Olivetti // ΜΤ-015802 // 1950s

Olivetti teleprinter

DImensions: 27 x 47 x 44 cm Location: Italy Material: plastic,metal

Beige metal teleprinter. On the right, the feeder for the perforated tape. On top, a metal support for the text being typed and a bright blue light to indicate device in operation. The device is fitted with a keyboard with Greek letters. The construction of the Olivetti teleprinter started in 1936, when Massimo Olivetti ( son of Camillo and Adrian's younger brother) and Joseph Beccio, a technical manager, started to work on an engine of this type, to the request of the Italian Navy. Although it was a business field which hadn't been looked into by Olivetti, the first two prototypes were ready in 1937 and the following year, at the Mechanics exhibition in Torino, the first Olivetti T1 teleprinter was introduced, constructed in two versions: transmitter-receiver, and receiver only. The first models typed the messages on paper tapes, after which were cut and pasted on sheets of paper to facilitate reading. Later, new models were introduced that made possible the direct printing of the text on one page. The function of the first teleprinter was quite simple: with the press of a button, electrical signals are transmitted via the telegraph or telephone lines and reach another same machine situated at the other end of the circuit for receiving and composing the messages. The transmitted electrical pulses, owing to a perforation device connected to the machine, were transferred onto a perforated tape, which respectively could be placed on an automatic transmitter recreating the original pulses, allowing for the transmission to multiple destinations. The codification and character recognition were based on an international code which consisted of a combination of 32 positive and negative electric pulses. Every character was rendered by a group of five pulses, each with the duration of 20 thousandth of a second. The reception of every group of pulses triggered the respective motion-recording on the message recording device, capturing on paper the code sequence. After the war, the spread of the teleprinters in the military, political services, but also banks and businesses, was rapid. Owing to market demand, in 1948, Olivetti introduced the second teleprinter model T2, an improved version of the first which was smaller in size and easier in the maintenance. The new machine was smaller, faster and lighter than its predecessor (with almost half its weight), consisted of fewer parts, accelerated the maintenance process, and cost less.

In Copyright

In copyright