A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying

A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying
A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying the latest digital.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A True Newspaper Man’s Typewriter

Pursuing Craig’s List here locally I came across a simple listing with a somewhat out of focus image.  The listing said simply Royal Typewriter.  Works.  $10.  The image was clear enough to see that that the typewriter in question was not a complete disaster so I called the number.  I spoke with the owner who said he was going out of town for one day and would call me upon his return.

After two days I had not received a call from the seller and I figured that he had sold the machine to someone else.  As it was still listed I again called the owner.  He said that he had not gotten around to returning my call but had been contacted by another individual who stated he would give $20 for the typewriter.  He further said that individual was also waiting on a return call.  Being only a few blocks away I asked if I could come over to see that machine, and if it was in good shape I would be willing to pay the same $20.

Upon arrival at the sellers house I was greeted by a man that appeared to be in his 80’s.  He showed me the Royal Quiet Deluxe and I gave him $20.  He seemed very perplexed that anyone would be interested in such old devices and was just glad to have someone take it off his hands.

We got to talking and the seller had purchased the typewriter new and used it until computers took over.  He had been a reporter at our local newspaper, the Kansas City Star.  He said the machine has served him well all those years until his retirement almost twenty-five years ago.

The inside looked like he had just closed it up on his last day and never opened it again until now.  Inside the case, besides the dirty but well taken care of machine, was several pieces of carbon paper (Some used and maybe one day I will try to see what was copied using them.).  Also inside the case was a Royal brush and a well-used eraser with a brush attached on the other end.  And a ribbon from Sears.  He also still had the manual, what looks like a Royal brochure, and booklet called “The Modern Secretary”.

The serial number revealed the Royal had been manufactured in 1953.  If the owner bought it new that year it would have seen the inside of a newsroom for over 35 years.  A small piece of history.

More to come...................
Kansas City Star: This newspaper has served the city since 1880.  Founded by William 
Rockhill Nelson. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kansas_City_Star)


  1. Oh, the stories that typewriter could tell, and the stories that it has written! Congrats on a nice machine.

  2. Great score on a fine machine and vintage ephemera! You should scan it all and post it. We could use a better-res copy of the Royal manual, and the other two booklets look interesting as well (:

  3. Thanks! I will do some scanning in a few days and post the results. Currently side-tracked with other issues.

  4. Ooh, nice! Great story you got there together with this typewriter. Maybe you can find some of the articles written on it by looking at the archives of the newsroom?

  5. Good idea! Just need the time...........

  6. I now have four of these Royal portables - a 1952-3 Quiet DeLuxe, the next incarnation 1953-54 QDL, a Keystone ( a step down from the QDL) , and a Companion (the basic bare bones) and they're all the finest portable typers ever! I love them, and they're great fun to type on. Of course there's nothing like their big brother the HH office model! Thanks for the story - I love a typewriter with a history!!