Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2013

Typewriter Restoration: It's a Messy Business Pt. 2

This is the second part of a multi-part post about the restoration of an Underwood Universal.
The last time I wrote about this Underwood I felt like it might just be an easy job. I could clean it and be on my way, but the typewriter gods do not look favorably on my enterprise. After looking a little closer I noticed that something was very much amiss with the 3/4 and slash key. You can see the problem below:

I don't know what happened but the entire coordinating linkage is not here. As you can see from this picture it causes the keytop to be "out of alignment" with the other keys. By "out of alignment" I mean completely akimbo. Moreover, the spring is missing on this lever. I have some spares and that will be a fun repair.

In addition to the dodgy 3/4 and slash key, the 'B' is in a similar state, but not nearly as extreme as the former. This linkage is missing a spring as well. We'll get into that repair very soon.

The rubber feet are missing. This …

Restoration: It's a Messy Business Pt. 1

Restoration is one of the fun things about collecting typewriters. You can take something that is a little rough and make it shine. I recently obtained an Underwood Universal and while it looks like it's in descent shape, I think it can look a little better.
In a series of posts I am going to take you step-by-step through the restoration process that I use to make this typewriter look awesome.
Let's start by looking at this particular Underwood Universal:

Part of the challenge for this restoration is the decal touch-up. I have a few new techniques I am going to try. I look forward to sharing all my tips and secrets with everyone in the Typosphere.
Next: Evaluation

Click, Clack, Moo: Typewriters at Play

Before the holiday I received an email from a co-worker about a special event hosted by the ASCC (Association for Supportive Child Care). The ASCC provides support to childcare providers and parents in Arizona. Yearly, the ASCC hosts a special event called Children at Play. A reception is held where children can participate in various activities related to a children's play produced by a local children's theater. Following the reception the children have a chance to view the play. This year, the play is based on a modern classic; "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type."
If you have never read Doreen Cronin's Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type you are missing out on a really sweet children's story. Farmer Brown's cows find an old typewriter in the barn. Shortly after that missives listing various demands are found tacked to the barn door. Hilarity ensues.
I went to the web site to find out more about the event. As I read I started to think. I thought it would b…


The intersection of a Venn Diagram that contains the sets "TYPEWRITERS" and "BOATS" would contain the following images:

Behind the Iron Curtain

“I would erect a monument to the typewriter …” Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky
The often mysterious world of Czechoslovakian typewriters has been covered by Will Davis in ETCetera No. 79. As Will said in the introduction to that story, little is known about Zbrojovka Brno's typewriter endeavors–even with the benefit of the Internet. Language is an obvious gulf, but without a collector in former Czechoslovakia I think that the typewriter side of the Consul story will remain a mystery. 
But digging and searching did reveal some interesting things about typewriters and Czechoslovakia. The story takes us behind the Iron Curtain back all the way to 1977 where a group of Romanian academics, artists, and politically-minded young people drafted a document to protest the state-ordered harassment of a Czech rock band called Plastic People of the Universe. The original charter, no doubt tapped out on state-made Consul typewriters, was a sign to the Communist leadership that Czechoslovakia…

Happy New Year

2012 proved to be a fantastic year for typewriters. I hope to do my small part in making 2013 another great typewriter year. I also wanted to take a moment and and thank all the people who have worked to make the CTP and my tiny corner of the Typosphere so rich. I could never have dreamed that this blog, the Typosphere, and the CTP were even possible.