My new Urania Model 4 (or 5?) typewriter.

I’ve had some recent luck with typewriters. My new Hammond Multiplex is my prized possession. I had wanted one of those for quite some time. Sometimes, however, one stumbles on a typewriter that was never on the radar. I picked up this Urania Model 4 (or 5?) today. It was manufactured in 1924 or 1925. As you can see from the photos, it has some cosmetic issues, but the decals are quite stunning.

Urania was based in Dresden, Germany, but this machine has a Dutch keyboard. The seller, another Andrew, also is Dutch. He had the typewriter back in Holland, had it in Argentina for some years, and then finally moved to Florida (poor fellow). Other than that, there was no backstory for the machine. He said there were a hundred offers after me (on OfferUp), all in Florida. Antique flippers? Key-choppers? Actual collectors? I guess I have competition His price was $40 and I very much respect the fact that he honored my well timed response on OfferUp.

The mechanics are very interesting, and it is my first machine with a carriage return lever on the right side–also with the spacing mechanism. The ink color switch is tucked away on the left side of the machine, and it has a knob for the mainspring.

It has no feet. I’ll have to improvise something. One glass key has cracked (I’ll switch it out with a dysfunctional Underwood 5). One vibrator hook is broken, which luckily does not hamper the ribbon from rising.

I put some good work into it tonight. No doubt it needs some more cleaning. Some toddler marked up a decal with an “x.” That’s one more for the X-Files about Planet Urania, which neighbors Uranus and is made of Uranium.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. John Cooper says:

    Forty effin’ dollars for this damn near priceless, working museum piece? I’m so glad you got it and no one else. Most people only value things according to what they pay for them.

    Having served on the grand jury here in Portland O (drugs and property crimes division), I’m familiar with OfferUp only as the place where meth addicts sell shoplifted Tide Pods. But if antique typewriters are on it too, maybe I’ve misjudged it!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      OfferUp is worth checking out. I’ve picked up six or seven typewriters that way. As per usual, the prices are all over the place. The app also has added items available for shipping, although, judging by the low shipping costs, I’m not sure the sellers know how to care for typewriters.

      I’m pretty excited about the Urania. It looks like it will be more than a show piece.


  2. mcfeats says:

    P.S. I wonder if Tide Pods would be good for cleaning typewriters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. maryech says:

    Wow – just beautiful! So lucky! Looks like lots of fun. Funny thing: I initially misread the Urania’s color decal as “DRAMA” – which I think is fine because this is a dramatically fun and beautiful typewriter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Thank you! I, too, keep on reading the letters in different ways. I also imagine an old radio show about an alien invasion from an invisible planet Urania. Here come the retro flying saucers!

      Apparently Urania was a muse—first of the arts, then of astronomy.


  4. Richard P says:

    An outstanding find. I don’t need to tell you that these hardly ever turn up in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      I did not know they existed!


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