This is the state the previously flawless platen on Ray Nickson's Underwood Noiseless 77 was in when the portable typewriter, given to him as a wedding gift by his father-in-law, was returned to Ray by the Sweeney Todd of Typewriters, the Typewriter Butcher of Botany Bay. Ray was charged $150 for the privilege of having this done to his beautiful typewriter, and no offer has yet been made to refund him his money. Below is how the platen had looked before Ray drove to Sydney to get the Underwood's mainspring and drawband fixed:
I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies, and accept that any ending to this whole sorry affair is a merciful ending. All's well that ends well - or so they say. But the saga still leaves me with a nasty taste in my mouth. It has been very costly for both Ray and myself, not the least of which was the money Ray was charged for fixing the mainspring and drawband on his Noiseless 77, a job which, as an added "bonus", included mangling the platen.
Ray imported another Noiseless 77 from the US so his wedding gift could be returned to the state it was in when he received it. I took the platen from this later, 1940 Underwood Noiseless (above, serial #P1229637) and was able to get the second Noiseless 77, the carriage of which had been skipping, fully restored and operational. Ray then alerted me to a key-chopper in the US who was selling parts of another butchered Noiseless 77, and with further help from Richard Polt, I was able to get the platen and knobs from that. The platen arrived here yesterday and I was able to get the above Noiseless also fully restored and operational. You could say that in one way Ray and I have achieved a win-win situation, in that we both finished up with very nice working Noiseless 77s and I have this later model Noiseless back with a platen and working properly (though the right-side paper support got busted and one of the ribbon spool covers developed a tiny crack in the process). But to get here we have both had to spend heaps.
However, one must balance that expense against what has been a reasonably successful and satisfactory outcome. Personally, I would much, more prefer a typewriter that is in good working order, albeit with a broken paper support and a slightly cracked ribbon spool cover, to one that is not working and has no platen. I promise this will my last word on this subject (unless, of course, the guilty party in all this coughs up the $150 he owes father-to-be, uni-student Ray, in which case I will be "whooping" some more!).