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WWII Typewriter Question

Started by QED4 , Oct 13 2007 11:43 AM

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#1 QED4

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 11:43 AM

We all know that WWII Field Desks has a portable typewriter in the large open space in them but dose any one know what makes and models the Army actually procured for them? I picked up a Corona Standard today and it is the right time period and fits perfectly into my field desk but I am not sure if the Army actually used them or not. Dose any one have any information on which ones were used?

#2 LTGSANCHEZ

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 01:40 PM

I've got the same issue. I have a corona standard for the company level field desk, and always wondered, but I never remembered to ask on the forums.

#3 craig_pickrall

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 11:53 AM

The info on typewriters and field desks is in QUARTERMASTER SUPPLY CATALOG QM 3-4 LIST OF ITEMS FOR ISSUE TO TROOPS, MISCELLANEOUS ORGANIZATIONAL EQUIPMENT.

They do not show pics of the typewriters or specify makers. They are described as follows:

TYPEWRITERS, PORTABLE, WITH CARRYING CASE Stock no 54-T-16000
TYPEWRITERS, PORTABLE, USED, WITH CARRYING CASE Stock no 54-T-20000

The non-portable typewriters are listed in four sizes, 11", 14", 18" and 26" Carriage but there is no carriage size specified for the portable.

#4 craig_pickrall

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 01:04 PM

I just found this pic while looking for something else. Thought it might help.

LIFE Magazine JULY 7, 1941

TRAINING_7_7_41_1I.jpg
TRAINING_7_7_41_1J.jpg

#5 Allan H.

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 04:56 AM

We still had two of these typewriters in my reserve unit in the mid 1980's. They had a shiny black finish and had a brass rectangular tag riveted to the side IIRC. I think the tags were WWII vintage, but they could have been tagged and put on the property book by serial number after WWII.
We still had a lot of WWII gear including mess kits, canteen cups and E-tools. I traded several WWII dated canteen cups out for the more modern wire handled cups that I was buying as surplus and changed out at least three folding shovels. The post war ones having the pick head and the ones I was getting didn't have them.
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#6 Laury Allison

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 09:14 AM

A lot of the older ones were Underwoods, Remingtons, and Royals. Not sure if there was any specific model used or some of all of them. You might want to look those models up on the internet and see if you can find some history for them.

Laury

#7 craig_pickrall

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 08:46 PM

btt

#8 REG

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 10:11 AM

Did you know that Tom Hanks is an avid collector of typewriters?

Just thought you'd like to know!

#9 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 10:50 AM

Aloha Everyone,

My 7th grade typing teacher, Mr Linson was what one would call "an odd duck". He was well over 6 feet tall, thin, and with his close cropped dark hair and 'birth control' black GI glasses, we were convinced he was a major dork. He told stupid jokes, played the recorder through his nose, and liked to sing parodies of show tunes. He was funny, and would keep us laughing throughout the 6 week summer school class. I can still remember the foolish typing jingles he would make up so we could learn to touchtype.

One day, we asked him how he became a typist and he told us about being a paratrooper with the 101st and jumping into Normandy with his Remington 5T portable........speechless does not convey our disbelief nor did our blank stares.

This guy? A paratrooper?

So one day near the end of the term he brought in some photos of him before the jump, with his remington strapped to his side.

I never thought the man was a dork after that.....

#10 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 10:57 AM

Aloha Everyone,

To answer the main question, the War Department scooped up every typewriter they could from the civilian market and pressed them into service. The main brands were Remington, Underwood, & Corona. No typewriters were made during the war years, and the Remington & Underwood factories were converted to war production (as many of you know, Underwood made M1 Carbines).

It was illegal for a civilian to purchase a typewriter during WWII as all existing stocks were turned over to the Quartermaster Department. They also set up typewriter repair schools, which was the most common machine the QM mechanics would repair in WWII (the Army & other services ran on paper - in quintuplicate)

I recall reading somewhere that among the cargos of one of the few ships sunk at Normandy was 20,000 typewriters. That must have put a major crimp in the supply chain.

#11 Gil Sanow

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 02:04 PM

And Remington-Rand made .45's!

G

#12 ww2vault

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:34 PM

Hi,

I found a great site that talks about old typewriters. I found it quite informative and I was able to more accurately tell how old my Underwood typewriter was. I advise you to check it out: http://staff.xu.edu/.../tw-faq.html#q3

- Jeff

#13 willysmb44

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 07:10 PM

No typewriters were made during the war years, and the Remington & Underwood factories were converted to war production

Well, that's not exactly true. Corona made them well into 1942, mostly for government service, and it wasn't illegal for civilians to own or buy them, you just needed permission to do so. It was a simple form, and you only to give a halfway decent reason to get one (granted, it might not be new or with good function...)
I collect War Correspondent stuff, so I have a decent collection of machines and related paperwork on the subject:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v214/willysmb44/ThreeMachines.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v214/willysmb44/RemingtonRandCrate.jpg

#14 ww2vault

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 11:20 AM

Cool stuff Willy, I am just now getting myself into war correspondent items as well and would like your opinion on this typewriter some one is offering me.

It is a Underwood with a Serial Number of: 4740622-11. The carriage appears to need a little work but it looks to be in good shape. It looks some what similar to the 1937 one in the picture you posted.

P.S. Bigger pictures are coming, so for right now you will have to settle for the little one.

- Jeff

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#15 willysmb44

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:15 PM

It is a Underwood with a Serial Number of: 4740622-11. The carriage appears to need a little work but it looks to be in good shape. It looks some what similar to the 1937 one in the picture you posted.

Jeff,
It looks like an Underwood model 6 to me with the long carriage, but it's hard to know for sure. If indeed that the model, the serial number would actually be 1937 exactly.
It's a desktop model, not really portable. You'd find them well behind the lines, in Divisional or Corps/Army HQ's or even stateside. You'd not likely find out up front or in the hands of a WarCo though. As you know, that thing is a freaking boat anchor, probably weighs somewhere between 25 and 30 pounds!
Lee

#16 ww2vault

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 08:27 PM

Haha, I know it is heavier then my car! :) I got some bigger pictures of it and will post a few. I kind of figured it wasn't a frontlines type of typewriter. The truth of the matter be though, the guy who sold it to me said that it was his grandfathers and was used initially at the business he owned and then later to type a manuscript that was never published.

So while knowing it was never enscripted into the military service during WWII, it sounds as if you are right and it was used around the late 1930's or early 1940's. Even so, it will still go great with my field desk display and even if it never saw military use it can still make a great example of a typewriter that could have been used in the military.

- Jeff

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  • underwood3.jpg

Edited by ww2vault, 06 March 2008 - 08:28 PM.


#17 ww2vault

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 08:30 PM

Couple more pictures.

- Jeff

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  • underwood5.jpg


#18 LtRGFRANK

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 01:22 PM

The things that show up on this Forum. I finally had time to read this posting and went out in my Garage and found the old Family typewriter. Its been around as long as I can remember and I used it in College in the mid 60s. Its a Underwood #3 wide carraige. I'm cleaning it up and will put it in my War room. If and when I get a desk I'm all set with the typewriter. Thanks guys

#19 willysmb44

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 08:27 PM

The things that show up on this Forum. I finally had time to read this posting and went out in my Garage and found the old Family typewriter. Its been around as long as I can remember and I used it in College in the mid 60s. Its a Underwood #3 wide carraige. I'm cleaning it up and will put it in my War room. If and when I get a desk I'm all set with the typewriter. Thanks guys

Find out the serial number, I can probably tell you what year it was. I've noticed a lot of folks who display at living history events, often have typewriters that are well beyond the pre-1945 era.

#20 Gregory

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 12:10 AM

Here is Bill Chickering, WWII Time and Life war correspondent. Maybe this pic will be useful.

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