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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Underwood's Last Hurrah

While Underwood was in the process of being taken over by Olivetti at the end of 1959, it continued to advertise Underwood-designed and built typewriters - the "Golden Touch Portables for '60". These were machines designed by Raymond Spilman for Underwood in the mid- to late 1950s.
Overleaf from this full-page magazine ad was one with another "Golden Touch" - but it wasn't an Underwood typewriter. It was an Antares portable, nowadays best known as the Underwood 18 (as well as the Underwood 19 and 10 and, with minor cosmetic changes, elsewhere as the Antares Domus or Antares Annabella). Here it is being advertised as the Underwood Diplomat. Olivetti already owned Antares at this point.
The Deluxe is at the top of the range at $140, followed by the Universal at $123 and the Leader at $84. Bottom of the range is the Diplomat at $79.
It is interesting to see that Underwood, not Olivetti, was still advertising these portables - more so because at the same time they include an Olivetti-owned Carlo Grassi design. I must say I have never seen an Underwood Diplomat, but I have seen enough Underwood 18s to last several lifetimes.
Richard Polt Collection
Adwoa Bagalini Collection

5 comments:

Ted said...

ahh yes. The last of the true Underwoods. I have a '57 De Luxe Quiet Tab that I like very much, and I think it's a little sad that Underwood's design basically got tossed in the skip after 1960. It's really a nice machine. (:

Richard P said...

I've never seen an Underwood Diplomat, either.

But I have actually owned an Add-Mate, the "phone-sized" electric adding machine advertised with the Diplomat. It was given to me by the thoughtful folks who keep track of Xavier's equipment when they were getting rid of some antiquated things. I ended up passing it on to a collector of adding machines, since that isn't my personal obsession.

notagain said...

Interesting post from that transitional period. My underwood 18 is my go-to bikecaster. It's in pristine condition and fits just fine on the rack.

Unknown said...

I inherited a diplomat from my grandfather. Before that I had never used or owned a typewriter, but I'm finding it very hard to just find information on this typewriter. However I like it very much. Whenever I can I try to use it. I like to practice my writing skills on it, because a typewriter does not have spell check and other various perks I think this, at least for me, is a great practice for my personal writing skill set. I was hoping anyone might be able to link any more information on the diplomat? I'm not looking to get rid of it or anything I'd just like more information such as cleaning, supplies, how to take it apart and put it back together, just normal stuff. That would be swell. Cheers!

Jessica Wright said...

I inherited a diplomat from my grandfather. Before that I had never used or owned a typewriter, but I'm finding it very hard to just find information on this typewriter. However I like it very much. Whenever I can I try to use it. I like to practice my writing skills on it, because a typewriter does not have spell check and other various perks I think this, at least for me, is a great practice for my personal writing skill set. I was hoping anyone might be able to link any more information on the diplomat? I'm not looking to get rid of it or anything I'd just like more information such as cleaning, supplies, how to take it apart and put it back together, just normal stuff. That would be swell. Cheers!