Posted by Sandy Belk, The Oliver Typewriter Shop on November 29, 2014
The Underwood family started out by making typewriter ribbons for Remington. In 1895, John T Underwood founded the Underwood Typewriter Company in New York and began making typewriters.
The first Underwood typewriters were designed by, Frank Wagner, a German-American inventor. John T. Underwood purchased the Wagner Typewriter Company in 1895 for Wagner’s design and knowledge. The very first Underwood 1 and 2 typewriters even had the Wagner Typewriter Co. logo imprinted on the back.
The Underwood No. 5 typewriter was introduced in 1900 and sold over two million typewriters by 1920. The No. 5 was described as the “first truly modern typewriter.” The Underwood No. 5 typewriter out sold all its competitors for the first two decades of the 20th century. After the 1920s, the Underwood Typewriter Company began a long period of decline. In 1927, it merged with the Elliot-Fischer company and lasted through two world wars, but was purchased by Olivetti in 1959.
Many famous writers including William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway used Underwood typewriters.
For more information about Underwood Typewriters, check out one of these articles below. (We don’t have any relationships with any of the websites below or knowledge of their accuracy)
Underwood typewriter company, Wikepedia
The Story of the Underwood Typewriter Company, Gord Hotchkiss, MediaPost
History of Underwood Typewriters, Vintage Typewriter Jewelry
The Classic Typewriter Page, Underwood No. 5