The Monster – My New Underwood Noiseless

Feast your eyes. This was a gift today from a colleague who knew I’d love such an animal.

It’s unquestionably the most filthy typewriter I’ve ever seen up close, and certainly the heaviest one I’ve ever lugged into the house.

I made it as far as the kitchen table. That dangling piece of ribbony thread on the side is ( I assume) something important in advancing the carriage. This is probably why the spacebar doesn’t respond. I can tell it wants to, though.

The keys are stiff and slow to return, but the carriage moves back and forth smoothly. Looks like I’ll be winding ribbon by hand if I can get this machine to work.

The cobwebs are a bonus, I think, as most descriptions I can find online of the Underwood Noiseless fail to mention them.

There she is and I’m a little in awe of her. Here’s the plan: Since I’m completely mechanically stupid, I’ll haul this down to Acme Business Machines in North Little Rock tomorrow and see what my friends say. I doubt anyone there would be mean enough to, for example, suggest I sink it in the Arkansas River on my way home or anything. At least I hope not.

I’m still looking for the serial number, which may be hidden in plain sight by the dust and grime of seventy or so years. Everytime I go into the kitchen to look her over, I love the machine more. Thank you, Steve. This makes me very, very happy.

7 thoughts on “The Monster – My New Underwood Noiseless

  1. That is awesome! I hope they can get it operational again. That should be a fantastic typer once it\’s cleaned up. The Remington/Underwood Noiseless type action (assuming it\’s similar to the portables) is an amazing thing.

  2. Wow, you can get of a sense of the hidden beauty beneath all that cobwebbery. From all I\’ve heard of Acme, I don\’t think such a thing will be a problem. The older machines tend to leave it all hanging out, so to speak.The string-thingy is likely the drawband, which was actually expected to break and is meant to be replaceable by mortals. In all my machines — even the standard — the mechanism for attaching this is simple and accessible without any disassembly beyond popping off a panel.Looking forward to her (his?) inaugural typecast.

  3. Thank you, thank you. I\’ve spent the better part of a lazy day cleaning her off a bit. nothing too aggressive, just enough to carry her and not ruin my dress. Besides, the thought of walking into Acme with so much filth just felt wrong.I\’ll dabble a little more tonight and take her in first thing. Acme opens at 7:00. Maybe I should give my friends a little time for coffee and such before swinging in with her.Her name is Zelda. F. Scott Fitzgerald\’s wife was a little wild, a little sad, and a little mentally incarcerated. In her heart she was always a ballerina, though, so Zelda it is.You know I love the naming.

  4. \”Zelda\” — feels perfect already. I wish I had your penchant for naming, Monda. All my machines are the\’s. The Underwood. The Royal. The Erika.Considering how much business you\’ve sent Acme\’s way lately, they better not dare laugh you and Zelda out of the shop. Looks like she\’s got some issues with her paper rollers, par for the age.I love typing on my standard. The portables want to skitter around my desk like a caffeinated toy poodle on a tile floor, but the standard just sits there, fused to the table by its own massiveness.

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