Most recently I had the privilege of tinkering on the oldest machine I had gotten my hands on.
When it came to me, this 1920 Royal 10 Standard was in non-working, gunked up condition. This isn't unusual for unused, un-maintained machines. It was a present and the new owner was hoping to be able to use it. (click on the images to see it better)
Similar to the way people get excited about the new iphone, at times in history people were getting excited about the newest model of typewriters. Companies were competing against one another to make their writer the best of the best.
During my research on this writer I found a fun story. In 1927 George E. Smith, the president of Royal at the time, purchased a Ford-Stout airplane for $75,000. He then proceeded to deliver typewriters like this one by the thousands in crates by parachute to demonstrate the ruggedness of the Royal writers.
These images are found in the Popular Mechanics November 1927 issue.
Not surprising, they are ama…
I want to share something with you. When I read this (the following quote is totally taken from a person on a forum discussing typewriters) I imagine the piece the person is describing, it's weight, it's feeling in my hand, and then connecting it with another piece, etc. Try it here, no. Rotate, here, nope. And eventually, when you spin two pieces around in your hands enough, a pattern emerges. Clicks into place. You instantly know how to do this the next time. The connection is made and there is no hesitation. You have learned how to feel out a portion of metal in your bare hands.
I see gears, I watch them shift. And again, and again. I imagine what tool is behind the scene, making this happen. But in reality, I am still in the beginning stages of understanding a machine I find to be the most beautiful and useful. The near and dear.
What I am saying is I really do not know what the piece looks like or how much room it takes up in my palm. It's the idea of it. The unatta…