Olivetti Lettera 32 Typewriter

typewriter 32 dSo this weekend was yet another dud for me, but I did happen to snag this 1960’s portable typewriter. Luckily we decided to stop at a garage sale that had been open for three days and to my advantage they had just marked all typewriters down to $2.00! Yes, I did say typewriters plural—there were four that I left behind. I almost grabbed a second one but I’m so glad I gave it a good look over, because it was missing a key.

typewriter 32

I now have an Italian-made, sea-foam blue, Olivetti Underwood Lettera 32 portable typewriter. I think the matching carrying case is just adorable and very useful, making it easy to transport.

typewriter 32b

From the information I found on Wikipedia, this typewriter was designed by Marcello Nizzoli in 1963. Another fun fact I found on Wikipedia was that famous novelist and playwright, Cormac McCarthy used an Olivetti Lettera 32 to write his works on. When he found a replacement of the same model, but in better condition for $20.00, he decided to auction off his old one at Christie’s and donated the profit to a charity. That typewriter, because of its history, brought in a whopping $254,500! How cool is that?

typewriter 32e

typewriter 32

Typewriter 32

I do believe that the early bird gets the worm, but sometimes the best bargains can be found on the last day of a sale.

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  1. Barbara Karwhite
    Posted April 1, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I am a freelancer doing a book on Cormac McCarthy and have been looking for images when I hit your typewriter pictures with the exact model he used. Is there any way I can get higher res pictures of these that I could use? I am working for a small university (Univ of Tennessee Press) press and cannot pay much. I would credit you on the cover as the source and send you some books.

    • Tammy
      Posted April 3, 2016 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Hi Barbara! That would be really cool. I will send you an email.

      • Barbara Karwhite
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Probably would use the close up with half of the typewriter showing or the second one because of the angle although the bottom is cut off a bit. Do you use dropbox? It’s free. If it is a high resolution image it may be too big to attach to an email. The bigger the better for my purposes. Thanks for your help. You would think I would be able to get an image of him but cannot find any that aren’t a million $$ to use . . .

  2. Posted January 29, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I have one too! A nice typewriter, a pleasure to use!

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