My 3 favorite old fashioned typewriters

12 May

by Kristy

There is something about the sleek black metal, the over-sized upright frame, the click of the keys, and ding when you reach the end of a line….old fashioned typewriters may have been functionally superseded by computers, but their ergonomic and aesthetic functions will never be replaced.

My 3 favorite old fashioned typewriters

1. Underwood

upright and fabulous

The Underwood typewriter was first produced in 1895 by John Underwood, who was the son of a typewriter ribbon manufacturer These typewriters, including one my grandmother used to type up news stories for her local newspaper, dominated the market for decades, and are nearly worthless today, even as an antique.  But regardless of value, these typewriters are certainly handsome.

2. Royal

An early Royal: pre-plastic

The Royal typewriters were introduced in 1906, and still exist today (under a different name).

Over time, Royals evolved to be less upright in stature, and were developed with sleeker keyboards and fancier colors (green! red!).  However, changes in technology over time also meant Royals were eventually manufactured with plastic frames – not my favorite period in Royal history, however I have inherited a fantastic Royal from my friend’s grandmother which has a longer paper spool, for secretaries to accommodate over-sized documents.

3. Corona

Corona typewriters, later merging with the (much older) Smith Company to be called Smith-Corona typewriters, have an interesting history which includes several folding models in the early 20th century. Some Coronas also featured accessories like label holders or tripods.  Many Corona models are smaller and sleeker, making them more portable, and today working Coronas can still be fitted with ribbons you can buy online

the sleek Corona Jr



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3 responses to “My 3 favorite old fashioned typewriters

  1. Tony

    May 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    The Underwood and Royal look cool. The Corona looks like the slimed down upgraded version. Sort of like technological advances in Ipods and Laptops. Im a sucker for old ones that go back n forth like eating corn in an old cartoon!

  2. Chris Wolak (@chriswolak)

    October 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Love that Royal. When I was a kid and we moved into a new house (which was built in the early 1900s) we found one just like this in the crawl space. Sure wish I still had it. That thing weighed a ton!

  3. Cody

    May 9, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I have an underwood and was trying to find out more about it. Any help?


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