Barn find: An Underwood No. 3!


I stopped by the thrift shop yesterday afternoon to drop off a few things.

And to take a look around, of course.

The shop was so busy that there wasn’t a single parking spot in their lot, or even on the street out front. I ended up parking a block away.

I’d never seen this shop so busy. So I didn’t expect to find anything good.

But then, after I’d had to “excuse me” and “pardon me” all the way through the shop, I finally saw something awesome in the narrowest aisle. On the floor.

A diamond in the rough. Very, very rough.

A diamond in the rough. Very, very rough. It’s sitting on a vintage steel typewriter table that belongs to Janeray.

An Underwood No. 3 typewriter!

Also, apparently, about 75 years’ worth of barn dust.

Close-up of barn dust. Not shown: several dried-up insects. Ugh.

Close-up of barn dust. Not shown: several dried-up insects. Ugh.

This machine looks like it had been stored away for decades in a very dusty place. It didn’t smell damp or mildewy, though, which is always a deal-breaker for me. And the price was way too good to pass up, so I grabbed the machine—all 33 pounds of cast iron—and trudged a block back to the car.

Trailing a mini cloud of barn dust all the way.

Had to change my clothes when I got home. The things we do for our customers, eh?


It’s filthy, for sure, but I’m not seeing much actual damage yet. The keys are pretty straight, for starters.

Now to clean it up a bit. Er, a lot.

More pictures later!

2 Comments on “Barn find: An Underwood No. 3!”

  1. I can just see you giving that typewriter the sniff test! Great find!

    • luray says:

      Oh yeah, that was fun, considering the machine was on the floor in the narrowest aisle and I am not exactly Miss Twiggy. 🙂 But the ladies behind the counter know I’m crazy. Once I reluctantly passed up a huge collection of amazing vintage heart-shaped candy boxes because every single one smelled mildewy. So sad!