Giant Typewriter Weighs 14 Tons (Dec, 1930)

Giant Typewriter Weighs 14 Tons
A MAMMOTH typewriter—an exact duplicate of the smaller machine—standing eighteen feet high and weighing fourteen tons was recently placed on display in Atlantic City’s auditorium convention hall. The huge machine, shown in the photo below, is said to have cost $100,000 and required three years’ time in construction. All parts of the huge machine work just as in an office-size typewriter.

  1. Neil Russell says: October 30, 20078:10 am

    Was this found in the trunk of the giant Studebaker?

    If Microsoft Word had the kind of helpers as shown on the typewriter instead of that stupid paperclip thing I bet they would be more useful! 😉

  2. Firebrand38 says: October 30, 20077:50 pm

    Neil, I wish I’d said that. The best I can do is come up with the history of this beast.

    Anyone have anything on whatever happened to it?

  3. Craig says: October 31, 200710:31 am

    What the heck was the fascination with big replicas? Can you imagine a fifteen-foot tall iPhone? (Well, actually, that would be kinda cool.)

    The thing that makes me wonder is the boardroom discussion that led up to this type of thing. Did John T. Underwood just all of a sudden say, “Hey, we’ve got a great little machine here. Let’s really wow ’em by making it 1,728 times bigger”?

    If he did then the response would have been, “That’s a swell idea. It’ll take a hundred thousand clams and three years but it’ll really sock it to ’em”.

  4. Charlie says: October 31, 200710:35 am

    Actually they have a giant 6 foot tall iPhone with a big LCD screen in it in the window of every Apple Store.

  5. Neil Russell says: October 31, 200712:37 pm

    Firebrand38, what a great link, I am always in awe of big icons.
    You would think in this age of quickly made plastics there would be more of them out there.

    Some years back I used to travel up to South Carolina on Hwy 301 and just before you got to Greenville there was a defunct coffee shop with a giant coffee pot on the roof.

    Maybe that’s why Irwin Allen was so fascinated with the concept that became “Land of the Giants”.
    If he could have gotten hold of some of that advertising stuff he wouldn’t have had to spend money on props! 🙂

  6. KHarn says: March 2, 20085:35 pm

    In a 50s comic, Batman and Robin fought Catwoman’s gang on one of these! It was the story where we learned that she was the sole survivor of a plane crash. (Sorry, my geekyness is showing)

  7. Erika says: October 3, 20081:37 pm

    Has anyone noticed the length of the woman’s arm (top left)? She could probably scratch her ankle without bending over!

  8. Miriam says: November 27, 200812:12 pm

    I am a direct descendant of the Underwood family (John T stayed in the US and kept at the typewriter business but helped fund his brother’s trip to Korea as a missionary 130ish yrs ago, my mom is a US born, non-missionary one of those Underwoods, but I have grown up typing on nothing but good old Underwood 5s) and was just doing some research online looking for memorabilia. After reading the comments I HAVE to find the Batman comic! Thanks for the pic and the opening up to the comments.

  9. Early Office Museum says: January 2, 20096:54 pm

    For several other images of very large typewriters that were used for promotional purposes in parades and at world’s fairs, see the following page at the Early Office Museum web site:


  10. Michael A. Brown says: May 9, 20099:14 am

    Hi Miriam, (The Underwood desendant)–

    I am a typewriter researcher in Phila, PA and have been looking for decendants of John T. Underwood.

    Would love to correspond with you. My email address is: [email protected]

    Thank you, Mike

  11. Firebrand38 says: May 9, 20099:42 am

    Miriam, here is a link to a blog page listing all the Batman comics that featured a Giant Prop typewriter.


    KHarn, these same folks tell us that the Catwoman story involved a giant cash register and not a typewriter http://www.comictreadmi…

    You know, this Internet thing just might catch on!

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