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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.


This week Museum Strathroy-Caradoc launched an online collection database. This project was made possible in part through the Museum Foundation. The museum has close to 30 000 items within its collection and with this database we will be able to highlight a number of them online. The addition of records onto the online database is a work in progress and new material will be added on a monthly basis starting with our Photographic Collection.
If you find an image within the collection that you would like a copy of or have more information on there is also an order form and feedback form.
PastPerfect Online will allow people to search a number of ways. Keywords, advanced search, click and search and random images. You will find the database on our website under the Collections Tab.

Keyword Search
Allows you to search for specific terms and/or phrases.
Here are some helpful hints when searching using Keyword.

  • Use double quotations around phrases to produce results with a string of text present in a record rather than each word individually present in a record.
  • Both the AND and OR operators may be used. Use AND to produce records that include more than one keyword/phrase. Use OR to produce records that include either keyword/phrase.
  • The wildcard * is acceptable at the end of a keyword. Searching for histor* will produce records with the search terms history, historic, historical and any other word beginning with “histor”. Note – This will slow down your search and does not work in phrases.
  • Search terms are NOT case-sensitive, meaning that “Doll” and “doll” will produce the same search results.
  • Common words such as “and” and “the” are not searched unless except within phrases.
  • To the right of the search box is a box with choices of what records/content to search. You may initially narrow your search to, for example, only records with images in Object and Photos.

Advanced Search
Allows you to conduct a more specific search. Note – The helpful hints from above apply to advance search as well.
Word/Phrases entered in the box labeled Keywords, will be searched for everywhere in the record. In contrast, words entered in the other boxes will be searched for only in selected field associated with that search category.
Click the Search button when you have entered all the values you want. Search results will contain records that meet ALL the criteria you specified.  You can also select how to sort the results of your advanced search. You would do this by clicking a radio button next to the Search Category you want to sort on.
For example if you only want records of “Frank Street” (Phrase in Keywords box) between the dates 1920 and 1940 (Start and End Date).

Click & Search
This is a quick way to browse the database site without having to know what terms are in the database. This is organized by the alphabet.
Pick a letter to the right of a search category to see the options beginning with the chosen letter. You may also need to select a range, within that letter choice, that you want to view. Then, click the down arrow to see the individual terms/phrases for which you can search. Click a search term to conduct a search.
For example Under People you can choose the letter C and a drop down menu will be activated. All Last names that start with C will be here.

Random Images
Random Images is a quick way to browse the site. Click Random Images and you will be presented with a series of image thumbnails. Click the hyperlink below the thumbnail to display detailed information about the item. Click the thumbnail to see a larger version of the image.

The Lady Sunbeam Hair and Nail Dryer is one of the items in our collection that most children would not know to look at nowadays.  Hair dryers back in the ’50s and ’60s were not only meant to dry ladies’ hair but “set” it as well.  This meant that as hair was dried, it was also styled.  The heat applied to the hair style made the hair stay in place for longer.

It took over 20 minutes to dry your hair back in the 1960’s.  In 1965, a similar product to the one the Museum holds was released.  Take a look at the YouTube video, Lady Sunbeam Classic 1965 Hair Dryer Commercial – it was the new portable way to dry your hair!  Ladies loved this model as they could multitask as their hair was being dried.

The long tube and the drying cap are what set this hair dryer apart from the modern versions we use today to essentially accomplish the same task.

Lady Sunbeam Hair and Nail Dryer

This blog is designed to showcase the museum collection and highlight  important and interesting pieces that it holds.  At this point the museum has over 25 000 items in storage so check back often to find out more about what the museum has and the stories behind them.

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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