1. thanks ton - ive getting real discriminate about the typewriters i get. in fact, ive met some typers face to face and actually turned away without buying, at real bargain prices too. in honesty, i have the space but at this point, i only want to acquire what i really want. ive been meaning to post about it actually... one of these days :)

  5. Wow! that's gorgeous! congrats on beating me to one of my grails! amusingly, I've not found an italian typewriter WITH an exclamation point myself, and have commented on that, that they of all people would use it.

    1. peter - ill bring the ICO next time youre in town and able to type-in!

  6. I can't get over how perfect that new machine is! Olivettis are great typers all around...until Underwood did what the did! Ah well, have fun with your new baby - just don't forget you have a real baby, too! (I'm speaking from experience! haha)

    1. Thanks Robert - actually since playing with the ICO that first been able to type since. baby is keeping us real busy! we're actually off to the pool for the first time in just a little bit

  7. So it was you that purchased the ICO. I briefly considered throwing my hat into the ring, but then I saw some of the other machines the seller had listed, and decided I wanted another one a bit more. Thing is, that particular seller has a whole bunch of machines that never sell, and then he relists them for WAY higher prices. The machine I was waiting for has been relisted twice since, and higher than it was before. So...I guess I'll have to wait?

    Congrats on the amazing machine. That is my favorite (on sight) Olivetti. It does not get much classier than that, my friend.

    1. Ken - i think i know which auction youre talking about. Was the eBay seller the splendid cabinet*splendid*cabinet/?_trksid=p4340.l2559 ?
      that guy is an ass. I did not buy my typewriter from him. in fact, what he was selling was a german keyboard ICO... i believe the price was $200? a fair price, for once.
      i got mine from a german off of eBay. we talked about typewriters and became a bit of friends and then worked out a deal for the ICO.
      i wouldnt have done so unless i felt at ease. first international typewriter!

  8. Hullo Michael!
    Congrats on the sexy typer! I hve half my mind to get one as well, resistance is almost futile!


    1. Nat - confession: sometimes, i just stare at it or look at the pics of it i took on my phone. hahaha

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