I seem to be accumulating an inventory of typewriters which need work of some kind. Getting to them is a bit of a problem, but I thought it might be interesting to touch on some of these aspects while I also document the use of the typewriters themselves. Of course, when you’re at the workbench, it’s also nice to have a beverage, too!
Underwood Electric 565
This electric manual typewriter carries the Underwood name, but of course by the late 1950s/early 1960s, Underwood was just a name, having been bought by Olivetti. This Underwood 565 was manufactured in Japan, though I’m not sure of the exact vintage. I have seen a number of nearly identical-looking models with different names, most recently one wearing the name of the old Eaton’s department store, once a large chain here in Canada. I’ve also seen an Underwood 555 model, which looked cosmetically the same, but I didn’t get a chance to examine its functions.
The photos below include some images of the machine while dismantled. While the internals looked very clean, they did need a wash with mineral spirits. [Safety note: Remember to ensure good ventilation while using mineral spirits! I may have reminded myself of this the hard way.] Cosmetically the whole typewriter was very clean, internally and externally, and had obviously seen very little use in its time.
One of the images shows the drive belt removed. I had temporarily replaced it with a rubber band to verify that the rest of the mechanism worked properly, which I sourced a replacement band. Changing the drive belt was easy, but the case on this machine was not easy (or at least intuitive) to take apart.
I am really enamored with how responsive the electric-assisted key presses are on this style of typewriter, and the simplicity of the design of the drive motor mechanism. I love that the rest of the machine is essentially just a manual typewriter, too, and I can even use the same ribbons.
Wellington Brewery’s Candle Burner Coffee IPA
There’s no theme between the beer and the typewriter this time. I just happened to be drinking this beer while working on the Underwood, and I thought it would be nice to feature a beer from Wellington Brewery.
Wellington Brewery was initiated in Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 1985. They are among the oldest craft brewers still operating in the province, as many of their contemporaries have been bought by larger macro breweries. Their beer is distributed widely throughout the southern part of the province, and the familiar Wellington tap-handle is a common sight a bars serving draft beer, depicting a Wellington (or “Welly”) boot.
The Candle Burner isn’t part of their regular stable of beer. This was a special release, incorporating cold=pressed coffee locally sourced in Guelph. As coffee flavours are more regularly associated with dark beers, like stouts and porters, I was initially wary of this one.
With a deceptively pale colour, one may wonder where the coffee went? However, the first whiff will confirm that it’s there. The aroma is unmistakable. But upon a taste, the coffee presence quickly makes way for the bitterness one expects from an IPA (India Pale Ale) style beer. As an IPA, this is a well-balanced example of the style. This is an interesting entry into their menu, and I hope it returns again later in 2019.
Tomorrow St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. If you are imbibing to celebrate, please be safe! If you’re cleaning your typewriter, also be safe! And happy typing.