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 amazingly rugged and with a pretty intense cleaning, minor repairs, and a new ribbon, this 90 plus year old writer is going strong.
Finished and headed home.