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No. 5 Underwood Standard Manual Typewriter

This typewriter was used somewhere in the Strathroy-Caradoc area. It was gifted to the museum by the Salvation Army. The typewriter has a black base with gold details and lettering.

Underwood was the most successful version of the typewriter ever invented. It was created before 1900 and was popular until around 1961 with the introduction of the IMB Selectric (an electric typewriter). Most other companies modeled their typewriters after Underwood’s. This particular one is a No. 5 Underwood, a standard typewriter. They were made alongside No 3 and No 4 from late 1900 until 1931-1932. This particular No 5 model was made sometime in 1913. Underwood typewriters used a ribbon for ink instead of a pad which was easier, created less mess and had to be changed less frequently. Underwood had actually been a type ribbon and carbo paper (used to make copies before the invention of the photocopy machine) manufacturer before making typewriters.

The reason the keys on the keyboard are arranged the way they are goes back to the days of the typewriter. The goal was speed and efficiency- to type as many words in as little time as possible. The keyboard keys were originally arranged to maximize how fast one could type. There were several different arrangement ideas given but in the end one known as QWERTY won out. To further maximize efficiency every so often someone tries to come up with a new keyboard arrangement that is better than QWERTY but none so far have taken its place. This is the name of the keyboard type that is still used today. This model is slightly varied depending on the country and language used.


img001How this bottle ended up in the collection is through donation. It was donated with several other objects belonging to local nurse Myrtle (Branton) Akins. Myrtle Akins was a resident of Adelaide Township, Ontario. Myrtle was a part of the Strathroy Nursing School and graduated in 1942. She worked as a nurse at SMGH until 1949/1059 when she got married. The medicine bottle most likely belonging to or was used by Myrtle. She was married to George Orland Akins; the two had several children and grandchildren.

This medicine bottle once held Penicillin Sodium (Crystalline) G. This was a white powder used to reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria. It was injected or given by intravenous. It should only ever be given if the infection is caused (or strongly thought to be caused) by bacteria.

The penicillin was manufactured by Henry K. Wampole & Co Ltd. The company was based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. In 1905 the company moved into Canada and opened up a factory in Perth, Ontario in 1906. The company was established in the 1870s by Henry K. Wampole, and in 1978 both Albert Koch and S. Ross Campbell joined the company. The penicillin in this bottle was made sometime after the factory opened in Perth though exact date is unknown.

The bottle itself is made of glass with a rubber stopper. It has an orange sticker on it which contains the information about what is inside and how it should be used. The glass was manufactured by T.C. Wheaton Glass Company (established by Theodore C. Wheaton) out of Millville, New Jersey, USA. The bottle has a trademark on the base reading T.C.W. Co U.S.A. Type III, the trademark of T.C.W. Co was used from 1900-1960. The bottle could have been made anytime, though it is more likely to have been manufactured in the 1930s or 1940s as that is when Myrtle (Branton) Akins was in nursing.

About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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