Large Marge: 1965 Olympia SG3

I talked the junk shop owner down the street into taking $20 for the Olympia SG3, so I brought Large Marge home.  She immediately started doing laundry and ironing.

Other typospherians have waxed rhapsodic over the qualities of the Olympia SG3:

I feel like a rube in such a heady typing atmosphere. I can’t say anything intelligent about the touch or action or whatever since my experience with typewriters is pretty much limited to the last three months of my life, so I will just say this: the Olympia SG3 types real good. I love her. She stays. She is GINORMOUS.

Despite the Olympia SG3’s matronly appearance, the lady is a tiger.  She slips out of her clothing quite readily.

Olympia (after Manet):


La Maja Vestida y La Maja Desnuda (after Goya):


You’re welcome, Art History majors!

Since the SG3 is so large, I need to find a dedicated space for her. My son generously offered a spot in his room.  He was very enthusiastic about my purchase, especially when he found out that the Olympia SG3 was used by Philip K. Dick and Elmore Leonard.

Here are some envy-inducing characteristics of my Olympia SG3 (which is called a SG 3L or SG 3 de luxe in this brochure because she has such cool features):

  • weighs 38 lbs!
  • made in “Western Germany”!
  • has a PAPER INJECTOR!!
  • has cool special characters!
  • missing her plastic paper support😦

12 thoughts on “Large Marge: 1965 Olympia SG3

  1. Excellent pickup! I frightened myself quite badly once with a Hermes Ambassador, of similar size and heft. I wanted it so badly, then got it home and realized I didn’t have anyplace large enough to put it. I freaked and gave it away to Magic Margin. He loves SG1’s so it didn’t frighten him at all.😀


    • The Olympia’s size freaks me out a bit as well, but I plan to put her to work writing the Great American Novel (or addressing envelopes). The Ambassador is an even HUGER machine – I see one source stating that a 1965 Ambassador weighs 45lbs.


      • yeah, the Ambassador is a monster. Thing is, you don’t really realize *how big* it is until you put it in a familiar room and watch everything else in the room that you previously thought of as “large” suddenly become much less large in comparison… your desk, the fridge, and your Great Dane all become a card table, a thermos and a Chihuahua. I think it accomplishes this because its dense gravitational well bends light all around it, making everything around it look smaller and farther away..


      • I don’t properly understand the physics involved, but it appears that my Marge has her own gravitational field. Knick-knacks, pets and small household appliances have gone into a slow orbit around the SG3.


  2. Anna Marchington says:

    I wonder if you could help me? I just bought a Torpedo 30 typewriter. It is in great condition but I do not know how to take the top off to change out the ribbon. I have searched the web and have come up empty handed. Any ideas?


    • I am unfamiliar with the specifics of the Torpedo 30. My Torpedo 18 has a hinged cover that lifts easily to reveal the ribbon spools, but your Torpedo 30 may have a cover similar to my Olympia SG3. The SG3’s cover is secured with metal and plastic pins that sit in four plastic bushings (you can see the O shapes of the plastic bushings in the dismantled photo). To remove the cover of the SG3, I gently pried up on the front of the cover near the space bar and gently lifted up. The cover “popped” off to reveal the type basket and the ribbon spools. Your Torpedo 30 may be secured in a similar fashion.


    • Congratulations on your SG3. My SG3’s ribbon is still printing well and I didn’t need to replace it, but it looks like it takes a typical 1/2″ ribbon. I buy universal red and black 1/2″ ribbons from an eBay seller, Oregon Toner Company, and have been satisfied with the quality. There are many online sellers on eBay, Amazon and elsewhere online that offer 1/2″ ribbons. I usually “respool” the new ribbons onto the original spools.


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