Underwood 3 portable typewriter

      13 Comments on Underwood 3 portable typewriter


I adopted this little three-bank Underwood portable, designed by Lee Spear Burridge, last Saturday during our trip to “Onterfd Goed”. This machine came onto the market in 1920. Manufacturing stopped in 1929.


No patents are mentioned on the back of my machine. Also no mentioning of Gubelmann. It only says: “Made in U.S.A. Patents pending.” It has a French QWERTY layout, with a double shift. The serial number is 10572. According to the typewriter database, it was manufactured in 1921, only the second year of production! Unfortunately for me the decal on the front has worn off, but the one on the paper table is still in good condition. The typewriter also still has it’s original spools.


There is already a lot written about this machine, so I won’t do the same again. You can read all of it following the links below:

* Underwood portables, by Richard Milton
* Underwood portable typewriters, part 1, by Robert Messenger
* The design of the Underwood 3, by Robert Messenger
* The Typewriter in the Leopold and Loeb Case, by Robert Messenger
* Yet Another Centenary, by Robert Messenger
* Underwood portable 3, by typewriter.be
* Underwood portable gallery, by Machines of loving grace
* Review of an Underwood Portable, by Stevetype33
* Underwood Portable: A Few More Pics, by MagicMargin.
* Underwood Standard Portable Typewriter, by Neurasthenia.

13 thoughts on “Underwood 3 portable typewriter

  1. Scott K

    I’m yet to get my hands on one of these. I have heard so much about them, but my only impressions of them so far have been formed by the photos.

    The type slugs on these guys seem huge and clumsy. It is a bit of an odd looking machine.

    1. spider Post author

      They are, a little bit odd looking. It’s shape is wide, it’s small, but the keys are “normal”. I needed to look at it for two days to really appreciate the shape. Now I think it’s one of the best typewriters I own. Must make more pictures…

  2. Cass

    Hi, I have the same typewriter but I can’t for the life of me, find a serial number. Could you tell me where you found it? It’s been driving me nuts all afternoon. It’s been in the shed for 15 years, now I know why – it’s infuriating. Hope you can point me in the right direction,

    Thanks a million,


    1. spider Post author

      Don’t believe I found it myself yet. This serial number was in the database of the former museum. I will check it out somewhere next week!

      1. Cass

        I found it on the front right hand side, there’s a metal thing that has two round cushion looking things that I think must be holding it on to the base. After wiping away the dirt I found the number stamped on it. I can send you a photo if you like, I’m guessing yours is in the same spot.

  3. Cass

    I found the serial number after discovering a yahoo site. It wasn’t easy to find! (Hiding down the front at the bottom) It’s SN is 2761 so I’m still not sure when it was manufactured. Around the same time as yours I imagine since the logo is the same. :-)

      1. spider Post author

        Nice! It sounds like a really early serial number. Mine is 5 digits long and manufactured only in the second year. So that could already tell you that yours is from 1921 or earlier. First year, really nice!

  4. Susan Mark

    Hi there, I am hoping someone can help me out, I have acquired a underwood standard portable typewriter serial no. 180572. Can someone shed some light on this. What version and what value would be associated to it. It is in very good Co fit ion from what I can tell. Thanks


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