Showing posts with label Royal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Royal. Show all posts

Monday, July 22, 2013

Recent Typewriter Sightings - Catch and Release Edition

Summer travel, garage sale season and time to browse have coincided to present some interesting typewriter sightings. As my tastes become more refined, fewer machines make the cool typeface or rarity cut that would cause me to bring them home. Hence, another round of catch and release typewriters.

This was my favorite from the weekend. The machine is electric, needs a ribbon cartridge and relatively common, but the placement with black velvet is 100% win!

More from the same antique mall...

Note the changeable key on this SCM electric.
At least this Royal would not interested key-choppers. Those are replacement keys. The carriage is huge!

This QDL was nice and overpriced.
Going back in time a bit, here are a few more interesting machines. We'll start with the uber-cool Raspberry Pi powered IBM Selectric at the Kansas City Maker Faire.

And back to normal machines...

Most of the standard machines I run across are of the Underwood and Remington variety. I was overjoyed to find a Noiseless and an early IBM electric. What a tank! This was in one of those odd, outdoor flea market zones. Given the heat and humidity in our region, these are doubtless hunks of rust by now.

Witness the King of the Ginormous Carriages. Dang.

Nice Remington. It had pretty good action.

This Underwood species is not the best typer around. Nevertheless, I have an interesting variant to show off in a future blog entry.

Bow before the huge and powerful Royal Empress! The action felt good on this machine and the price was right. I had no place to put a beast like this.

 "Recent" is a relative term. With kids in middle and high school and two working parents, time has flown by. Some of the machines below are from April and May, but that seems just like yesterday.

This brother deserves two photos. Finding a German keyboard in middle-America is an odd experience.

Yet another Galaxie. It seems to me that the age of machines appearing in thrift stores and antique malls is creeping upward. That would make sense as households are liquidated and cleaned up.

Two Royals. The white QDL was an interesting sighting. It functioned perfectly. Alas, it had a standard typeface dating back to the earliest Royal portables.

"I am Futura of Borg. Prepare to be bored to death by my color scheme."

This poor Underwood was probably harvested for its keys.

Finding any Hermes in the wild is rare in my part of the world. This one worked well and I was sorely tempted to bring it home.

I've been impressed with the light action on the Underwood standards I've found in the wild. They aren't sexy, but they appear to be good machines.

I'll leave you with a really nice Remington portable located in one of the better monthly antique stores in the Kansas City West Bottoms.

I'm pretty far behind in my blogging. The good news is that I typed almost everyday during our family vacation. The night before Tesla's birthday, I hit the 50,000 page view mark. That is a blog topic of its own, but it will have to wait. I also have two newer arrivals to show. One is a rarity and the other is an oddity. But first, I have yet more shooting to do at upcoming County Fairs and demolition derbies. Ah, summer!

Thanks for viewing!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Typogram Received! Election Avoidance on the Blog of the Beast

It's election night.  I am a serious political junkie and need a temporary distraction.  I have interrupted my MSN, CNN, Politico, Wonkette and Twitter feeds to bring forth a wondrous Typogram received from Ryan Adney of Magic Margin!

Behold, the envelope!  Yes, Ryan used his Royal Navy "radio mill" for the envelope.  As a typeface junkie, I very much appreciate this kind gesture.

The hand drawn desert landscape reminds me of warm, sunny places.  I love the actinic  glare of the Valley of the Sun.

This great greeting card was inserted in the envelope.  What a great graphic!

The real prize was tucked inside.  This postcard is pretty much awesome. Repeat after me... we must worship the Sholes.  It is mightier than mountains and cranks out words more potent than edged weapons.  Besides, according to Robert Messenger, Mark Twain got pretty ornery about the Sholes' offspring.

Ryan, thanks for the spiffy Typogram.  Thanks also to  Anna of A Machine for the End of the World for creating The International Correspondence Initiative. 

Here is the back of the postcard, also by way of the Royal Navy mill.  Sweet.

As for my oblique reference to the "Blog of the Beast", I was referring to the page count as it appeared when I opened my Blogger dashboard:  24,666.  Given that it is election night, there is a certain irony in the fact that my pageviews are equal to the last digits of a zip code in Topeka, Kansas.  This nearby hamlet is home to our state capitol and the infamous Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church.

So, from election avoidance central, I wish you all a pleasant evening.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Green Machines: A Royal Signet and Portable of 1932

It occurred to me that I have never shown our Depression era Royal Signet.  This machine stands in stark contrast to its more expensive sibling, the Royal Portable.

We like the Signet quite a bit.  It is light enough for MEK to carry and has a style of its own.  I love the gold keys and the clean symmetry of the stripped down keyboard.

I outbid a key chopper on ebay to get this machine.  It had been used by at least two generations in a family and came clean and well kept.  I love it when a typewriter has spent its entire life in living areas.  No basement funk!

You may have read elsewhere that the Signet is very basic.  Take a look at the margin setting system and you will find out what "basic" means.  Example:  the back of the paper table and space bar are not painted.

Not much to see here.  However, it seems elegant compared to the long spring that runs the carriage on a stripped Olympia from the same era.

These 1932 Royals have one thing in common besides the family name:  sans serif typefaces.  Keylime sports the optional Vogue typeface.  The Signet is equipped with a specially designed italic typeface in caps only.  The latter is quite good for typing on aluminum foil sandwiched between sheets of paper.  Who needs a shift mechanism, anyway?

Thanks to Ted at, I finally have an original ad that shows both machines.  The Signet is the result of some dramatic cost cutting with an original price of $23.50 as compared to $45.00 for the Portable.  I've never seen any information on the topic of the price of Vogue as an option.  Did it cost more?  Who knows.  They still appear to be scarce.  Adjusted for inflation, $45 in 1932 would have the value of $750 today.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting our green Royals.  They have been enjoying a long turn outside their cases.  Before you leave, be sure to pull up a seat and have a slice of Keylime's pie!

Yes, the pie MEK picked up from Sweet Perfection Bakery was far better than that sorry pun.  Rumor has it that the proprietor's son is sweet on the gingercat.
Yet another word about the dread COPYRIGHT:  The images and words on this blog (minus the ad borrowed from Ted) are the sole intellectual property of Dwayne F.  Use must be attributed and no commercial use is allowed without express written permission.  Yeah, these photos aren't that special.  They should be easy enough for you to take after you bake a keylime pie from scratch.  I won't bother with repeating the vague threats involving mutant, flying Oliver 99 typewriters doling out revenge on copyright infringers.  No, that would be immature.  However, I feel it necessary to remind the reader that the official mascot of the Typosphere is the mighty Rhino.  We haz us a bigun, and I ain't sure whether the copyright theft induced rage can be put back in the bottle of mean that is our typing companion.

Fresh from the backyard studio!  More to come on this wild beast in the month of October...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Typed with Keylime.  I am no calligrapher, but I also had to try out the nifty brush pen found in a clearance bin at a craft store.  the paper is yet another thrift store find.  The ribbon detail is embossed metallic.
 We were very pleased to see a big turnout on a very hot and sweaty July 3rd evening.  I overheard one of the security volunteers mentioning the count was over 1,000 with twenty minutes yet until showtime.  Last year, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival brought in over 20,000 guests.
Hannah and Claire chillin' in the 90 degree heat in the reserved blanket zone.
 As noted in the typecast, I won a fabulous door prize.  Everyone got to fill out a slip of paper on the way in and my name was pulled out of the basket!  So lucky: I should have bought a lottery ticket on the way home.  I'm not a wine fan, but MEK is and the etched and hand-painted bottle is amazing!

The actor who plays Bottom also helps teach the Festival's youth performance classes.  The girls have worked with Matt and found his portrayal to be quite satisfying.

The background for the wine bottle photo might look familiar if you happen to have read the Shakespeare birthday post.  Here is a bonus image of Puck for good measure.

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.