Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An Update

Well, my scanner is still being stupid, so I'll just have to use the computer to post for now. But, I will, of course, talk about a typewriter. The Royal 10.
The Royal 10 has to be my favorite typewriter of all time. Why? It's a standard with a small side to it, and not gigantic. It's never failed me, and never let me down. Plus, it just looks so damned nice! I mean, not only that, but the beveled glass panels on each side are the icing on the cake for me. I was one of the lucky few to find my Royal 10 on Craigslist. I was looking for one for a long time, and I happened to see an ad on there, reading 1930's BUSINESS MACHINES". I was immediately intrigued, so I clicked on it. I saw an old Burroughs Adding Machine, with all glass sides, complete with gold-leafed decals. (I really don't know how to work it, so I've got it laying around somewhere.), an old check machine, still working, and the Royal. They were all quite dusty, and the guy wanted $40.00 for the whole lot. When I got there, he opened the garage, and I saw the Royal. i knew it was love at first sight. I asked if I could take just the typewriter, and he said he'd really like to get rid of the whole lot. So, my mom handed over $40.00, and I loaded my newly acquired business machines into the back of the car. Now, I was able to test it before I got it, and it did work. But, if I do remember correctly, he said it last saw use in the mid 1970's, when he used it to type reports for high school. He said it was his grandfather's, along with the other machines, and said that he used to have his own real estate business. I couldn't see the letters on the keys, because there was such a thick layer of just on it! I had to free the platen from it's rigor mortis by slowly turning it. And of course, I tested all the keys, and, they didn't even need to be oiled! They were smooth! That goes to show how good Royal made their machines. Oh, and I forgot to mention, the platen rubber was hard as a rock, and the feed rollers had one side squared flat from being in one position for so many years! But, I loved it, and I knew right then and there that when I was done restoring it, it would truly be something special.
So, I brought it home, and put it on the kitchen table, and turned on the bright light on the fan. I took a paper towel, soaked it with warm water, and wiped down the Royal. I saw it immediately start to shine, and the more I typed, the more it came back to life! The Ribbon was shit, so I threw it out, and replaced it with one I had laying around, (Mind you, I'm not stupid. I saved the vintage metal spools, and re-wound the new ribbon onto them :) ). So, I did type a lot on it, despite it having a hard platen, but I didn't do any damage, thank goodness! I now have all new rubber on it, and it's my number one machine. It's also oiled, and works the same way it did when it was new! Now, the ad said 1930's, but this machine was actually made in April 1926. Now, I don't blame the guy for getting confused. 1926 was pretty close to the 30's, so I don't blame him. I usually tell people I bought it for $15.00, and I actually did. When you divide the $40.00, everything rounds off to about $15.00. So, it makes life a lot easier. And that's the story of my Royal 10. :) And now, for a very informative article on the Royal 10:

The Royal 10 is another giant in the typewriter market. Like the Underwood 5 it is one of the machines that essentially marked the end of the history of typewriter development. Machines like the Royal 10 continued to be built for many decades, with most changes limited to cosmetic alterations.

The Royal 10 was introduced in 1914. It had two bevelled glass panels on either side of the machine. A later version only had one glass panel on either side. It is not clear at what point exactly that change was made. However, the machine presented here, with two glass panels, has a serial number that fits a production date in 1923. This is exceptional, because most of these machines with double glass panels have serial numbers from the first production year.

The Royal 10 was marketed as being the sturdiest and strongest typewriter around. To underline the point, the Royal company even organized stunts, where it threw typewriters (in crates) from airplanes, to show that they would even survive a fall. (Taken from www.typewritermuseum.org. Great site!)

Legendarily robust

Bingo! After failed attempts with a low office model, in 1914 Royal scores a bull's eye with its Royal 10. The machine looks impressively robust ... which is exactly what it is. Out of work typewriter repairers have no warm feelings towards it, but applaud it for being one of the most robust machines ever made.

Glass house

During many years, hundreds of thousands of Royal 10's roll off the conveyor belt. That gives it almost the same mythical dimensions as the Underwood 5. Moreover, Royal is not shy of showing how proud it is of its mechanics: through the side windows (first two, later one), the inner workings can be unabashedly admired.

This machine, together with the portables, makes Royal a dominant typewriter manufacturer.

(Taken from http://www.typewriter.be)