I’m terrible at writing rough drafts. The delete key always beckons and I find myself editing endlessly and never reach the end. I soon realize I’m writing a different story than the one that I started. Enter the typewriter. I started working on an old, electric that I had in the basement and made great progress–until it died. That set me on the search for the perfect, old-school writing machine.
This Royal Quiet De Luxe is the most recent addition to my growing horde… um, collection. According to typewriter database, this guy is from 1957. It’s part of the line of machines that Royal released in different colors. The green and blue (never mind pink) machines sell for steep prices. But I got this one for not a whole lot. And I do like the colors, maybe not my first pick, but still a solid design.
I had read that these are great typers. At first this one took a bit of getting used to compared to the firmer touch of my Olympia SM4 (which punches holes in the page and is loud… machine-gun loud). I also like that this one has an elite typeface. I get about 400 words on a page. My rough drafts are long, so I don’t churn through quite so much paper.
This one arrived super clean. I wonder if it’s seen more use in the last few months than during the rest of its days. There were lots of eraser shavings that I had to clean out, plus a lot of white out, seems this guy belonged to a frustrated typist at some point in its history. The white out on the keys chipped off easily enough, but I spent hours getting it off the front panel. I ended up using a pin and Simple Green plus a magnifying glass… see the perfectionist emerging again?
The magic margins did give me a little trouble. They feel over engineered. I don’t move the margins once I’ve set them. (Nor the tabs so having those all on the back works out fine.) I did get the margins to work by cleaning the back of the machine thoroughly and then adding a drop or two of gun oil to the margins. They zip around now, and the carriage returns to the same spot on the left margin cleanly. (I was having a problem where the left margin would jump a space or two on its own.)
The carriage locks with a little lever on the side, and the machine can be secured in its case with two side levers and a slot in the back. I don’t have the space to leave it out permanently. The case sits on the floor near my desk, but looks great for something that’s weathered more than 60 years.
All around, a solid machine that isn’t difficult to maintain.