As I receive more e-mail on the Underwood pre-war
portables than any other typer, I felt a bit of show and tell
was in order.
Many of the e-mails start out something like this:
"Dear MrTypewriter, I recently purchased this Underwood
Portable on eBay and the seller advertised that all that was needed
on it was a new ribbon. After receiving the typewriter I have
come to find that it had no feet, it would not accept paper in
the roller, and the keys would not strike the roller. Is there
anything you can do to help me out?" The short answer
to these type of e-mails is - NO, I cannot help.
Without front feet, the typewriter would have little
value for anything other than a door stop. It will not fit in
the carrying case and even if it would type, (not much chance
of that), You would need to prop it up with something like a block
The average seller of hunks of junk like the ones
described in the e-mails will most often show the top part of
the machine, sometimes the sides, and if the decals are nice,
even the back. Seldom will anything be said about the feet if
they are missing or worn out.
Here you will see two photos, the first one is
of a door stop that a customer sent me without front feet, some
rust and the whole back is missing.
eBay door stop
The next picture is of a machine that I had just
finished re-conditioning. It was very nice to start with and came
out almost like new. (by the way - take notice of the packing
on the back plate, without it the old typer sounds like a tin
This next photo of the re-conditioned machine shows
off under the raised top plate just how nice this typer is. You
can easily see the nice type bar rest, a new platen, fresh ribbon,
clean type, and more packing underneath the top plate.
The next photo shows the eBay door stop with a
hardened platen, square feed rolls, old ribbon, the type bar return
pad has hardened over the years to a point where it prevents the
keys from striking the roller. You may also notice that part of
the chrome trim has broken off of the front plate. All packing
was missing and the type bar rest has disintegrated. It's case
was tattered and both locks were broken.
eBay door stop
The last three photos show this wonderful old banger
as she should look and work, mirror-like finish, all new rubber
and nice carrying case.