Thursday, 3 April 2014

Basement Find. An Underwood-Olivetti Typewriter

What one doesn't find in a basement when one is looking for something else.

In this case, a 1965 Underwood-Olivetti portable typewriter. Oh, I knew it was there. It's been there for many years, quietly sitting under a thick piece of plastic sheeting. Since I've had one typewriter stolen from the basement, I thought, why tempt fate, and I have it on the kitchen table awaiting a berth on the
cube unit where a 1942 Smith Premier portable is already nestled.

This portable is large by portable standards what with a 15" footprint and 12" across. Nice and low, though, at just over 6" high.

I have no idea where this typewriter came from but it looks to have had minimal use and it has not been abused. The keys look as if no one has ever placed their finger tips on them. The platen is still soft and there is no Wit-Out smeared on it. But then again, perhaps Bic had not produced Wit-Out. This machine is from the time of circular typewriter erasers and Taperaser which everyone called Tape-Erase. Funny how in handling the refillable, unique mauve-coloured apparatus for decades, I never bothered to read what was written on the sides of the container.

I may have known that Dixon produced the product but I admit to never knowing that the full name of the company was The Joseph Dixon Crucible Company and they were based in Jersey City, New Jersey.

That's on one side. The other side simply said,
"Corrects typed errors" and gave how much was in the device. 1 x 132" or 132 square inches.
How interesting is that!

An elegant logo. 
Also made in Italy and who knows where else but grand to see typewriters being made in Spain. 

The barely discernible lever just to the right and a bit above indicates the colour of type, not necessarily blue, black, red or the middle white dot, hardly visible, stencil where the ribbon does not move and the keys strike to make a stencil. Special paper or forms were needed for this.

Look how clean the interior of this machine is. It may have been sitting for ten or more years in my basement and before this, who know when it was last used.