Typewriter, Olivetti 'Lexikon 82' electric portable typewriter with carry case and accessories, cast-injected ABS plastic / metal / rubber / electronic components, designed by Mario Bellini in collaboration with A Macchi Cassia, G Pasini, S Pasqui, Italy, 1972-1973, made by Ing. C Olivetti & C Spa, Glasgow, Scotland, 1976
The Olivetti Lexikon 82 can be used for exhibitions and research on consumer and office product design and the role of the designer in the product design, engineering and preproduction phase.
The Olivetti Lexikon 82 was the world's first portable electric golfball typewriter. It was designed by the renowned Italian architect, interior designer and industrial product designer Mario Bellini, manufactured at Olivetti's UK factory in Glasgow (the sole production unit of the Lexikon 82 & 83 for the entire world) and designed primarily for the North American market.
The expensive (175 UK pounds) and heavy (11kg) theoretically portable Lexikon 82 occupied the prestige end of the typewriter market. The Lexikon 82 sold to North America in vast numbers through mail order catalogues and to department stores, colleges and high school students.
The Museum collection presently includes examples of Olivetti office machines from the 1940s, 50s, 60s & 80s. This mid 1970s typewriter helps to illustrate the evolving ideas of Olivetti's key designers through the second half of the last century, boosting the interpretive value of the existing collection material.
Mario Bellini's clients for industrial and consumer product design include the auto industry, furniture and office products, B&B Italia, Cassina, Brionvega, Yamaha, Fiat, Lancia, Artemide, Erco, Flos, and Vitra. Mario Bellini is also well presented in the collection by two wedge shaped electronic consumer products from the late 1970s which demonstrate his more radical exploration of pure form and his 'Cab 412' chair from 1977 for Cassina, Italy.
The acquisition of the Lexikon 82 is supported by original documents and manuals issued at the time of its release and research documents and articles including an interview with Bellini about the design of the Lexikon 82 and a contemporary review of the Lexikon and its production.
Campbell Bickerstaff, 2005
The typewriter was designed by Mario Bellini in collaboration with A. Macchi Cassia, G. Pasini and S. Pasqui in Italy between 1972 and 1973. It was manufactured at Olivetti's Glasgow factory, Scotland, in 1976. Refer to research on blue file regarding design decisions made in collaboration with Olivetti engineering and manufacturing.
The typewriter was purchased new by the donor. It was used for family correspondence until the mid 1980s. The donor now composes correspondence using Word programs on computer.