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Underwood 5

First year of production:
Underwood Typewriter Company , New York , USA
Serial nr:

The Underwood 5 set the standard for all manual typewriters that came after it. The only reason not to include the Underwood 5 in a typewriter museum and that is lack of rarity.

The Underwood was designed by Franz Wagner, who had earlier been involved with other models, such as the Densmore. Production was taken up by John Underwood, son of a typewriter ribbon manufacturer. The first Underwood appeared in 1895. It was not exactly the first 4-bank frontstrike typewriter in the market (that honor goes to the Daugherty), but it was in fact the first totally reliable one.

The Underwood 5, the machine that would dominate the market for three decades, appeared in 1901 and was a tremendous success, which is underlined by the fact the machine presented here was built in 1915, with a serial number in the 800,000s.
Millions more were to follow, making the Underwood 5 one of the most important but least valued typewriters around. Only models in pristine condition, or with added extra's like the tabulator set on the machine presented here, may raise more than 5 or 10 dollars.

Read much more about this important machine in the book TYPEWRITER, from page 162.

Courtesy of: Bothe collection