Underwood Mill typewriter. Wide carriage, restored and very rare.
Underwood Mill typewriter. Wide carriage, restored and very rare.
Vintage from the 1920s
Materials: steel, rubber, Iron
This is an Underwood No. 5 antique manual typewriter in working condition. This antique standard typewriter dates to 1926 and is a stunningly beautiful machine.
The Underwood No. 5 standard typewriter is the quintessential antique machine. Its design is timeless and draws eyes wherever it is. These machines were a huge hit for Underwood, and sold well for decades. They are particularly desirable because they have exposed mechanisms, allowing you to see exactly what's going on inside. The No. 5 is one of my favorite typewriters for exactly this reason, and no collection is complete without one.
This particular machine has both an unusually large carriage (18") and rare telegraph keyboard layout, also known as a Mill keyboard. Each of the lettered slugs only has an upper case letter (which you type in the lower-case setting). In the upper-case setting, almost all the lettered-keys have a "~" symbol, known as a tilde, except for a few that have specialty character. These are "Can" for upper-case "G," a capital "M" with a strike through it for the upper-case "1," and "Bu" for upper case "S." (Please see the type sample.)
I'm not sure what these specific characters are for, or what use this machine was intended for when it was specially ordered, but I'm researching it and will update this listing if I find out.
As with all my typewriters, I have cleaned, repaired, adjusted, and lubricated this Underwood and have added a new ribbon. It is in working condition and will be ready to go as soon as you get it home.
Cosmetically, this antique typewriter is in good condition. This Underwood No. 5 typewriter is nearly 100 years and has acquired a distinct patina of age and use. Some of the glossy paint and chrome has faded or flaked away, and the original decals look like they have either faded completely or have been painted over at some some point. Several of the keys have age-related discolorations, and there are areas of wear, use, and some rust in some of the mechanical parts.
But, in my opinion, this hard-earned patina adds to the machine's beauty. This is the kind of age-related character that you can only find on these well-used antique machines, and serve as a kind of fingerprint. No two antique typewriters are identical, and the more distinct their patina, the more unique they are.
Mechanically, this Underwood typewriter is in very good condition. This machine functions with a solid, confident typing action. The platen has hardened and will leave indents and the occasional cutout in the page. The left-hand (though right-side on the paper) margin tab has lost its handle, but you can still move it to adjust the margin. (I'll install a replacement if I can find the right parts machine.
As a Mill typewriter, this machine was designed for transcribing telegraph (Morse code) messages, so it has a significantly different set of characters. As I mentioned above, and as shown in the typing sample, this machine does not have lower-case letters, so when you strike a key you'll get either the upper case letter or, when the shift is activated, either a special character or a tilde. Also, the machine has 9 characters per inch, a size larger than the standard 10 (pica) or 12 (elite) found on the vast majority of machines.
Otherwise, this machine functions well, especially considering its age and prior heavy use.
Please note, there is a significant shipping charge associated with these antique standard typewriters. This is both to cover the cost of shipping, and the cost associated with packaging. It takes careful packaging to ensure these machines get to their destinations safely because of their weight and comparative fragility. These machines are sturdy, but if they're not packaged properly, they can tear themselves apart in transit.
Also, I do ship internationally, so please contact me for a quote if you are outside of the United States and are interested in any of my typewriters.
This Underwood No. 5 would make a prized possession for a writer, collector, or designer. It's unmistakably antique, unquestionable beautiful, and an unforgettable machine to write on. Though I don't recommend these antique standards for people who want to write a lot--a lighter machine that is easier on the fingers is better suited there--this Underwood is ready to produce the work when called upon. As a Mill typewriter, and one with a wide carriage, this machine is on the rare end. Though I've had a couple of Mill machines before, I've never seen one with the special characters that apear on this one.
These antique Underwoods, though common, are becoming harder to find in good working condition. As time goes on, that rarity will only increase. This Underwood is a beautiful machine and will find a beloved place in your home, workplace, or anywhere you wish to put it.
**VINTAGE MANUAL TYPEWRITER**
Underwood No. 5 Antique Typewriter
Serial Number 122927-18
Black with Nickel-Rimmed Keys
Unusual 18" Carriage
Very Rare Telegraph / Mill Keys
Reproduction Instruction Manual
Care and Cleaning Guide
Oct 28-Nov 6
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375 shop reviews5 out of 5 stars
I'm so satisfied with this purchase! My "restored" typewriter does indeed work perfectly; I've already typed several pages on it with no issue. It was very securely packed and shipping was quick, and the seller's willingness to answer questions for typewriter beginners like myself is so kind, though I did end up figuring everything out myself (though I might have to ask for help when this ribbon runs dry and I have to change it!). Enclosed was a manual and a one-page guide to cleaning typewriters, along with the cleaning kit and spare ribbon I purchased. The seller's knowledge and care for typewriters was evident at every step.
I bought this kit (plus an extra typewriter pad) for my Olympia SM2 and Olympia SM4 (pictured). The kit arrived when promised. I’ve only used the pads so far. The size of the pad is perfect for my machines. Once I put down a pad and put a typewriter on it, it simply does not move. I particularly like the thin profile of the pad; others I considered seemed too thick. I expect to find the rest of the kit very useful as I go along this new journey of vintage typewriter ownership. I would buy from this shop again without hesitation.
Oh this is WONDERFUL! It came today well before it was expected and absolutely beautiful--exactly as described. The condition and key-strikes are perfect. I'm like a kid on Christmas morning; the first one down the stairs to experience the magic before a n y o n e else. The packaging was exceptional--no way this typewriter could have shifted in transit. My face hurts from smiling so much.
It’s absolutely wonderful! I have 31 pages typed so far and it’s been perfect! Love the vintage sound and feel. Thanks Mahogany Rhino on delivering a great product!
Photos from reviews