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Olivetti – Made in Italy

Rivarolo Canavese – Cogne: the Giro goes through Olivetti’s land

Under Adriano Olivetti’s leadership, Olivetti, Italy’s first typewriter factory, became the symbol of an ethical business model.

reading time4 minutes

Rivarolo Canavese-Cogne, today’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, is an opportunity to remember Olivetti, a Made in Italy excellence and an exemplary entrepreneurial story worldwide. Italy’s first typewriter factory, the company became, under Adriano Olivetti’s leadership, the symbol of an ethical model of doing business.

It all began in 1908 when engineer David Samuel Camillo Olivetti founded Olivetti & C Typewriters in Ivrea with five workers and a capital of 230,000 lire.

Adriano Olivetti
Adriano Olivetti

MP1, the first portable typewriter

It was his second son Adriano, born in 1901, who made Olivetti great in the world. Adriano studied chemical engineering at Turin Polytechnic and shared civil commitment and political struggle with his father. In 1926, he began working in the factory as a simple worker: ‘Because you can’t be a manager if you don’t know what other people do‘. He became manager in 1932 and launched the MP1, the first portable typewriter, a commercial success that changed the way we write.

MP1 typewriter
MP1 typewriter

A new concept of work organisation

Having become president, in the 1950s Adriano introduced in the factory a revolutionary concept of work organization essentially following two major directions: the search for alternative systems to the assembly line and the proper organization of work, reducing working hours from 48 to 45 hours a week for the same wages, and thus anticipating the state intervention already demanded by the labour movement.

Far from being affected by this in terms of productivity, with Adriano Olivetti’s leadership, the company became the world’s leading office products company.

The Lettera 32

In 1963, the Lettera 32, a lightweight typewriter with a simple and attractive design, was marketed. Considered a masterpiece, generations of students worldwide loved it. This product became so popular that it was included among the iconic objects on permanent display at MOMA in New York.

Olivetti Lettera 32
Olivetti Lettera 32

Programma 101

1966 saw the launch of Programma 101, dubbed the first Desktop Computer, a desktop device that revolutionized the world of work.

Over the years, Olivetti won dozens of international and Compasso d’Oro awards for its consistently unique and eye-catching product designs.

A curiosity: the Olivetti store in Venice that opened in 1960 inspired the layout of the Apple Stores.

Today, Olivetti, after an evolution that has not always done justice to the talent and skills of the founders, is an Ivrea-based TIM Group company specialising in Big Data analytics and products for the banking sector, whose slogan is“Design meets Technology. “

Congratulations to those who innovate and create business models that inspire.

Discover other companies that create and spread Made in Italy technology.