Underwood No. 5

I’ve been to maybe two garage sales all year. Not only do I lack the funds, but I lack the time and the wherewithall to haul three kids with me everywhere. So this morning, when my across-the-street neighbor was having a yard sale, I was thrilled. (But first, I had to go take my first college final. I did okay.) When I got back, I raced across the street to see what goodies she might have- and what did I see? Oh my lands, one of my favorite things ever:

So guess what I bought? Oh yeah. It’s an Underwood No.5  standard typewriter. First made in 1901. The same kind that Alice Paul wrote her suffragist papers on. And this one even has a ribbon and the original leather (very, very fragile, but whole) cover! It’s beeeeeeeutiful!

And it was sixteen dollars. Now I’m going to give it a little love. The paint and graphics are practically pristine. It’s a thing of beauty. (Bean just noticed it and is laughing and plunking away!)

Underwood Trivia:

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote on one
  • Angela Landsbury used an Underwood on Murder, She Wrote
  • Jack Kerouac used an Underwood
  • It’s the typewriter used in the film Moulin Rouge
  • Harper Lee named a character in To Kill a Mockingbird Mr. Underwood. He was a typist.
  • William Faulkner used an Underwood
  • In 1901 Underwood introduced the legendary No. 5 model. This model set the standard for the entire typewriter industry allowing Underwood to replace Remington as the top typewriter manufacturer in the world.
  • A 1917 Underwood No. 5 in good condition is averaged at $187, according to Kovel’s Antique Index (not that I’m selling it- ever!)

7 thoughts on “Underwood No. 5

  1. OOOOH!!! I drove by that garage sale. Great find!

    I love to tell my kids that for my high school graduation I got the newest, greatest typewriter. It was especially cool because it had a memory that could remember an entire line of text.

    This makes me seem even older than I am to them….they’re not even really sure about how a typewriter works. Poor things—there’s a lot to life they’ve missed out on.

    Old fashioned egg beaters are another cool gadget.

    • Sandy! Hi! Yeah, Bean has an old-fashioned egg-beater, and he LOVES it- takes it in the tub with him all the time. The kids adore the typewriters too. They call them old-fashioned computers.

      I was explaining Saturday morning cartoons to Jeffrey this morning- he was incredulous that we only had cartoons one morning a week. Yeah, and we walked to school uphill in the snow, too, poor child. ;)

  2. See, your kids are more like the Soule kids than you thought….. except they each have a vintage typewriter of their own….. but STILL……

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