Underwood 18

I just received the next typewriter for the collection, an Underwood 18.  I typed samples as I worked on it to bring it back to life.  If I’m reading the http://typewriterdatabase.com correctly, this little critter is from 1965 (serial number 585000 025).

Underwood 18 - first glance

Underwood 18 – first glance


Some of the features on this typer are unusual, at least compared to any of the other machines I own.  Here we see the ribbon color selector.  It resides to the right of the vibrator, with the ribbon itself going over the selector plate.  To change the color you press down, then slide the button to the new position.  Slick!

ribbon color selector

ribbon color selector

I really like the backspace key – it’s an arrow, right out of the quiver of Legolas!  Note the fraction key with the 3/4 and the exclamation point on the lower case position.  I have never seen an exclamation point in the lower case position.

underwood 18-backspace

the cleaning continues...

the cleaning continues…

The keys appear to be closer together than other small portables that I own.  OR – maybe I jest feel like my hands are too big when I type on it.  I like the key shapes very much, and they are all in great condition.

Concave black hearts

Concave black hearts

backplate -- Ah, Italy!

backplate — Ah, Italy!


I hastily replaced the ribbon with a new (but plastic) reel set.  Soon I will re-spool some new ribbon onto these appropriate metal wagon wheels, so that when I remove the basket cover everything will look fabulous!

underwood 18-ribbon

As you can see from the initial typing sample, the ribbon appears to be blue/red.  If you know where I might find a new blue/red ribbon please let me know.  As I said in my last typing sample, this gal’s a winner!  ~TH~

2 thoughts on “Underwood 18

  1. I encountered one of these at MTE, and was very impressed with the typing touch. Were I to see one in my rounds at a good price, I’d snap it up. There are certainly less satisfying things you could have spent $77 on 😀

    • Yeah, I like it. I have noticed that the carriage feels inordinately ‘heavy’ when shifting (compared to my other portables of this same era). I don’t blame the carriage weight, it feels more like the shift mechanism could have been better balanced somehow. And yes, value is in the eye of the ‘beholden’, a subject I will be typecasting on shortly. Thanks for reading! ~TH~

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