50% Off Day

1939 Underwood Universal

1939 Underwood Universal

I have too many typewriters, but I still enjoy hunting for good ones in thrift shops. Last week I dropped into the local SA where they have been putting every interesting donation up for auction for the past several years. This has aroused my ire and whenever I return there I’m usually in a sour mood just from the mere thought of this outrageous money grab. After all, I always thought thrift shops were originally conceived as places for folks of limited budgets to acquire goods they need at less than retail prices. Am I wrong? However, on this occasion they have made me glad because they not only didn’t put this lovely machine up for auction, but it and all else in the store, was half price on that day. I grabbed it in glee, and while there picked up several other goodies at half price. I should say that the prices today are twice or more what they once were, so this merely made my purchases seem like the old prices, but still I was very pleased.

side view - Underwood Universal 1939

side view – Underwood Universal 1939

When I got it home and out on the table I tried it out and it worked fine. It has elite type, which is OK, but I suppose it would be too much to hope for something rare? Anyways, after the test I discovered that the rubber feet were falling apart and the table had been scratched by one of the rear feet. I fixed the table with a little more spray varnish, but how to fix the feet?

old rotted rubber feet and new raw material

old rotted rubber feet and new raw material

While browsing the dollar store I saw a package of 3 large size white rubber erasers – bingo! One dollar and a half poorer I arrive home with the goods, which were put aside until today. The basic repair is this: you carve, drill, cut the white rubber to match the shape of the rotten old piece, if you have that. Attach, adjust, etc. Type away. By the way, I discovered that you can super glue this white rubber to itself. Imagine the endless possibilities of white rubber eraser constructions!

Three new feet

Three new feet

One of the 4 old feet was in perfect shape, oddly enough, as if it was new old stock. The other three looked like they’d been barbecued.

close up of new foot

close up of new foot

The keys on this one are interesting, they look like they are glass covered but are in fact plastic engraved inserts within the old style metal rings.

lovely keys these are

lovely keys these are


Filed under Typewriters

4 responses to “50% Off Day

  1. What a super find! I like the feet too.

  2. Pretty neat using the erasers! And indeed, some of the thrift stores just are way to commercial these days. Very saddening, especcially when you’re one of those people that gives them free sellable stuff…

  3. What a sweet little machine – I love its profile.
    And great tip for typewriter feet. I have a Corona Four whose feet have disintegrated and could use a new set.

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