Wednesday, July 30, 2014

1956 Royal Quiet Deluxe

While its serial number dates it to 1956, this typewriter was made for the 1957 model year. The easiest way to determine whether your Royal Quiet Deluxe was made for 1957 is by looking at either the keyboard, or the ribbon carrier. If the carrier is made of more than one part, it is from the 1957 model year or later. If the keyboard has 1/! and =/+ keys it is also a 1957 or later model.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Trip to Snohomish, 7/20/14

For those living in Seattle, the Metro Employees' Historical Vehicle Association (MEHVA) operates tours to various destinations in their historic fleet. Here are some pictures from my first bus tour (For some reason, I forgot to take a picture of the outside of our bus, in all of its "Sunshine" paint schemed glory--Metro operated many white buses with brown, yellow, and ochre trim. For a photo of the exact bus, go here For more information on the bus tours, go here:
 I love the use of brown, and "wood" inside the bus. It's amazing how much more comfortable bus seats were when this bus was produced (1987), than they are now (2014). Now, the bus seats are harder, and their padding is thinner.

Here is the $40 typewriter I bought. The same shop was selling a pink Royal Quiet Deluxe for $500. Personally, I prefer the Futura 800's lines.  Out of the four Royal Futura 800s I have owned, two have been horrible. The other two have been perfect. (I sold the other one when its case went). The reason (I think) for the quality gap in the Futura is as follows: When Royal began making the Futura, they moved production of their portables from Hartford, Connecticut, to a brand-new factory in Sunshine, Missouri. They had to move all of their equipment to the new factory, and find new labor. The quality gap this creates is not specific to Royal. Another excellent example is the Continental portable: Wanderer-Werke originally made the Continental in Germany. They moved production to Belgium after World War Two, and quality suffered. However, Royal was able to fix the gap by September, 1960, when this typewriter was produced. By the time that they introduced the Safari (July/August, 1962), all of their full-size portables were of a consistent quality level. This level of quality somehow carried over to Portugal, when Litton outsourced it. (Say what you will about the plastic side panels that always seem to be bizarrely faded, mechanically, the Portuguese portables are just as good)
Interesting Side Note: If you look at the patent numbers on the underside of the ribbon cover on a Royal Custom II (or Sabre, or any full-size Royal Portable, including those made in Portugal), the newest patent number is for the Futura's design. (Even on the Safari, mainly because the ribbon cover is a shared component.) If you look at the side view of the Futura, and compare it to the side view of a Sabre/890/Custom II/Custom III/Custom IV/990/Sears Cutlass (the gold one), their lines are incredibly similar.

Royal Quiet Deluxe, 1951

I traded in my 1970 Royal Signet and Kmart portable for this typewriter. That being said, this 1951 Royal Quiet Deluxe is easily the best example of this design that I've ever owned.

The lettering on the paper table is raised!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Best Goodwill find ever! 1926 Underwood Portable

I went to the big Seattle Goodwill store today, and found the best typewriter ever (and a Corsair):
 This typewriter was made in 1926, and was resold around the 1940s by the Washington Book Store (not to be confused with the University Book Store)

The dealer decal from the Washington Book Store, 4316 University Way (NE), applied after 1943.

The price tag that is on the case (I photographed to indicate that I really paid $15 for this typewriter)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Royal Quiet Deluxe Charcoal Touch Up

For those with a charcoal Royal Quiet Deluxe, who would like to touch up their portable's paint, Ford makes a very similar paint color called "Sterling Gray." The ribbon cover of this one has been touched up in Sterling Gray:

Friday, July 4, 2014

Underwood 18, 1960s

This was not a very expensive portable typewriter--when it was made, its retail price was $39.88. That being said, it is a very pleasant machine to use. Generally, compact typewriters have keyboards that are too small for my hands. However, this is as good as a Brother in terms of keyboard size. Mechanically, it is a lot of fun to use. It prints very nicely, especially when a new ribbon has been installed. That being said, the ribbon color selector is in a very awkward position--it is placed next to the ribbon. 
The case is in beautiful shape, and this typewriter even had its original instructions and warranty information. (I think it's hilarious that Olivetti made cases that were almost guaranteed to fall apart, yet they did not include the case in the warranty. That being said, the Underwood 18's case seems very durable, and easy to repair, if anything does go wrong/)
This ad appeared in The Seattle Times, on May 19, 1971, on page A-7.