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.