Typewriter of the moment: Harlan Ellison and his Olympia SG3

December 12, 2010

Harlan Ellison, his Olympia SG3, and other stuff - photo credit to MAX KATZ and KAREN FRIEDRICH
Harlan Ellison and his typewriter.  According to Richard Polt, the machine pictured is probably the Olympia SG3. Photo credit to Max Katz and Karen Friedrich.

Writers and their tools, in their workspaces.  We could probably date this photo by the stuff in Ellison’s office — the Cheshire Cat cutout?  Wasn’t that from an Edward Gorey-illustrated version of the Alice in Wonderland story?  What year was that?  The telephone on the wall, the desk scissors design . . . none of those fall into any expertise I have.  Someone else will have to date it.  My TinEye search didn’t shed any useful light.

I found the photo at Richard Polt’s fun site at Xavier University, The Classic Typewriter Page.  Polt is clearly working toward a MacArthur Foundation genius grant with this material.  Well, he would be, were I a judge.  (Who should get credit for the photo?  I don’t know — can you help identify who gets credit? See comment from Mr. Ellison:  ” . . .  image was captured for my 1974 STORY collection, APPROACHING OBLIVION, by MAX KATZ and KAREN FRIEDRICH.”  Credit for the photo gleefully acknowledged here.)

Oh, by the way, stay tuned:  Ellison is trying to sell his first typewriter.  That is a topic worthy of its own post.

Tip of the old scrub brush to the unfortunately moribund The Wit of the Staircase.

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