Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Royal Hartford Adjustment Department Circa 1908

Last month a box appeared on our doorstep bearing a gift from a friend.  These photos are taken from a print she picked up many years ago when she lived in the Kansas City area.  It is pretty beat up and the emulsion is doing weird things after 100 years.  But it is still 10 times awesome!

 I am reluctant to take this original print out of the frame given its condition.  Please ignore the reflections.

According to Royal company history, this photo was taken the year the Hartford manufacturing facility started up.  I've looked closely at the machine on the bench and can find no model number identifier.  Was this before they called the No. 1 by that name?

I looked up the studio and found more by the same photographer on a Connecticut history website.
Connecticutt History Online: John C. Nyser  MEK was nerding out on the photo of the book  keeping and penmanship class at the YMCA.

Do a search for Royal Typewriter on the website and you will be rewarded with photos of the factory and the Royal Typewriter Fife and Drum Corps.  Really. Royal Typewriter Company photos

 My photo would probably have been taken on an 8x10 plate.  The print is most likely like a contact sheet and holds a lot of detail.  For you serial number geeks, take a look at the covers.  I can make out one that says 16,541 which would be consistent with a 1907 manufacture date as shown on the Typewriter Serial Number Database.

This was a brand new facility and this portion looks like a pretty decent place to work.

I'll pull this out of the frame and do a proper copy before it falls apart.  This print is a great background for the work bench.  Typewriter and technology ephemera doesn't get much better than this! 

Royal Week at vintagetechobsessions continues through the weekend with a special typewriter waiting in the wings.  Thanks for reading!


  1. Awesome!!! Thank you very much for this beautiful post.

  2. So cool! Valuable and interesting historical evidence. Thanks for sharing.

  3. OMG! Who knew you could pull so much information off an old picture? Very cool post, Dwayne!


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