MACHINES //
Olivetti Lettera 22
Serial No. S6705986
// $485

The Lettera 22


is an award-winning manual typewriter manufactured by Olivetti and considered by many to be one of the finest ever produced.


Famously used by Sylvia Plath, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Joan Didion, Italo Calvino, Günter Grass, Tom Hanks, Wm. S. Burroughs, Gore Vidal, Will Self, and countless others.
Marcello Nizzoli designed the Lettera 22 in 1949 and Olivetti manufactured the portable machine from 1950 until 1963.

Nizzoli's design was awarded the first-ever Compasso d'Oro (Golden Compass) design award in 1954.

Models such as this one, manufactured in 1950, their first year of production, had round keytops and an S prefix on the serial number.

In 1959 the Illinois Institute of Technology chose it as the best designed product of the last 100 years.

As you can see from photos, this particular taupe 22 is in stunning shape. There is a small chip on the right corner, but otherwise it is practically perfect. The machine was taken completely apart and cleaned and oiled and all keys, buttons, and sliders properly function. Even the bell still rings when you’re six characters from the end of a line — though admittedly this was the most difficult function for me to restore.

In addition to the typewriter itself, this model includes the original carrying case and user manual.

In later years, Olivetti changed the interior of the case to be a nicer plaid — but they downgraded the zippers, making those prettier bags more likely to fail. As a result, you’ll see many such cases with a belt strapped around them trying to keep them shut. That’s not the situation here. The zippers and clasp function perfectly and the bag is free of tears and holes. The manual is complete but at some point in the past has been taped on the spine.

Text or call 416 556 6278 or read the How It Works section if you’re a new customer.