Saturday, March 19, 2016

History of the Royal Quiet Deluxe Carrying Case, 1951-1958

On July 7, 1950, Jean O. Reinecke and Jon Hauser filed a patent for a typewriter case with Hawley Products Co as the assignee. The new carrying case was made of molded fiberglass, with a tweed covering. According to Robert Montgomery, the earliest cases were actually made of "laminated cardboard" that was sold to the Royal Typewriter Company as being "fiberglass". The case below is an example of a cardboard case. It is easily identified by the enormous chrome band connecting the handle. (and the fact that it dents easily). Royal sued the manufacturer for false advertising and won. As a result, most 1951 and 1952 Royal Portables have cases that actually are fiberglass. However, it is always possible to find exceptions to every rule. According to a history of American Tourister luggage, American Tourister began by manufacturing luggage of molded plywood veneer, until the postwar period, when "[Sol] Koffler met Don Hawley of Hawley Products at that same trade show and discussed the aqueous plastic material Hawley had first produced for use in shell casings and pith helmets during the war." According to a biography of Peter DeLuca , "In 1960, Western Molded Fibre merged with Hawley Products Company of St. Charles, Illinois, the largest manufacturer of molded fiber products in the United States. This company manufactured all of the very high quality speaker cones for sound reproduction at that time. They also produced the shells for American Tourister Luggage, many automobile heater system components, and a variety of other items made by the molded fiber process. "
Patent Drawing for the Royal Quiet Deluxe Case
(Patent Images courtesy of Google Patents)
An early Royal Quiet Deluxe case made by Hawley Products.
(Author's Collection)

A later case made by Hawley Products--notice the thicker band, bigger latch, and lack of chrome band between the parts of the handle. (Author's Collection)

In fact, the linings of many Royal Portable cases from the fifties resemble the linings of pith helmets made by Hawley Products:
For more information about the pith helmets made by Hawley Products, please follow this link.

Until 1953, gray Royal Quiet Deluxe portables had carrying cases with red linings and gray keytops; tan Quiet Deluxe portables came with green keytops and green case linings. In 1953, the green lining became standard. Around 1954, the case was slightly redesigned with a larger latch and wider chrome band. 1955 saw a change from yellowish tweed to grayish tweed coverings. The lining was changed from green to gray at this time. The case design continued on the lower-end Futuras into the early 1960s; these had turquoise linings.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tower Tabulator Instructions

Evolution of the Tower Tabulator

In 1949, Sears, Roebuck and Company introduced their new Tower line of portable typewriters. Originally, there was a choice of two models--one with a tabulator ($82.50) and one without ($64.75). Both of these were made by Underwood for Sears. The rear panel of each of these machines is identical to those on Underwood portables from the period, but with a metal panel with the Sears model number stamped onto it riveted over the part that would say "Underwood" on it. Early Tower typewriters have a rounded ribbon cover and are carriage-shifted. In 1953, Underwood redesigned their portables with segment shift. As a result, the 1953 Tower portables are more squared off and segment shifted. In 1957, Sears replaced the Underwood-based Tower portables with Smith-Corona-based Tower portables. For a brief period in the early 1960s, Sears sold some Remington-Rand based Tower portables, like the Tower Capri (a rebranded Remington Streamliner). By the mid-1960s, all Tower Portables were made by Smith-Corona.
Fall, 1950

Fall, 1951

Fall 1952

Fall, 1953

Fall, 1954
Spring, 1951

Spring, 1952

 Spring, 1953
Spring, 1954