Fountain pen, typewriter collecting,
and maybe more.
Thank you for the detailed photo of your washer replacement. Though I don't currently own an SM3, I will probably drag one home someday and it may need washer replacement surgery. Also, I like the half-page typecasting. It's very readable.
I was just working on an SM4 and was again impressed with just how high-quality these Olympias are. It's obvious that they spared no expense on top-grade materials (except the washers!) and precision manufacturing.
Of the Olympia machines I've worked on and / or used I really like the SM3 and SM4 the best. Perhaps when new the choice of the washer material gave the machines an advantage. Probably there was no method to determine long term life of the washers.
Heh, I seriously doubt that typewriter manufacturers picked rubber materials based on them lasting 60 years. Platens were designed to be recovered or replaced every 5 years, and I expect a lifetime of 20 years for those washers would have been considered spectacular in any industry. I've noticed that there's always at least one aspect of every design that doesn't survive extreme age very well, be it Hermes platen knobs, IBM Selectric plastic gears, plastic carriage release levers on mid-60's and later SCM portables, what have you..
This old Olympia is a beaut Bill, surprised you let it sit so long on the shelf. It has a nice easy print, a good neat size.
The SM3 has quickly become one of my all-time favorite portables. It's heavy touch and carriage shift testifies to solid construction and utter reliability. They grab my attention wherever I go (although sighting one of these in the wild is rare in my neck of the woods).
Ted makes an interesting point. I'm sure no one expected the machines to still be in use this many years after they were manufactured. That they've lasted so many decades with so many parts intact is remarkable.