06 July 2013

Tweedledum Tweedledee Typers

I have a few typewriters that resemble each other.
A Royal Crescent and Royal Royalite pair I've nicknamed The Twins.

Then there were the decade apart Skyriters.

Just two weeks ago I was given (wow!) a new pairing: two desktop Royals.

They have a fun history, at least regarding their previous owner.  The one (he didn't say which) he found while out bike riding.  It was sitting at the curb.  So he loaded it onto his bike and took it home! I can imagine taking a Skyriter or Royalite on a bicycle, but one of these babies?  They are big and heavy!

Thank goodness poet Maya Stein, a.k.a., The Typerider, chose a lighter machine!

(You can read more about Maya's adventures here:
Maya Stein, aka the TypeRider)

Then a few days later, he said, a neighbor asked him if he wanted an old typewriter.  It was another Royal desktop model.


He said he kept waiting for a third to show up. "But it never did," he said, "I was hoping it would. Then I would have been a real collector!"

I am not sure I could handle an entire collection of Royal Desktops.

But they are impressive, and do have a lot of character.

Like the Skyriters, above, these machines are about a decade apart.  Besides their paint color, there are two notable differences: they have different key shapes, and the black machine is is notably heavier than the grey model (though their size and tabletop footprint are identical).

The black typer is a Royal KMM, Serial No: 2516048. It dates to around 1940.

The battleship-grey model, with its distinctive 'tombstone keys', is a Royal KMG, Serial No: 4051784, and dates to around 1949.


  1. Wow indeed! If I had to choose which to keep, it would be the KMG, if only because it's easy to pop out the carriage for cleaning. I think the KMM requires some dis-assembly to do the deed.

    Just trying to imagine hauling that behemoth on a bike makes my legs hurt...

    1. Thanks for the heads up on the KMG 'pop out' feature, Mike. The machine definitely needs cleaning. p.s. Do yo by any chance have a manual for either? I checked the Files/Photos in both the Typerwriters and Portable Typewriter forums and didn't see any.

  2. Does Mike mean "pop out the platen"?

    A wide-carriage KMG was recently donated to WordPlay Cincy. Gunky, junky, dirty. But after a couple of hours of treatment with PB B'laster, Scrubbing Bubbles, and other friendly chemicals, it was ready to write for another 50 years. These guys are tough.

    1. Forgot about the PB B'laster product. The KMM carriage is almost stuck in its tracks. The drawband is fine and I am not seeing any broken pieces. I am able to get it to move if I gently push it back and forth - so I am thinking perhaps WD40 was used on it in the past.

      p.s. Thanks for stopping by 'The Wardrobe' whilst you are off Across the Ocean! (Loved your Turner sketch!)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...