Forgotten in the dark, at the back of the garage under a layer of dust and grime, probably two layers of dust and grime really; there is a cover for this but after bleaching it and scrubbing it and leaving it outside to dry and air I am not holding out much hope for its survival, the vinyl has become brittle with age.
I can remember the day I got this machine, the day started early, as did all birthdays back then. We lived in Rheindahlen in West Germany on an RAF base, my mum, dad, twin brothers and me; no pets allowed in our house, it was dust free and every surface gleamed with layers of polish the heady scent of lemon in the air in every room, trying to cover up the faded old tobacco smell of my fathers cigarettes. My mother hated smoking. It was stood on the big glass coffee table, the chrome legs gleaming and the table top itself devoid of finger prints even though I was the eldest at 8, and my twin brothers were 4 years younger than me, we knew better than leave sticky prints on that table top.
No dirt in our house, shoes were removed at the door, the back door, and we had slippers. Clean and fluffy like the day they were new, so it was a bit sad and forlorn to see this old typewriter with its layers of garage filth. Its been brought into the house and I cleaned her up with plenty of washing up liquid and hot water, flushing out the bodies of several spiders that had made their home amongst her metal keys and never moved out; it was a delight to find she still works like she did all those years ago, the ribbon still allowing the strike of the keys to make a legible mark on the paper: its hard work using a manual typewriter!!
I have done a bit of research on the internet and found out that this machine is royalty amongst manual typewriters, built to last, a real workhorse of its day, many famous authors bashed out their novels on one of these models: unfortunately its quite a common machine still so in terms of money its not worth a huge amount, although I remember being told it cost the equivalent of £10 second hand back in 1979, but what the Deutschmark conversion would be back then I don't know, makes this machine more of an antique to think that not only was it a foreign currency for us back then but now the DM is an obsolete currency as Germany now uses the Euro.
I have found a couple of these old relics for sale in the US for around $300 today so maybe in another ...ahem...25 years ...ok...35 years....it will be worth a bit more, a modern antique for my kids, but for now its priceless with its memories of how I learned to type...that A button used to make my little finger ache, thank goodness for modern technology and the ease of the laptop keyboard, having said that my laptop is virtually a modern antique but the keyboard is still much easier than the old Olympia.
I haven't banished her back to the garage, she now sits on the Welsh Dresser, her faded white plastic now a soft cream and her dark grey trim a bit faded, but there she will sit and gather dust......