Showing posts with label key chopper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label key chopper. Show all posts

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Horror: The Keychopping Edition

This image from ebay auction 271090064838 looks ominous.  I've seen worse.  The often seen polished keys perched merrily on top of a beautiful machine on etsy are a bit much.

In all honesty, this is not a fabulous or particularly rare machine.  However, I've seen plenty of uncommon machines meet the same fate.

The photo below is from another ebay auction that I didn't bother to credit.  This pretty well sums up the supply and demand aspect of key chopping.

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...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Another Hostage Crisis

UPDATE:  Less than 8 hours to go on the auction.  At the moment, it appears this machine may be spared from execution.  The current high bidder ($58.77) is a total vintage stuff nerd judging by their history.  Will the choppers want the keys enough to take it higher?  Tick, tick, tick...

The hostage of the day is a lovely black Corona Four.  The seller will hold off on cutting the keys until auction end on November 30th - the whole machine being made available with additional shipping.

Sounds fair enough:  Buy this typewriter or I will dismantle it.

Here is the machine in question:
I don't usually borrow photos unattributed.  This comes from the seller's linked photo album.
Looks pretty nice.  I like the semi-period setting.
The ebay auction ID is 370562343603

This auction reminded me of the National Lampoon cover or the SNL skit featuring Larry the Lobster.
This is one of those situations that leaves me seriously conflicted.  I try to keep the addiction in check by working off a short want list..  Even that is constrained by the desire for the machines I adopt to have non-standard type faces.  In theory, the responsibility involved in rescuing a typewriter is minimal compared to springing a dog or cat from the animal shelter. We've done that and spent years with some really high maintenance animals as well as some awesome ones.  Still, typewriters take space and deserve to be put in rotation for actual typing duties.

I've put the auction on my watch list.  I don't know exactly what I will do until the actual execution date approaches.