1896 Underwood 1 #2326
Status: My Collection
Created: 06-17-2017 at 09:51AM
Last Edit: 06-17-2017 at 09:51AM
By 1896 many components, combinations and designs had been tried in various typewriters and the winner was emerging; a typewriter with a remarkably quick and smooth typing action, a typewriter that would usher in the new century, conquer the world, and put an end to this period of rich diversity in typewriter design. The Underwood had arrived.
The Underwood typewriter was the first widely successful modern typewriter. It pulled together the three main design elements that would set the standard for the 20th century, a four-row straight keyboard, front striking type bars (giving visible typing) and one shift key. The Underwood was not the first to offer these essential features, the Daugherty was in 1893 (seen in this collection), but it was by far the better engineered machine.
Franz Wagner, a brilliant engineer who was involved with the Caligraph and other pioneering typewriters, sold his invention to the John Underwood & Co., a major supplier of typewriter ribbons. The first model, shown above, still maintained Wagner's name stenciled onto the back of the frame.
Over the next ten years, just about all of the under-strike (blind-writers) and index typewriters would be dropped from the market. The Wild West of typewriters was over.
Hunter: Martin Howard (MartinHoward)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
I am a collector of 19th century typewriters and have built a collection that shows the remarkable ingenuity and beauty of the world’s first typewriters. I have always been interested in the beginnings of a machine when there is an eruption of approaches to making it. Early typewriters are an exceptional example of this incubation period.
My website is antiquetypewriters.com
RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Underwood 1 on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Underwood Serial Number page and the Underwood 1 By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.
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