Branford House Antiques
A Historic 1850s Farmhouse on a Scenic Vermont Dairy Farm

Franz Wagner Underwood Model One Typewriter

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This Underwood Typewriter is marked "manufactured by Wagner Typewriter Company" and with various patent dates of 1890, 1891, 1894 & 1896. It has serial number 13,001 and one has to wonder if they started this series of typewriters with serial number 13,000? It is most likely a Model One but I am not sure of the difference between a Model One and a Model Two, both were made at the same time and for only one year during 1896. It is in good condition and all parts are present but it does require adjustments since the keys are sticky and the carriage is sluggish. Therefore, we have given it a condition rating of 2,3.

Franz Wagner was the inventor and patent holder on his "Wagner" typewriter and he was also a major contributor for various elements of the Caligraph, Densmore, Stearns and Jost typewriters. He sold his Wagner typewriter patent in 1895 to John T. Underwood who was a manufacturer and suppler of carbon paper and typewriter ribbons. The Wagner Typewriter Company continued to make the Underwood typewriter for a year or so until they changed over to the new Underwood Typewriter Company. This is one of those machines made during that short period of time.

The Underwood typewriter became incredibly popular with millions of them made over a 50 year period and while there were several different models they all pretty much look alike. When most people think of a manual desk top typewriter it is usually the Underwood that comes to mind. Unfortunately, for those reasons, the Underwood is not generally considered a very collectible typewriter unless there is something very special or unique about a particular specimen. This Franz Wagner Underwood may be one of those exceptions. We only have three Underwoods currently in our collections: This Franz Wagner machine, the Hooven Automatic Typewriter (a modified Underwood 3) and the brass plated shipboard Underwood.

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