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.  1931.    Comments welcome.  🙂







ROYAL Citadel, part 2

Back in December 2015 I promised an update on this little guy.  Don’t wanna rush these things.196x-royal-citadel-ct5602339_1

Here we have the ROYAL Citadel from the 1960’s.  Haven’t been able to pin down a specific manufacture year – serial number CT5602339.  I did find information that puts it as produced before 1967.  [Now confirmed from a knowledgeable typospherian as a 1963 critter]  

As you can see, I have loaded it with a pink ribbon.  The ribbon reverse is a little wonky, but it’s in fine condition and I do enjoy typing on it for short missives.  The platen is slick so I find it necessary to load it with an extra page for grip.



I really like the two tone action on the paint job.  This model from Holland was also released under the name Dart, Lark, and Scholastic (under the Singer moniker).  A fun, light portable.  ~TH~

The AlphaSmart 3000 Gambit

I’ll admit it- I do find computers exceedingly distracting, one of the many reasons I enjoy typing on a typewriter.  After attempting to write longer stories on the typewriter, then scanning them – well, it was just not working out for me.  Hence I have taken the dive into older digital technology- namely the AlphaSmart 3000.


Someone labeled this one SUPER!

I enjoyed researching the backstory of this critter.  Since you can still get them cheap on Ebay, I took the plunge.  This one even has a ‘Super’ sticker on it, from its time as a classroom unit.

I have used it for about two weeks now for poetry and for short story writing.  It’s definitely distraction free.  If you want to know more about this “sort of” typewriter, follow some of the links.

Any other writers or typists out there still using one?  Let me know!  ~TH~

Smith-Corona Extras

Today my wife, our son and I (and some very good friends) all chipped in to clean out my mother-in-law’s attic.  It was a dusty, sneezy affair.  Most of the crumbling cardboard and contents were thrown out, but due diligence unearthed a few gems.  Herein I give you the SMITH-CORONA TEN DAY TOUCH TYPING COURSE.

I really like the wistful, faraway smile that either says, “Gosh, I hope to land a dead-end job soon, typing for some misogynistic boss”, or the more likely, “Gosh, I hope Brad gets here soon in his father’s Corvette so we can make out at the Drive-In and drink a six pack.”

In December of 2015 I posted information on a typewriter found at my M-I-L’s house, the  Smith-Corona Super 12 Electric.  Along with the dated receipt (of 1981) was a card promising the swell deal of a 5 record typing course for just $7.95 + sales tax.  I was seriously considering mailing the card out, but I’m so happy I didn’t!  Apparently, the good folks at Dahlkemper’s Department Store just threw in the box set – for free!

Here I have discovered the later cover for the very same 5 record set.  In the sixties they sprung for color printing, but by the time we get to the mid seventies, A simple walnut veneer on the record player, a typewriter update and a fashion change would suffice.

S-C_ touch type image 2

Obviously she’s typing changes for a theater production just about to go up.

S-C_ touch type image 1

In the seventies it’s down to business.


In the sixties, Janet is still thinking about Brad.

The 5 Columbia records in my possession are in mint condition.  It appears that many before us decided that since we have two index fingers, why subject all of our digits to such torture?          ~TH~

Physical Therapy for the SM9

My three dollar honey has arthritis!

After some investigation as to why the keys and typebars were frozen in place, I discovered that there was a great deal of sticky, oozy goo all over the typebar rest.  I’m guessing it is adhesive for the typebar rest that became very warm in storage and began to drip.  Downward.  Onto that segment area wherein the keys are supposed to enact the typebars. Apologies if I’m using the incorrect nomenclature for some of the parts – fellow insurgents, feel free to correct me!

I now find myself administering some gentle physical therapy to my poor 52 year old SM9’s typebars. “A little degreaser, now lift, now drop, now lift…”.

Aside from that, all other aspects of the machine are sound.  Looking forward to a full recovery for this contemporary of mine!  ~TH~

SM9 physical therapy

The 1964 SM9 in physical therapy.