Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fantastic Underwood Standard

I could not find the model name for this one.  It looks like several. Closest I can find is the Rhythm Touch.

I guess you can tell I get 2 sections of a typecast from one sheet.

I like the shift lock key on both sides.  The margin set on these is different than the ones on the rear. Left sets the right margin and right sets the left margin.  The setting is made by squeezing the indicator and sliding it into position.

Left Side.  Pressure rollers are still soft.  Platen is hard.  Feeds paper like a champ.  Straight and even from the start all through to the end.

Right Side.

I just noticed I typed one CR on the right and the one on the right.  It should be the one on the left is a carriage return and line feed while the one on the right is just a hook that can move the carriage.

Left end

Right end. Is this a right hand carriage return or is it used in conjunction with the carriage release to guide the carriage to position?  What is the purpose of the chrome piece under it? The tab beside the hook, when pressed, allows the left margin stop to be over-ridden.

The typewriter was quite dusty, but the bottom is near spotless.

Carriage return / line feed

Card guides in position

Card Guides retracted

I thought this was unique.  Nearly hidden is the ribbon guide where the ribbon comes off the spool.  There is a little lever on the spool holder that moves the guide out.  It is spring return. Sorry, I mis-spelled guide.

Halda - Facit,  Underwood had a round smooth easy (easier than my TP-1 actually) to slide carriage rail too.

The only thing on the back (sorry I did not take a photo) is Underwood Standard across the top and in the middle Product of Underwood Corporation.  I've always liked the scale and margin sets right on the front of the carriage.   

The only thing I find referencing 11 is in 1927.  This machine is newer than 1927.  
I believe this is a Rhythm Touch, but I am not sure.  It matches the Underwood Standard from 1947 on Alan Seaver's site.  Mine is not as clean, yet.  The numbers past the 11 (which may indicate the platen or carriage length) put this machine in 1947.

The book I mentioned I found by a link Robert Messenger  posted on his blog, but I could not find it again to link to his post.  The book was written in 1917,
The Evolution of the Typewriter

So far the best 2 typers in my collection are my Underwood Standard Portable 4 Bank and this typewriter.  Nothing is as fast and easy to key as these two.  My Adler J4 comes close, but just does not quite make the fantastic Underwood feel.




24 comments:

  1. Very nice machine! I once bid for one, but alas, didn't win it. Too bad.

    I really like the Art-Deco stripes on the sides. They were already passé by the time the machine was made, but they looked very well! And the scales in the front of the carriage remind me also of my Remington 12. The way the machine is built tells me it was meant to be used hard and for a very long time.

    Hmm... as for the right-hand carriage return... it does look like it was meant to be used with the right thumb; perhaps that chromed piece connected to the carriage release mechanism? It could be a quick way to position the carriage to the center of the page, for example. If that's the case, you'd pull from the carriage with your thumb and press the chrome piece with the side of your hand; does that even make sense?

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  2. Sharp looking typewriter! Produces really clean copy, too, from what I can see.

    Out of curiosity, what German music were you listening to?

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  3. This is the model typewriter my father owned... the typewriter I learned to type on. I would say this is 1947.

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    1. Thank you. 1947 seems to match everything I found so far on this typewriter

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  4. @Miguel, I have been working every little lever, button and hook on this typewriter. What I found is that the hook is used with the little piece protruding up through the chrome piece. Pressing the tab raises a lever under the index scale. This lever has a tab on front of it that hits the left margin stop. Pressing the tab and using the hook one can than over ride the left hand margin and move the carriage to the extreme left edge of the paper. I have not gotten a good idea of what advantage that would have since the machine has a tabulator.

    @Little Flower Petals, Thanks. I wish my ACE typed as clearly. Both have hard platens. Goes to show the better quality of an office typewriter over a portable.
    A local NPR station has a German program on on Saturday afternoons. Polkas and some traditional German music as well as more modern party and dance music. All in German obviously. There was an a.m. in VA that had an entire Sunday afternoon programmed in German with a variety of German music. I generally play marches when I play CDs since marches are never played on the radio.
    Then depending on my mood I move to Scottland and listen to pipes.

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  5. I guess it's a model SS according to the info on the database. But I find these late Underwood model designations confusing. They are great typewriters, no doubt.

    That hook on the right end of the carriage was there as early as the model 1 -- but without the chrome under it, which I think it just cosmetic or perhaps to prevent the paint from wearing off.

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    1. Thanks Richard. It would be nice to have an instruction book from one of these to get an idea of Underwood's thinking on some of the features. Playing around with it I keep discovering new things (you probably already know) like the tab beside the hook. It seems like when this model was built they did not yet know how to implement the margin release key into both margins. The M/R key only releases the right margin and the bab beside the hook releases the left margin.

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  6. Very nice addition to your collection Bill..when did you start collecting typewriters and what peaked your interest?

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    1. It just happened. In 2011 I found my old fountain pens. I decided to check my typewriter and searched on line and found the typosphere. I decided to get a neater typewriter, a Hermes 3000. From the time I found the pens and started typing regularly I broke my hand.

      The therapy was quite a bit like playing the piano or typing. I did not have a piano. I did have a typewriter. I started typing my journal.

      After the Hermes arrived I started the blog. Then I guess because I would store the 3000 beside the Classic 12 they got together and started multiplying.

      Some of their offspring needed help and I found I enjoyed cleaning and repairing typewriters and then being able to use different ones.

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    2. Once typewriters start breeding there's no stopping them :)

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  7. Congratulations for the new Underwood, Bill. Where did you find it?

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  8. It was offered in the group and since I was not far from its owner we were finally able to meet. The only cost was some time and gasoline. That made this typewriter even better.

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  9. Thanks for the link to that great book. And for making me aware of the explanation for the sudden increase in our household's typewriter population since the beginning of this year. That was when I dug through our storage bins to extract my 1957 SM3 and a 1920's Royal No. 10. Kind of a May-December relationship, but obviously quite deep and intense and showing no sign of abating.
    The offspring now include a couple of Underwood Standards - a 4 and a 5. Very well thought-out and solid machines. Both have that left-hand margin release. I use it when typing the return address on an envelop. Other than the body style, it seems that the 1947 machine is still essentially the same as those pre-1920's machines. That the mechanical design was solid enough to survive at least 30 years makes me respect them even more.

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  10. I've always wanted an Underwood 5. I wonder what the details were as the company changed from carriage shift to the basket shift. I do not recall if the first Underwood basket shift machines were made in 1946 or 47. This one being fully enclosed and a basket shift is why I knew when I looked at serial numbers this was not a 1920s or 30s machine.

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    1. I read somewhere it was about May, 1946.

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  11. Great machine. It looks very similar to the one my grandfather owned.

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    1. If he were around in the late 40s on it is quite possible. There were plenty of these made and they are great well built machines.

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  12. Isn't it great when you think you already own the best machine ever, and then get a better one? It happens a lot to me since I started getting post-war typewriters so it is great to know that there's a Royal KHM-beating contender out there. I never tried an Underwood standard machine. Have fun with it!

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  13. Yes. I think that is how many of us end-up with so many typewriters by searching for the very best. I like the Royals and I thought my HH was great. This Underwood has it beat by a mile and it is 6 years older than the HH. I would really like a KHM too.

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  14. It's actually interesting to note how *few* things changed between say my 1920 Underwood #5 and your 1947 model. Sure, new body plates and segment-shifter, but looking at your photos, everything else looks awfully familiar (:

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  15. I just bought one!!! How do you get the tape to stay in? Keeps sliding out of the guides...

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    1. Ashley,
      Sounds like you do not have the ribbon threaded correctly.
      Here is an Underwood instruction manual it"s the manual of a very similar machine. Scroll down to I think the last page and it shows the ribbon path. The ribbon path is identical to the one I have and many other Underwood office size machines.

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  16. Enjoyed this blog! I was out treasure shipping with my 16 year old Son today. He absolutely fell in love with this treasure! He is so proud of it! :) Can't wait to get it all clean and the ribbon in the mail!

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    1. Best wishes for you and your son on the treasure. Check out Ricard Polts Classic Typewriter Page (http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/) for all kinds of information on typewriters.
      BTW, Neat name, same as my sister's.

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