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I.B.M. Executive Proportional Electric

Underwood

Ever since the invention of the typewriter, all characters were spaced using a sincle spacing principle, regardless of width.

I.B.M. engineers spent years developing a mechanism that would measure each alphabetical character in units so that it would allow from 2 to 5 units of space per letter and thereby produce material that would simulate the appearance of a printed page. The invention of this technique solved a problem that had baffled typewriter inventors and manufacturers for over 80 years.

The story goes that the first of this model typewriter was presented to then President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his personal letters. When Winston Churchill received one of these typed missives, he responded to FDR that while he knew their correspondence was important, there was no need to have it printed!

To restore this machine to its heyday, I had to replace the platen and power roller so that it could be used. However I feel that this model of I.B.M. was a pivotal link in the evolution of the typewriters and as such, should only be used for display. Ribbons I have, but extra parts are very hard to come by.

This is as nice an example of the first Executive model as you are apt to find for sale at any price. It comes with the secretaries manual, six ribbons and a cover.

Footnote: I have been asked to help with a typewriter museum by a friend of mine in Guatemala as well as el Presidente of Guatemala Alfonso Portillo. If this machine finds no home in the United States, I will ship it to Guatemala in October with many others I have acquired for them. The dollars will be the same, but I would like to keep this one at home in the United States.

- MrTypewriter

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