Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy Typewriter Day from Keylime, the Vogue Royal

I hereby interrupt the vacation typecast series to bring you a greeting from the newest member of the Vintage Technology Obsessions typing stable.  Vintage Technology Obsessions will return to regularly scheduled posts after Typewriter Day.

That would be "exercise" that Keylime needed.  At least I spelled derelict right the first time.  Spell check has ruined me.

You might remember this mystery machine from the recent post on the derelict red Royal I saved from a key chopper on ebay.  It has the Vogue typeface, but is many hours of repairs away from being useful for actual typing.  I found Keylime first and happened upon old Red several weeks later.

It only took us a few minutes to determine the appropriate name for this machine.  She came from Florida and reportedly belonged to the spouse of a former president of a state university.  The color balance in these photos is pretty accurate.  This is one upbeat and perky little typewriter!  She is sweet and tart like a slice of keylime pie.

As I noted in Old Red's post, finding a Vogue Royal was an eight month obsessional journey for me.  I don't regret the search.  However, like any junkie, I have experienced a bit of a letdown having procured my fix.  Now I will happily type away until I find a Graphika or something with a fractur typeface.

As for may statement regarding interesting typewriters showing up in threes, I will provide a few examples.  All of these showed up in one to two week clusters, some have just disappeared even in common form:

Olympia SM3:  Three machines with the italic typeface and fairly clear photos.
Facit:  Three portables of various descriptions with the cursive typeface.
Royal Portable:  Three machines ranging from Futura to Safari models with the obscure cursive typeface.
Erika:  There was a week where almost ten model 5 machines appeared.  This is the week I scored an incredibly rare Erika M while no one was paying attention.  Well, that is more than three.

This typewriter had a bit of a premium attached, but it was in line with the prevailing prices of similar second generation Royal portables with average typefaces.  Having come from Florida, I was pleasantly surprised that Keylime had no funky odors (unlike Margo, the gold Royal QDL from Florida).  All I did was a basic clean and lube and here she is!  The type bars were clean prior to adding a cheap Office Max ribbon.  She really deserves an NOS silk ribbon if anyone has one available.

By the time this post goes live, the big Kansas City weekend of Maker Faire and Art of the Car will be well underway.  I am looking forward to geeking out on technology old and new.  I am not looking forward to the 100+ degree weather expected on Sunday.

With that, I will leave you with a closeup of this luscious typeface.


  1. Holy moley, so you have TWO Vogue Royals! Lucky dog. And Keylime looks absolutely delicious. What a machine.

    Enjoy the weekend.

  2. Fantastic machine. Very nice colour and awesome typeface!

  3. T-Day cheers, Dwayne!
    Keylime + that very cool techno font, what a fetching Royal.

  4. I...have never before seen such a beautiful Royal portable. The color, the typeface, the gleam of the keytops in the frame. My god, is it gorgeous. Good for you to have scored such a machine. I have only just started looking into different typefaces, and the coolest I have found (by accident) is that of my Corona Comet DeLuxe. I don't know the name of it, but the lowercase 'h' has a nice half swirl on the bottom that is delicious.

  5. That's a beautiful typeface. It's very art deco. Congrats on finally acquiring it.

  6. Oh man, that is gorgeous! *jaw drop*
    I'm utterly jealous, you have TWO Vogue Royals and one's in an awesome green?!
    *jealous jealous jealous*
    I think I'll be combing through eBay forever now.

  7. Thanks for the comments. Keylime is practically blushing!

    I'm very fortunate to have found one of my top three type faces on a machine that happens to look marvelous. I was also happy to only need q-tips and selective cleaning with a soft cloth to make it look great. I've had more than one tropical climate machine arrive smelling pretty horrible. I have a basement dweller Corona 4 drying under two fans since a bath was the only way to remove the funk.

    I did enjoy the virtual hunt. I ran into many interesting custom Royal paint schemes in the process. One of the most interesting was dark green with black shadowing and the whole thing sprayed in a clear crinkle finish.

    Good luck everyone on your typewriter hunts!

  8. Very nice Dwayne - thanks for sharing. You might start a craze for Vogue. For my wallet's sake, i will kindly stay out of the way of the stampede and instead observe from a safe distance.

    That typeface makes me want braces again

  9. Congrats on both your Royal Vogue typewriters. 'Slime green' is stellar. I picked up a blotchy brown Vogue portable a year or so ago. Basically, I did what you did: I perused the photos of the typebars, and asked each seller of machines I found interesting to post a typing sample. I'm an eBay bottom feeder and I got mine quite cheap. It still works, albeit with an annoying escapement issue: lower case, the typewriter works fine, but with the shift engaged it gets all shifty--either not advancing at all, or advancing far too many spaces. I'm still trying to figure it out.

    PS I recently picked up a 1930 yellow Royal portable, in the earlier version without the ribbon covers. Italic, with a pharmaceutical keyboard! Not Vogue, but still fun.

    1. Some of the Royal paint schemes are kind of out there. I hope you can get the problems with your brown machine sorted out.

      I am seriously jealous of your pharmacy keyboard find. I am a hopeless typeface and special key junkie. Have you posted samples from this typewriter anywhere?

    2. Not yet, Dwayne. I just got the Royal pharma 2 weeks ago and I was out of the country last week. I hope to be playing with it this month, and, as I've promised my girlfriend that we're finally going to join the 21st century and get smart phones, I might be able to take some smart pics and post 'em somewhere on the web.

      I have a jones for odd key configurations, too: I have two machines with Polish keyboards (a Royal No. 5 flatbed and an Erika 5) another pharmaceutical (a Remington #1 portable) a Corona 3 with math symbols, another Royal with male/female symbols instead of fractions, and a bunch of other machines with German, French and Spanish accents/characters. I particularly like the early Remington dead key arrangement in which the typebars are cantilevered one space behind the print point, so you don't have to backspace to type foreign accents. Great innovation, that. Funny that no European manufacturers followed suit.

  10. Hallo Dwayne,

    I'm Gigi, and I post off and on the Portable Typewriter Forum. I found your site because of a link you posted, and here I am! Thank you for offering your blog!

    As an equally proud owner of three Royal Portables with the Vogue typeface-- the latest one (circa 1934) was picked up this past Monday-- with a yellow-green duotone paint finish, but has much darker tones than yours. It even came with a startling black keys with white letters, and get this: bright green shift keys!

    Interestingly, I found a journal entry on lined paper left on this typer that speaks of 'leaving San Diego for the last time...' which makes you wonder what happened to the last owner!

    I'd love to share great information with you: did you know your typer was actually made in late 1931, or early 1932? :) I discovered this according to W. A. Beeching, who has a complete array of serials for the Royal Portables in his book, "Century of the Typewriter," page 160. The Typewriter Database can be off by a year or so as I soon discovered with my other typers that came with documentation.

    May I say that your "Keylime" is sublime? :) Congrats on your finds!

    Uber thanks for saving the red Royal from keychoppers!

    (Sorry for the 'Anonymous,' but need to reattach my various accounts for my correct internet names to show up, as well as a new blog that will appear very soon. No matter how hard I tried, this blog won't allow me to enter my Id! Ah, well. ;)

    Take lots of care.

    Warmly, Gigi :)

    1. Hi Gigi! I'm glad you made your way to my blog. Your Vogue sample on the Portable Typewriter Forum contributed greatly to my desire to own a proper Royal!

      I'd love to see photos of your machines. The new machine sounds particularly interesting. I love bold color combinations (and mysterious ephemera). The most interesting keys in my collection are the nice yellow/gold ones on a Royal Signet and green on a Groma N which I have yet to clean, tune and blog.

      Thanks for the date information! A 1929 chassis production date might have been feasible, but 1931-32 makes much more sense. Keylime appreciates your compliments and sends her regards.

      I look forward to your eventual blog. Different subject: Last week I located three 1930 National Geographics with totally different Vogue ads. I will upload them to the PTF after a proper blog entry.


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