Typecast: 1969 Olivetti Valentine

Street writing at Nieuwmarkt Amsterdam on my 1938 Seidel & Naumann Erika S, with the Olivetti Valentine in its case next to my bench.
Overview of the Olivetti Valentine as I’m wrting the typecast below.
This machine was Made in Italy. That seems quite obvious for an Italian brand, but from my research it seems that only the first few Valentines were made in Italy. Most of them are from either Spain or Mexico.
The earlier models had the small orange bolt to keep the black metal spools tight against the machine. Later models have a wider orange bolt, covering most of the spool.
The very odd serial number, 3000-08.
Edited to add, see the close up below, the hyphen is acutally a 4
The keyboard, with the missing key top for the margin release. The empty slots to the left and the right are for the tabulator set/clear and the orange tab button, both absent on my machine.
The iconic case with the black rubber cross tabs, still fully intact.

Edited to add:

I wondered about the missing tabulator settings and key, but I found this link about a first edition Valentine, also Made in Italy and also missing the tabulator set/clear and key.

And the mystery about the serial number is solved — Stephen Green from the Facebook Olivetti Valentine group suggested that the hyphen might actually be a 4, so I cleaned it up some more and took another picture and, yes, the number is 3000408. Since the first Valentine was the 3000001, this is one of the first Valentines.

8 Comments on “Typecast: 1969 Olivetti Valentine”

  1. mcfeats says:

    I transplanted keys from an Olivetti 45 to my Valentine. 45s are easy to find and cheap. It’s neat that you have the rubber case clamps. Mine were missing, so I rigged a red suspender belt for carrying.

    Nice find!


  2. Richard P says:

    Wow. I wonder whether you’ve found one of the first Valentines ever! In any case, 40 was a very good deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I checked out a few websites on the history of the Valentine, but it seems like the first edition was made in Italy, with the bulk of Valentines made in Olivetti’s Barcelona plant. So the markings of Made in Italy plus the unusual serial number 3000-08 seem to indicate that it’s indeed a first edition. And even if it was a later edition, forty is a good price for a Valentine, especially a working one with an intact case… As you can see from the typecast part, it still types pretty good.

      Edited to add: a closer look reveals the hyphen to be a 4, so the serial number is 3000408. Since the Valentine started with 3000001, this is one of the earliest Valentines to be produced, and definitely from 1969.


  3. Scott K says:

    There’s something a bit NQR about that. I have a theory that it could be a production run model.


  4. Lucian says:

    Hello. About this particular typewriter, i cannot unscrew the orange caps so that i can replace the ink band. My caps have also the flared bottom that cover the whole band disks. Could you plese tell me if they unscrew clockwise or counterclockwise? I found a manual on internet but not a single mention about this detail, and i don’t want to damage the machine. Looking forward to any help.


    • Hello Lucian,
      On my Valentine, the orange spool knobs unscrew counter-clockwise. I think you can assume that the flared ones on your Valentine unscrew counter-clockwise as well. If you’re truly worried about breaking them, you might want to try warming them gently with a hair dryer (they’re plastic, so don’t heat them up too much!) and do it with patience and sensitivity.
      When you do get them off, clean the spool pin threads and the inside of the knobs with Zippo Lighter Fluid (naphtha), let that sit for a couple of hours and lubricate the threads with Lubra Rapid Oil for cylinder locks, available at most specialist lock smiths. Sewing machine oil might also work fine. Don’t spray, but put some oil in a bowl (I use old glass jar caps) and put a few drops on the threads with a Q-Tip.
      Hope that works.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s