A magnificently compact century old Underwood 3-Bank stumbled on my path for a temporary period of time as it undergoes some minor repairs, refurbishing and polishing, as requested by a friend. These notorious little monsters are surprisingly functional in consideration of their antique compact mechanism and seemingly fragility that they represent. I can ogle at these little typewriters with great fascination, knowing that their mechanics and design are so old, and yet so superbly success-full...at least from a functional stand-point.
Even though I am a massive fan of their mechanics from a user's perspective, from a service-man's point of view, this is a mechanical nightmare. Mainly because the typewriter has been designed in such a compact way, servicing such a compact machine makes it very frustrating as one is unable to reach the areas needed of attention with the tools that I have. I have spend many anguishing hours nail-biting in frustration, attempting to bring this Underwood back to it's full potential. The "D" key had become disconnected overtime, and even though of it's petite design, I managed to repair it.
However, sordid complaints aside, I do really love the overall functionality of this typewriter. It has a very surprisingly durable sense of type. The keys are not jiggly, and even represents the sense of a full-size typewriter. Of course, it being the size of a cookie-tin, the machine is basic. Yet, it does feature a color-selector and ribbon-direction switch on the face of the machine. And they all work too.
The grandfather of my friend, a very down-to-earth, no nonsense individual, thought it was appropriate to glue a clothes button to the shift-lock after loosing the original screw-on button. Oh well. It seems to work fine up to now.
The machine does have some U.V. ray damage to it's paint, making me believe it has stood on a desk by a window for a lengthy amount of time. It is not significantly noticeable upon first approach but getting into the nitty-gritty of the whole deal, you do see it with consideration. It is what it is.
Besides that, I grade this machine a 9 out of 10. Mechanically it is very strong. If the originally rubber holds up as well as it has over the past century, it will work well for a very long time to come.
Status: Typewriter Hunter
This gallery represents the machines owned by good friends Dirk Plante and Sean Doole-Fisher, who reside in British Columbia, Canada. Together they have established Venneburg Typewriters, a partnership that to date has seen over 400 typewriters since 2009. Here you will find the machines that are currently still in possession or that have come and gone since December 2017.
Professionally printed, coil bound workshop repair manuals.