Sunday, January 27, 2013

University Book Store

The largest dealer of Royal Portable Typewriters in Seattle was the University Book Store, at 4326 University Way Northeast. In fact, it sold so many Royal Portables that the Book Store had a large neon sign installed on their awning, as seen in this 1930 photograph:

Below is an advertisement that appeared in the Brown Section of the Seattle Times on February 11, 1934

Notice that the first name on the list is that of the University Book Store, 4326 University Way.

E.W. Hall, 1111 2nd Avenue

E.W. Hall was Seattle's largest office machine dealer during the 1930s and 1940s. In 1938, Hall's moved from the Burke Building (now the site of the Jackson Federal Building) into the Taft Building, at 1109 2nd Avenue. They moved into their modernized home in 1938. They sold many brands of typewriters, and were the first dealer in Seattle to offer the Hermes portable. They moved out of the Taft Building in 1961. Below are some King County Assessor's photographs of the Taft Building (Courtesy of the Puget Sound Regional Archives):
The Taft Building, as it has looked since its 1970 remodel.

The Taft Building, 1951. For a Sketchup model of this building, go to:

The Taft Building following the move of E.W. Hall. This photograph was taken in 1962.

The second-largest typewriter dealer in Seattle was Lowman & Hanford. However, neither of these dealers sold as many Royal Portable typewriters as the University Bookstore.

Royal Royalite, Second Generation, 1959-1963

In 1959 Royal changed the color of their low-priced Royalite from jade green to a modern two-tone gray color scheme. Gone were the flat green keys that were left over from the Halberg Traveler:
Halberg Traveler, 1954 Richard Polt Collection
In their place were new, taller ivory keys. The paper support from the Halberg was replaced with the paper support that would continue in production on Royalite typewriters until 1967. 
The "portfolio-type" case continued in production until 1963, when it was replaced by an attache-type case, as seen in the picture below:
Like the original case for the Royalite, this case is made of vinyl-covered cardboard. The typewriter in the photograph was manufactured in 1963, while the one in the first photo was made in 1962. Other subtle differences can be found between the two machines:
  • On the 1962 model, the lettering that says "Royalite" is centered on the paper table; on the 1963 model, it is on the right-hand side of the paper table. 
  • The label that reads "Made in Holland" is under the lettering that says "Royalite" on the 1963 model, while it is on the back of the 1962 model.
  • The lettering on the 1963 model is in the font Rockwell, while the 1962 (and earlier) models have their lettering in Wide Latin.
  • The 1962 Royalite's label says that it was made for Royal McBee Nederlands, N.V. (the equicalent of Royal McBee Netherlands, L.L.C.)