Some time ago, I invited my students to use a few of my typewriters for a project. Unfortunately, one student broke my 1954 Olivetti Lettera 22. I had two Lettera 22s, this one and a 1962 Olivetti Underwood. A basic distinction between the two is that the latter was manufactured after Olivetti took control of Underwood. Some say that the pre-merger Olivettis were built better; in this case, that seems to be true. I was very sad to have what had turned out to be my favorite “ultra” portable typewriter broken. I preferred its key response, its overall action, and its typeface. The student had snapped its carriage lever, leaving an irretrievable cut screw in the joint. It’s pretty hard to type without a carriage lever. I tried and tried to fix the machine, but there seemed to be no hope. Finally, I decided to merge the machines, switching the carriages so that my 1954 Olivetti could work again. It took some doing, albeit I was surprised to see how easy it was to remove the carriages. These photos show the final result. I might keep the two-tone look.
Someday someone will find this typewriter. The new owner might be puzzled by the mixed parts, but he or she will have one hell of a good typewriter to use.