Underwood Portable 536035

OK- this little four bank portable was destined for the trash heap, so I brought it home.  It’s in rough shape, but it does type if you can cajole the paper into the carriage.  I’ve never seen one quite like it.  That is, I’ve never seen a (terrible) “faux wood” finish on a typewriter.  Atrocious!


The really unusual thing is the character set- notice on the right hand keys… just exactly what are those hieroglyphs?  I recognize the Rx… is it a typewriter from a pharmacy?  The typeset is certainly small enough for a pill bottle.


Serial number 536035.  Haven’t quite nailed down the year yet, I’m guessing from the thirties.  Comments welcome.  :-)







5 thoughts on “Underwood Portable 536035

  1. Not heiroglyphs, just regular glyphs. Yes, used in a pharmacy or medical school.

    The “barred a” to the right of the zero means either “of each, or amount to be taken” or perhaps “On the original prescription, the doctor’s signature appears.” in the same way that we indicate a signature on copies of letters with (Signed) followed by the name. Dunno about the glyph above the barred a.

    The upper character to the right of the “P” is “scruple”, equivalent to about 1.3 grams.

    The upper character to the right of the “L” is “ounce” and can be used preceded by “f” to mean “fluid ounce”.

    The upper character to the right of that is “dram”, about 3.9 grams.

    Nice find. I see what you mean about the faux woodgrain but I would still like to have one.

    == Michael Höhne

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