1937 Underwood 6: the Heirloom Project


In 1937, this machine was purchased brand new by a man who needed to write.  The Underwood 6 was a follow up model to the 5, which is etched into typewriter history as one of the greats.  The 6 is virtually the same machine, with an indented and textured front plate, textured side plates, and a textured paper table.  In subsequent years, the machine pictured barely survived a house fire and a flood which left the machine smoke damaged, and completely solidified with rust.  The restoration process to get it working again required a complete tear down and cleaning, leaving the machine working, but still looking like a piece of history.  The current owner of the machine is an author—the granddaughter of the original owner.

The carriage was the first to come off, entire thing was frozen with rust 

More rust 

More rust....again....it was bad..

The left knob was so frozen up that it had to be the one part I couldn’t fix. 


 The platen end caps were made of copper, and to my surprise, so were a lot of the other parts.  The rest of the carriage got taken apart, cleaned, and reassembled.  After that, I had to remove the tab system, the ribbons, the type basket, and everything else that got in the way.  Each part was cleaned and put back together.  The final machine was reassembled and adjusted to work.








The segment was the most difficult as it was held on with 42 little C clips.  These all had to be put back one by one.  It’s difficult to describe how terrible that task is.  The escapement was difficult to, as there were lots of small parts to keep track of.  That went off without a hitch though.


The underwood and royal standards 

Next to the three bank portable model from 1924 

All clean 

Working once again.  There were a few issues since the typesample that had gotten fixed.  The first one was the issue causing the machine to not want to type on all caps.  The scale that held the paperfingers was pressed too far into the ribbon vibrator.  I bent the wheels on the segment inwards a bit and that fixed the issue.  Second, the margin scale was preventing the left and right margins from working because it had been bent out of shape.  Two washers on the right hand side helped even it out so both margins worked.  

I hope to get some nice photos up soon.
Meanwhile I have typed a letter on It explaining it’s funtions and care.  It’s stiff from issues in the past, but it works well.



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