One of the small, fleeting joys in buying off eBay is that sometimes little extras come with whatever it is that one has bought. For instance, the National typewriter brochure than came with the Royal Standard 1, which I posted on a while back. This week I received an Underwood coloured portable typewriter advertising blotter. It came packed inside a photograph of a mysterious, nameless lady. The package came from Millville, Pennsylvania, the blotter promoted a company in Reading Pa, and the lady's portrait was taken by Silvers in Berwick Pa. Who is she, I wonder? Is her dress a dark red? And how did these two things come together? Ah, such sweet mysteries of life ...
Listed on US eBay for $359
This red Underwood is from my collection:
I'm trying to think of a typewriter that doesn't look good in red. Nope! Nothing comes to mind...
The mysterious woman reminds me of the top piece of advice given by a Federal Archivist at the workshop I went to: always mark the back of photos with names and dates in pencil. She mentioned the many stray family photos she finds in antique malls.
The upcoming issue of ETCetera will feature an article by Peter Weil about typewriter ads on blotters.
I must admit that I was nearly salivating, looking at these beautiful old Underwoods. Shameful!
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