Sunday, July 18, 2010

Underwood 319 White Portable Manual Typewriter (1970s)

Underwood, the great American typewriter manufacturer, was acquired by famed Italian typewriter manufacture Olivetti in the 1960s. The merged company continued to manufacture typewriters under the name of Olivetti Underwood or Underwood Olivetti. In the late 70s, however, the Underwood name was revived and used on machines that the company manufactured in Spain. One of these was the Underwood 319:

The body of the machine as well as the keys is made from molded plastic, but the interior mechanism is all-steel and is based on Olivetti's famous Lettera machines.

The typewriter comes with a matching black case, and is eminently portable, although not ultra-small. The plastic keys are very comfortable to use, and are reminiscent of early computer keyboard keys. There is a tab function (red key), and dual-color ribbon (black and red).

The font style is Pica, which looks like a large Times New Roman. In fact, it most resembles the American Typewriter font that Apple includes in its office suite. As you can see, it is sober, well-spaced, and very readable.

Ribbon has just been replaced, and may be found at good stationery stores. Please contact if interested.

This machine has been thoroughly cleaned and serviced inside and out. Many hours of work have gone into making it presentable and fully functional. To see some pictures of the cleaning process, please read more.


The typewriter was disassembled, and the outer body and case thoroughly washed.


After being cleaned, oiled, and adjusted, the inner mechanism waits to be reunited with the body.

The typewriter is carefully put back together. The white plastic, which was yellowed from years of exposure, has been newly sanded and polished to restore its gleam and luster.



The typing action and font is tested extensively. (NB: Dual-color ribbon installed, so can type in red also.)

Finally, it is ready for a good home!

2 comments:

  1. I just picked up one of these and was tickled to find this post in a search.

    ReplyDelete

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