Thrifting week-end: I found a 1956 Optima Elite typewriter. How about you?

After the mind-boggling estate sale video on Friday, the thrifting bug big me, bad. By 3 p.m. on Saturday I couldn’t take it any longer. I told DH that I was going to the grocery store, and made a bee-line for the Goodwill. Fortunately, I found something satisfying: This vintage Optima typewriter, complete with paperwork and its original case. $10. This 1956 (I think, from the pamphlet) typewriter is in pristine shape, and the old school tap-tap-tap from the keys: Well, they are SO SATISFYING compared to the computer keyboard. I now need to go find me some typewriter ribbon, and I will add authentic inky typed text to my collage arsenal. How about you? What did you find this weekend? Following is a slide show of readers’ finds… read on to learn how to contribute your own photos — you can upload them right now!

Contribute your own photo(s): Tips:

  • Images should be no larger than 300k or so…
  • Give your photo a good descriptive name (including identifying it as yours, if you like) because this text is visible when you hover over the thumbnail…
  • Required: Give us the explanation in a Comment immediately after you upload your image – this also will help me in the approval process….
  • I must approve all photos...
  • Please: No sellers/shop items...
  • Required: Finally, all uploaded materials are subject to the site’s terms of use — so read them, your upload = your agreement to the terms of use.

[ngg_uploader id = 77]

I’ve started out the slide show with images of a blue dinette that Zane emailed to me on Sunday — I posted his email explaining all, as the first comment, below.


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  1. says

    Oh fun idea! Show and tell time!! Not too many sales yet this weekend as it was a little chilly and rainy. I did find these kitsch-rific painted brass flower pictures, which my husband is either ignoring or hasn’t noticed yet. .50 for the pair! Along with some other little knick-knacks. We are in the process of remodeling so I am avoiding furniture but we’ll see how long that one lasts!!

  2. says

    Ooh! This is fun! This could be a regular feature! : )

    I didn’t leave the house all weekend but after looking at these finds, I wish I had.

    The typewriter is gorgeous! If that baby had been at our Goodwill, they would have had it in the “Collectibles” case and it would have been prices like at an antique store. I’m glad that your Goodwill is a lot more relaxed and lets the good stuff hit the shelves.

  3. pam kueber says

    Yes, I am definitely going to make this a regular feature, I think. BUT: Should I do it on Sundays, when everyone is home Sunday night cooing over their finds and able to snap some quick picks and upload?

  4. Susie says

    That is definitely the cutest typewriter I’ve seen! This weekend, I got a metal glider and chair, a West Bend lazy susan with kidney shaped dishes, an assortment of Knowles Ebonette dishes, and three wall sconces!

  5. nina462 says

    I don’t know what I love more–the blue/white set (cause I have a tortiose shell kitty too), but I really, really loved the red tray & stool set (I have the stool in brown).
    Loved them all!

  6. Happy Daze says

    This is such a cool idea for a weekly feature!

    Unfortunately, I don’t really have anything for this week. The estate sale I went to yesterday was a real loser – the stuff was waaay overpriced and most of it was ~20 years old and low quality to begin with. The house itself wasn’t even interesting…

    Oh well, at least my new hallway light fixture was delivered on Friday. 😀

  7. Shane says

    Also – we hunted through ’40s and ’50s open houses for ideas for my ’54 model home! Talk about cheap, valuable entertainment!

  8. Rebecca says

    I have always loved bullet planters so when I saw this white bullet type lamp I about passed out. It works and throws a great light. I have never seen anything like it. The fun now is figuring out where to put it in the house.

  9. Drex says

    Thou shall not, thou shall not … covet that bullet type lamp! I would have passed out with you, Rebecca. Great find!

    • Rebecca says

      Drex you really gave me a good laugh with that one. I understand. I found a great spot for it. We have a Heywood Wakefield corner bookcase and it fits perfectly on top of that. Thanks for the laugh!

  10. eddopdx says

    I just uploaded my garage sale find from last weekend. Hope Pam posts it! Move over Betty Draper it’s a circa 1960? formica top kitchen table with four chairs.

    Formica is a “knotty pine” look that I hadn’t seen before. Shiny copper trim (matching my kitchen fixtures and pulls) has some slight scratches only visible with camera flash.

    It was covered carefully with plywood top for years, so the top is immaculate and I have a leaf extension (not in Pic). Find was the second day of a time capsule. Got it all for $100.

  11. david jordan says

    Hi Pam, I bought this black and white TV/radio/turntable on ebay about two weeks ago for $50. It is one owner and from about 1965 and is an Australian made Kriesler brand. What is a bonus is that it all works. One thing is that it weighs a ton and is takes up a lot of room (52 inches wide) but I couldn’t resist!. I must stop looking on ebay. David

  12. says

    I LOVE that stove, and $200, what a bargain!

    Beautiful typewriter too.

    That red kitchen cart and step stool really bring back memories. My parents had both, though ours wasn’t read. Also memories, the console tv, the end table…Cool finds!

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