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1917/18 Underwood #5

"What goes around comes around..."


With newspaper articles appearing every so often on how I recondition old typewriters and sell them to writers, producers, actors, etc., it is not unusual to come home and find some old banger on the door step with a note saying - "needs good home, can you help?"


A few weeks ago I went to the door looking for the mail, and there sitting in a basket on the porch was this old Underwood #5.

Something was different about this old banger though, as I brought the basket inside and looked at his light mint green glass top key board, I couldn't help but think we had met before....

Anyway, under advice from my doctor I have long since given up communicating with old typers and was ready to forget it when the phone rang - The voice on the other end asked if I had found the machine. The voice went on to tell me that in 1940 his father had bought this old timer from my father. He told me that as he was getting on in years, he thought I could recondition it and sell it to someone who could put it back into use as it had served him well the past sixty plus years. (I didn't mention that it was already some 20 odd years old when his dad had received it...) So - I undertook the task.

First - A good long bath in MrT's special cleaning solution. This is 90% high grade parts cleaner and 20% Jonnie Walker Gold. (works for me)

Second - New draw band

Third - Replace the feed rolls and platen - $75.00 value

Fourth - Hand wax, new ribbon on metal spools, and adjust machine.

Fifth - Ready to fly! (the typewriter)


As can be seen by the patent dates, about #1,5xx,xxx puts this banger around 1917/18. Shown here with an "old banger wordsmith" writing shirt.

All slicked up with his new platen and ribbon, I caught the old timer making out like a bandit with a number of old foxy Streamliners. Best watch this old clown, it looks like he still has a few years left in him!

Looks like he's grinning doesn't it?


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