Ah, the Underwood 5! Beautiful in both design and execution, the Mellow 60s Museum has at least half a dozen of these and looks longingly upon any discovered in shops and garages.
This classic was produced from 1900 until 1931, making it one of the most commonly found and least valuable of the Underwood machines. Yet, no collection is complete without one. Its features set the bar for decades: Visible typing, first reliable accomplished commercially by the Underwood 1, was a must, as was dependable alignment. Four banks of keys and a single shift worked best for touch typing. The QWERTY keyboard may not have been the best, but it had won the consumer race and Underwood chose it for that reason if no other. And finally, the folks who actually used typewriters bought the No 5 by the millions. If you find one in excellent condition it will cost a bit more than the average of perhaps $50 but with its shining black paint, pin strips, logos, and wonderful antique look it will be worth every penny.
The Museum donated this machine to a missionary but new photos of the No. 5 currently on display will be uploaded soon.
1901 saw Australia declare is independence, the discovery of oil in Texas, and the formation of U.S. Steel. Baltimore manager John McGraw signed Cherokee Indian Tokohoma, who was actually an African American named Charlie Grant, in an attempt to circumvent the exclusion of Black players from the National Game of baseball (when the truth was discovered, McGraw released Grant). Kiowa land in Oklahoma was opened for white settlement, effectively dissolving the contiguous reservation.That year, the first Picasso exhibition opened in Paris, and Gillette began selling safety razor blades. To the dismay of children everywhere, this did not make the razor strop obsolete.