4 thoughts on “Western Union/Underwood still delivers…”

  1. Sure is a nice looking typewriter. I love the typeface.
    I’ve gotten several telegrams from W.U. through the years. Generally from the F.C.C. authorizing a radio station to go on the air or emergency changes to stay on the air. Yes, they were always anticipated and made us quite happy when the W.U. man came to the door. I’ve yet to find one of those neat typewriters or a Mill yet.

  2. Around 1971, I bought a Friden Flexowriter from G.E. Computer Division, that had an identical type face. The flexowriter has both a paper tape punch and a tape reader. Thus it can be used as an automatic typewriter. I took an old Western Union telegram (you know, the one that said “Wm. P, Marshall, President as part of the banner.) and had a small print shop make me 100 blank copies. I put a purple ribbon and the Flexowriter, and sent fake “telegrams” wishing my friends a Merry Christmas. Each telegram had a matching name and address preceding the message. I then mailed them in a No. 6 window envelope, just as Western Union did, after they had phoned and read you the message. It went over big, several recipients thought they were real, fooled by the type style and purple ribbon. I doubt it would be as effective today, as most younger people have never seen a telegram in real life. (Since office copy machines were uncommon then, the print shop made an offset master, to make the copies.)

    Regarding your Blick roller. I suspect that you are washing out the residue of purple rubber stamp ink that a previous owner used to re-ink the roller. On my Blickensderfer, I have used numbering machine ink which is oil based. I haven’t looked for several years, but I don’t think it did any damage to the type element. Don’t ever use numbering machine ink for rubber stamps, as it will ruin the rubber and make it swell.

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