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Lettera 32 Typewriter

This is a Typewriter. It was manufactured by Ing. C. Olivetti & C. S.p.A.. It is dated 1963 and we acquired it in 1992. Its medium is enameled metal. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Today, a student might purchase a laptop to help with college work. In the 1960s, that same student might have bought a Lettera 32. Weighing ten pounds and having its own case, this typewriter was advertised as the perfect graduation gift. Designed by Marcello Nizzoli for Olivetti, the Lettera 32 was an innovative new product for the Italian typewriter manufacturer; its portability made it a popular choice for students as well as writers who appreciated its compact design. During the 1960s —the Lettera 32 was designed in 1963 — designers worked for Olivetti on a part-time basis, as it was thought that full-time employment would crush creativity, and spent much of their time away pursuing other projects. Consistency of style was not important and uniqueness was encouraged from its rotating roster of designers: Mario Bellini, Ettore Sottsass Jr., and Michele de Lucchi.

This object was donated by Mel Byars. It is credited Gift of Mel Byars.

  • Poster, Divisumma
  • offset lithograph on white wove paper.
  • Museum purchase through gift of James A. Lapides and from General....
  • 2009-1-1

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Its dimensions are

H x W x D (in case): 10.1 x 31.3 x 43 cm (4 in. x 12 5/16 in. x 16 15/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Lettera 32 Typewriter; Manufactured by Ing. C. Olivetti & C. S.p.A. (Italy); Italy; enameled metal; H x W x D (in case): 10.1 x 31.3 x 43 cm (4 in. x 12 5/16 in. x 16 15/16 in.); Gift of Mel Byars; 1992-115-1-a,b

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Lettera 32 Typewriter |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=2 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>