Saturday, March 13, 2021

1939 (Champion)

According to the serial number, it was I think manufactured in 1939; by coincidence the same year as the machine featured last month on The Typewriter Revolution blog. A different colour (black) and place of manufacture (Canada), but likewise a 1939 Underwood Champion.

The case was what caught my attention and made me buy it. To have a 'new' typewriter to tinker with. The Underwood Champion is rare enough over here in Holland, the integrated tripod stand probably even rarer - recognizable by the three-layer case ('hamburger-case').

The machine itself looked rather tired in the seller's images with damaged paint and worn decals, a good thing when looking for a typewriter to repair and perhaps do a re-paint on (that lovely dark red...).

This glossy black Underwood Champion portable typewriter (typemaster series) shows signs of heavy use, several key-tops are worn away and got 'label maker' letters pasted on them. Nevertheless the machine actually looks a lot better than expected from the seller images. (It may even not get a re-paint.)

Apart from being stored and ignored for decades, this machine was very probably also given to children to 'play' with. Inside was stuck a small bit of candy-bar wrapper (paper), the platen shows rows of letters on repeat and they probably misused the keyboard to cause so much misalignment ('cakewalk-keyboard').

Apart from some paint-loss of the panels and worn-away decals, there are no major issues with the machine. There are however lots of small issues. There are parts (screws) missing, broken springs and e.g. the rear-feet must have liquefied and gone off somewhere decades ago (small traces remain in the case).

Ergo it has the makings of a nice restoration project that I am very much looking forward to!

In addition to the machine itself, the case will be a prime candidate for re-covering in new leatherette. That will be a challenge, with new skills to be learned and materials to be sourced.

But first the getting-to-know the machine. (Remington Portables I'm familiar with by now, this will be something new to explore.)

The enjoyable steps of cleaning and slowly getting it to work again :-)


  1. Those are generally fine typewriters to use.

    1. I look fwd to get it there - and experience the Champion :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you :-)
      (Congratulations on your magnificent red specimen!)