There’s something I find irresistible about a big typewriter, which is why I was happy to be the only bidder on this portly 1968 Adler Universal 39 office machine…


This model of typewriter was famously featured in the 1980 Stanley Kubrick movie “The Shining” and was also the typewriter of choice of the late English novelist Kingsley Amis.


The Adler Universal 39 typewriter is surprisingly hard to find if you do an online search. The nearest thing to it on the Typosphere is an Adler Universal 20 with script typeface owned by Mark Petersen at Totally Your Type.


The Universal 39 is the same (I think) but has two extra buttons to the right of the keyboard which allow you to change the character spacing.


I particularly like the way these Universals looks as if they’ve been shot through with a crossbow…


… and the way the carriage return lever has been fashioned out of a 2 iron…


I like it a lot, but when it comes to typing feel and charisma, the Universal 39 is not in the same class as my Everest Mod ST. Here’s how it looks alongside the Mighty Everest:


Despite being smaller in size, the Everest is slightly heavier than the Adler – which has the advantage of a more lightweight aluminium shell.



I think I may have room for one or two more heavyweight championship contenders.

(Postscript: Since first publishing this post another Adler Universal 39 appeared on the Typewriter Database and it was at this point I realised that mine is missing its paper plate!)