Friday, March 1, 2024

Underwood Typewriter - or is it a University of Texas Typewriter?


Underwood portable typewriter -
Four banks from 1935. G793037  I looked at the typewriter database, to get an estimate of the year that it was created.  It looks most like this one in the database.
This is my mother's Underwood Portable Typewriter from the 1930s.  She purchased it from the freight cashier from the Santa Fe Railroad, back when she worked the third trick at Cushing Oklahoma.  This was Roy Rowe's first wife's typewriter.  She would type up stories for the magazines, True Story Romance and True Confessions Magazine.  She passed away, and Roy asked my mother if she required a typewriter.

Mother bought this typewriter before she was married, around 1947.  She paid $45.00.  Which was a lot of money back then.  

Mom used it for typing up personal letters to friends and family back in Iowa and Minnesota.  She used it on a regular basis until the 1970's.  She also wrote letters on it to my brother Hugh Pickens, when he was in the Peace Corps in Peru, South America.

She would bring it out of the bedroom at our house on 437 Fairview, and bring it into the kitchen to type up the letters.  She'd also use it to address the envelopes.  

I found the typewriter on a recent visit to Ponca City, as I was helping her go through some stuff at her house.  It was tucked away around a corner in its case.  I thought it was a Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine on first glance, but the size of the case was in the incorrect dimensions.  Got it out, grabbed some paper, and it did a nice type!

She gave it to me to take home and gave me the Singer Typewriter from 1965.  The Underwood, or as we call it the University of Texas Typewriter (because it has the "letters" U and T on the ribbon case) has the Upper case Letter type below the Lower case letter.  So I need to figure out how to adjust that.  

It is really a beautiful machine.  I've been having fun typing on it! 

In the meantime, I've got the collecting bug and found a Royal Portable typewriter at a local antique store.  I had to un-stick about 12 typing bars and reset the magic margin on the Royal machine.  

What is your favorite portable vintage typewriter?


Royal Quiet De Luxe Typewriter: 1949 - A-1962548.  Purchased for $95.00.  Some sticky keys, rust underneath, replaced the typewriter ribbons.  Purchased at BAW Resale in Beaumont, Texas.

Friday, February 24, 2023

My Mothers parents came to the United States in about 1865 from Denmark. 

They settled in Marion Iowa shortly after that.  

My grandfather had served in a  war against Russia with the German army and after the war was over he was trained as a barrel maker.  His first job was with a meat company in Cedar Rapids Iowa.  There were 6 children in the family George, Carl, Ernest, Tillie and my Mother who was born on Mar 8, 1889.

Mother started school in Marion Iowa and she could not speak any English. But she soon learned. I do not know much about her school days but she graduated from Marion High School in 1907.  She took teachers training in High School and taught in rural schools for 5 years.  

She met my Father as she was staying at his Uncle Jim Hagerman's house and my Dad was working for his Uncle Jim.  The school system wasn't good and had run several teachers off.  On the first day of school a 17-year-old boy sassed my Mom and she grabbed him by the shoulders and sat him down in his seat.  She didn't have any more trouble with the children.  My cousin Everett was a first-grade student at that time.

 My Mother and Father were married in 1912 and had a very nice wedding.  They had been married about a month and my Mom made biscuits one day and they were so hard my  Dad couldn't eat them.  So my Dad went down to Toddville and got his Mother and she came out and taught my Mom some good recipes and she made the best biscuits and was a very good cook.

My sister Dorothy was born in 1913 and my sister Daisy in 1918.  My folks decided to move to Minnesota and bought a farm near Albert Lea Minn. To move in those days you rented a railroad car and put your cattle and machinery in the car and you stayed in the car with them. They lived on the farm close to Albert Lea for just a few years and then bought a farm 3 miles west of Geneva about 1919. At that time women were wearing long dresses and my Mother said they were so happy to wear a short dress as the long dresses got so dirty. My brother Lawrence was born in 21, Donald in 23, Deloris in 27, and Richard in 35.

Life on the farm was not easy. You milked the cows by hand and horses were used for the farm work.  You cooked on a cast iron stove, washed clothes with a wooden machine, and pulled the agitator by hand.  You ironed with irons heated on the stove and always had lots of starched clothe to iron.  

When my folks lived close to Albert Lea some Norwegian farmers were smarting off to my Dad at the creamery.  So he took Mom with him one day and she shut them up.  he could understand and speak in both Norwegian and Swedish and also German. Life was full of hard work and in 1929 my Mother developed tuberculosis and had to leave the family and go to the sanitorium at Walker for two years.  My sister Dorothy quit High School at 16 and took on the job of looking after the younger ones and doing the cooking and housekeeping. My Mom returned when I was 4 and of course, I didn't know her.

We lost the farm in 1936 and I remember moving day/  It was a bad winter and the neighbors came and moved us with their horses and sleds.  My Mom carried the mantle to the Alladin lamp in the car and we got moved into the rented place.  It had 5 bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs. My brother was just a baby and I watched him a lot,  There were 7 of us living at home and Mother made bread about twice a week.  We bought flour in 50-pound sacks.  A good breakfast was salt pork and fried eggs and biscuits and gravy and sometimes corn bread.  My brother Don liked oatmeal cookies and he would come home from high school and mix up cookies and Mom would bake them.  He wanted about ten cookies and an orange for school.

We lived on that farm for about 4 years and moved to a 360-acre farm about 5 miles south of Owatonna Minn.  My Mom got a washing machine that was run by a Briggs and Stratton Motor.  She was so happy.  She made most of the clothes for the girls in the family.  Her brother Ernest would send her good wool clothing and she would make me a jumper and snowsuits out of the clothing.  She taught me how to sew and how to embroider and how to tat.  I taught myself how to weave and then taught us how to mend our stockings by weaving. 

In later years they sold their farm equipment and moved to Willow River Minn and later to Sandstone.  They celebrated their 50th anniversary with a big party at Dorothy's and my Dad's cousins came from Iowa.  They later celebrated their 60th anniversary.  My Mother passed at age 84 and my Father at age 89.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Hunting adventures from Dee's Life on the Farm, Sewing and Railroad Adventures

 Hunting Adventures

My husband Dale liked to hunt and fish and I will tell you about some of his adventures.  We married on Sept 5 1948 and soon after that duck season started.  Dale and his friend would go duck hunting and then bring the ducks home to me.  They would skin the ducks and I would cook them.  Bear in mind I was a new bride and had never cooked a duck before.  We had cooked domestic ducks on the farm so I fixed them.  I stuffed them with apple dressing and baked them and they turned out fine.

Then he would go out squirrel hunting but I refused to cook and eat them.  The first time we went down to see his folks they had fried squirrel for the evening meal and there was no way I would eat them.

Then Dale liked to fish and we would go trout line fishing on the Salt Fork River.  We had friends that would go with us and the men would put out the trout lines and then we would all enjoy a picnic meal on the banks of the river.  Hugh was small and he and his friend Mike would get out in the river and splash around.  Had great fun doing that.  The men would run the trout lines and usually caught some catfish which are good eating.  You have to nail them up on a board and skin them and then filet them.  One time they ran the trout lines at night and Dale came in at two in the morning.  He didn’t wake me up and the next morning I got up to go to work and take a shower.  Well, there were 2 big catfish in the bathtub.  No shower that morning.  Gail would go trout lining with her Dad when she was between 8 and 12 years old during the summer months.

Gail and I used to go out to our cabin and catch little perch to be used on the trout lines.  We also went down to Red Rock creek to dig those great big worms to be used as bait.  I never was good at fishing except for the perch.  I had a fly rod and tackle box and I remember using a no 12 hook and I would take out lunch meat and let it dry and use it for bait.  The little perch really liked that.  

Dale also liked to go quail hunting and we always had good bird dogs.  He and his buddies rented some ground out in western Oklahoma and they would go hunting almost every Saturday in season.   He would bring the birds home and skin them and remove as many pellets as he could find.  One time he and his friend had a drink or two and they went to his friends' house and were fixing the birds.   They had a new food disposer and they put the feathers in it and they just flew up to the ceiling.  He would go hunting around here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  At that time he worked nights on the railroad and so could do that.  He hunted in the Osage County with a friend and there was a ranch over there that had cowboys with guns patrolling the ranch so no one tried to hunt there,

One time Dale was up at my folks when they lived on a farm near Willow River Minn.  He went out and brought home about 4 partridges.  My Mother fixed them and they were really good eating.

We always had bird dogs and one time during wheat harvest the two male dogs got into a fight.  The younger dog wanted to be top dog and Dale was sleeping and Gail came into the house and said the dogs were fighting.  Dale separated them with a water hose but they would not stop fighting so we gave one of them away.  We had a dog one time that learned how to climb out of the pen.  We had to put an electric wire on the top of the fence to keep him in.  But when we turned it off he would get out again.  The dog's name was Boomer and we gave him to a friend.  Boomer got out one day and he caught a neighbors little kitten and killed it.  The child came to our friends' house and said boomer got my kitty cat.  Our friend denied it as he had already put the kitty in the trash.  Boomer was death on cats if they found one out hunting.

We had 2 bird dogs one time and Gail had a cat.  The dogs thought they were going to have fun with the cat.  She was at the back door and the dogs came rushing up and she reached up and put her claws in his nose.  They backed off and never messed with her again.

This is about all the stories I can remember about hunting.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

No Electricity and No Running Water - back in the thirties.


No Electricity and no running water

     Back in the thirties when I was a child we lived on various farms and they did not have electricity or running water.  The farm that my folks lost in the middle of the depression did have electricity but they could not pay the bill and it got cut off.  It did have running cold water in the kitchen.  The windmill pumped the water into a storage tank and then the water ran from the storage tank into the house.  It also ran into the barn where the cattle had cups to drink out of.  The cups were cast iron and had a thing they pressed down and the water would come out.

     Since the electricity had been cut off, we had to use kerosene lamps for light and then we used the cast irons that you heated on the stove to do the ironing.  To wash clothing, they heated a boiler on the stove and in the summer time we had a washing machine.  It was wooden and the agitator was powered by hand.  You pulled this stick and that ran the agitator and the kids did that kind of work.  We also had a summer kitchen on that farm and in the hot summer you did the cooking out there.

     The bathroom was a pot and had to be emptied.  You used that at night and in the day time you had an outside two-holer.  You used Montgomery Ward catalogs to wipe with.  All modern conveniences right.

     The next farm we lived on we did not have running water in the house.  We had a small pump about 20 feet from the house and we pumped the water and brought it into the house.  We did have a sink and the water was piped out kind of like they do now if you don’t have a sewer line.  So, we didn’t have to empty a bucket with our waste water. 


I think we had a cistern on that farm and a pump in the utility room.  We used the cistern water for washing our hair and clothing.  We took baths in one of the laundry tubs and that was on Saturday night.  In winter we changed our long underwear on Saturday night.  I had 2 pairs of long underwear.  I probably had 2 changes of clothing to wear to school.

     The next farm we lived on had no running water either.  The water was at the bottom of a hill and we had to carry it to the house.  In winter we had to let the stock outside and we had a cast iron stove in the stock tank to keep the water from freezing. 


Things were a little better at this farm.  My Mother was able to get a washing machine powered by a Briggs and Stratton engine.  It moved the agitator and the wringer.  We were also able to get a gas-powered iron and did not have to heat the irons on the stove any more.  We did not have telephones on any of these places. 


The last rent farm was about 1940 and things were getting better then.  My Mother sewed all of my clothing on a treadle sewing machine and that is what I learned to sew on


We had a nice yard at this house and I was 12 years old and mowed the yard by hand pushing the mower.  We had a croquet set and my little brother and I played croquet every day in the summer so I kept the yard up.

     I started milking cows when I was about 10 years old and when I was 12, I was milking 4 cows every morning and evening.  I also washed the separator and helped my Mother around the house with dishes and canning and getting the eggs ready for market.  This is just a little bit about what life was about on a dairy farm in Minnesota in the late thirties and early forties.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Bird Pattern from over 25 years ago.

I paid 75.00 for the blocks and made a quilt out of them I traced the pattern off and then appliqués these blocks. I got the pattern for these blocks from quilt blocks that we had bought in Allentown Penn about 25 years ago.

It is felt appliqués on wool. 

A different technique and they were fun to make.

A little history about these projects:

I bought the blocks for the quilt in Allentown Penn about 1994 and there were seven blocks. All the bird blocks and then the two other blocks. 

I looked at them and didn't know what to do with them. 

In 2003 the Quilters Newsletter magazine had a picture of the quilt that a woman had made. So now I knew what had to be done. 

I copied off the pattern of the two blocks and put it on graph paper so that it was accurate. Now I had to find muslin that matched the muslin in the old blocks. 

Then I found some green that matched. I went into my stash of depression-era material and found some that almost matched. I cut out my appliqued pieces and started work on the blocks. 

I did primitive appliqué which in no turned under edges and a tight buttonhole stitch around each piece. For the vines, I used three rows of chain stitches. 

It took me forty hours for each block. 

I had it machine quilted and it sat for about ten years.

I finally got it out and did the binding. I just brought the back lining over and finished it.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Primitive Applique and using buttonhole embroidery stitch to achieve it!

 Primitive Applique and using buttonhole embroidery stitch to achieve it!

Keeping busy during the pandemic.  Working through some of my UFO's around the house.

About 25 years ago my husband and I were in Allentown, Pa at a flea market and I saw 7 quilt blocks completed for $75.00.  They had the birds on them and I think 3 extra more simple blocks.  I brought them home but didn't know what to do with them.  In 2003 lo and behold  a lady in Stillwater, Oklahoma had made this quilt and it was pictured in Quilters newsletter.

     Now I knew what to do, so I made the pattern off the two simple blocks and then I had to search for material to match the other blocks  I have a stash of depression era fabrics and the muslin for the background was easy to finish.

The applique is called primitive applique.  I did not turn down any edges on the applique but did a buttonhole embroidery stitch around each piece of the applique.  It took me about 40 hours to finish each block of the applique.

     When I finished it I took it to Newkirk and had it machine quilted.  Then I put it away and did not mess with binding it.  About a month ago, in 2020,  I decided that I would bind the quilt.  I just took the back lining and brought it over to the front.  It took me about 8 hours to do the binding.  Am very pleased with the result and it will fit a twin bed or can be used as a throw.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Anniversary of the On April 19, 1995, the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building...

On April 19, 1995, the Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the site of the Murrah Federal Building, commemorating the victims of the bombing. Remembrance services are held every year on April 19, at the time of the explosion.

I need to give you a little background material first.  I had shingles in my right eye in 1978 and I went to Dr Carter for medical attention and later to Dr Rousey at the Dean Mcgee eye institute in Okla City.

     In 1990 I developed a cataract in the eye and Dr Carter removed the cataract.

    On April 17, 1995 I noticed that I had a black spot on the side of my eye and I had read enough to know that I was having a retina detachment.  I called Dr Carter that morning and they immediately got me in to the office.  I had to round up Dale and we had an appointment in Okla City as an emergency that afternoon at about 2 pm..

     We drove to Okla City for the appointment and low and behold Dales sister Lelda came into the office the same time as I did.  They looked at my eye and scheduled an operation for the next morning and that was on April 18th.  Lelda asked us to come over and spend the night with her and we did.  The next morning we went to the hospital and they did the surgery.  I was in the Presbyterian hospital right next to the Dean Mcgee eye clinic.

     Everything went fine and the next morning the doctor came in and checked me about 8 am.  I was dressed and waiting for a prescription to be filled.

     Dale and I were watching TV at 9:02 in the morning and the bomb went off.  We were on the 7th floor and thought something had blown up in the basement and wondered how we were going to get out.

The nurses rushed into our room as we had the TV on and in a few mins the stations were showing pictures of the bombing. 

We were waiting for a prescription to be filled and stayed until we got it.  They asked if I was able to walk out to the car as the wheel chairs were not available.

     They asked if we would be available to help and we left at about 9:45 am.  As we left the hospital the Doctors and nurses were lined up on the street in their white uniforms.  The ambulances were starting to come in and we decided to come home.

     I can still hear that bomb going off and still can see the doctors and nurses lined up waiting for  the ambulances . .