Rebuilt by Gallagher Typewriter Company in Culver City sometime in the 1940’s.
Words are Winged: Tuning an Underwood 5
The Underwood 5 is designed to be admired and operated from every angle and inside and out. Everywhere you look, there’s an interesting knob, lever or dial to fiddle with.
Two out of Three cats agree; Richard Polt’s “The Typewriter Revolution” is well worth curling up next to!
The Third Cat prefers the couch. Philistine!
High-resolution scan of an Underwood #5 Pica Paper Scale
Just in case you were curious what’s stamped on the back…
Unrelated note on typography: choose your typefaces carefully – seeing the word “Seapoop” on a menu is unappetizing, but hilarious. :D
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I was just perusing an antique store today and came upon an Underwood upright, 1930s vintage, which reminded me that I’m yet in the portable collecting stage, not having yet acquired to urge for the big machines. But as you say, a good one could well be a desert island machine.
I love the old cast iron standards. Drago is a prize – great color and the “w” of mystery on the paper table makes me laugh. I will bring home a junker Underwood 5 one day for fun.
Also, I can’t stop looking at Third Cat.
Heh, at first I didn’t like the green, especially on the paper table, where it was bubbly and flaking off. I tried to rub off the top layer and re-expose the old labels using rubber rejuv, but it wouldn’t look any better, so I gave up after the “w”. He’s a rough old fella, but a joy to type on.
Yeah, I love the colour too. Seapoop green if I’m not mistaken. :)
You are so right about the unique Underwood touch. I have yet to get a No. 5, but I have 3 other Underwood desk typewriters all are fantastic typers and one by one are the first getting recovered platens from JJ Short and cotton ribbons from Tony Casillo.
I think I’ll ask for seapoop next time I go to our local seafood place.
First off, I greatly appreciate the scan. Ill be using it to do as you did with the selectric, and properly trace over it and get the details down so I can print out a new one. Thank you kindly!
Secondly, Drago’s turquoise color looks far more wonderful than I would have imagined (if someone told me they had a turquoise underwood).
Thirdly, as I had success using small washers to make my bell ring wonderfully in the end, I am quite curious if you were able to see if Drago had the same wear that I had found on my own machine? I am convinced that is the root cause of most bell problems on older underwoods at this point.
I checked last night and no, the wear is much less on mine, and over to the inside. It isn’t enough to affect the bell. The issue, I think possibly lies in either a loose carriage, or possibly the bell trip lever isn’t extended enough (gotta take more stuff apart on the old boy to figure out which.)
Ah nertz, and here I thought I solved all the problems of the bell ringer and universe in one fell swoop. Maybe the next discovery
Interesting paintwork. Looks good. That cat looks like it’s threatening to eat the world.