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Cover Picture

22 September 2019

We're down in Kent, staying for a week at The Nutshell, just outside Pluckley. The reason for the trip is to meet Alex William Atkinson, our new grandson.

On the last day of our visit, a mild but wet day, we decide to visit some local antique shops, one of which being The Antiques Barn, outside Bethersden. Amongst other finds, I am drawn to a tired looking Underwood Typewriter, which after a quick negotiation is loaded into the boot of our car.

Underwood Typewriter at home, ready for refurbishment
Underwood Typewriter at home, ready for refurbishment

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26 September 2019

The first task is to find out what age and model we have. The Serial Number is 783342-12, and once the Model type is known this should lead to its age. Investigation online shows a wide range of Underwood designs and features as advances were made over the production life of this hugely successful typewriter - according to Wikipedia, 2 million of the Model 5s alone had been sold by the early 1920s.

The Model 3 is basically the same as a Model 5 but with a wider carriage, such as my 12". According to The Right Reverend Theodore Munk's online Typewriter Database, my model is a later 1928 Underwood No.  3.

A similar model appears in Jett Morton's Typewriter Museum (Model 3, Serial Number 518266). This picture shows the original artwork, little of which remains on mine. This implies that mine was refurbished at some point in the past, a common exercise given the machine's robustness. Hence the original gloss paint is covered by a matt finish and the original decals are hidden (or obliterated!).

Similar Underwood No. 3 @Jeff Morton
Similar Underwood No. 3 @Jeff Morton

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1 October 2019

Initial photographs, all elevations:

Serial number
Serial number

Front view
Front view

Left side, showing bell
Left side, showing bell

Rear view, with main spring adjuster screw
Rear view, with main spring adjuster screw

Right side, showing ribbon spool ratchet
Right side, showing ribbon spool ratchet

Type bars and ribbon guard
Type bars and ribbon guard

Underside
Underside

Underwood logo

Underwood