Rather than go into too much detail, I thought I would add this video demonstrating the way the Underwood 3's carriage moves up and up for capitals and figures.
And while I was at it, I thought I'd throw in yet another Underwood Universal from the early 1930s, one which emulated Corona by gilding the lily, as it were, on the front and side panels.
Anyway, back to the beginning:
A follower called "bikethru" emailed me to ask:
"Just out of curiosity, how does the ribbon vibrator on the Underwood 3-bank portable deal with the fig shift? (I assume the carriage shifts up for caps and down for figs.)
"The only 3-bank I have used is a 1919 Noiseless standard, and unlike on any 4-banks I've used, it doesn't have a ribbon mechanism that rises to meet each keystroke. The ribbon stays at one level, and to stop it obscuring the typing, the ribbon feed eyelets are sprung so that after each keystroke they pivot away from the platen.
"But from your photographs that can't be happening on the Underwood. I'd guess that the ribbon has three positions - level for figs, up a bit for lowercase letters, and up a bit more for capitals."
The follower is, of course, at least partially right, and here is the video:
I hope that answers the query satisfactorily. And now, for good measure, a video of me typing on the Underwood 4: