Channel: Royal Typewriters
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Smith Corona Galaxie Twelve

Royal Portable Color Scheme Survey

I am cataloging the various Duotone portable color schemes (Royal claimed over 500 possible combinations)
Thank you for your help!

If you have multiple portables, please only fill this out once (Number your responses: Ex.: 1. P-xxxxx; 2. P-xxxxy, etc.)


Magnus Typewriter, 1959

Magnus Typewriter, 1300 block, Second Ave
, Seattle (Image from the Seattle Municipal Archives)
Seen above is a City of Seattle employee interviewing a pedestrian, in front of Magnus Typewriter. Notice the posters for Olympia portables and the new Smith-Corona Galaxie. In front of the window is an Olympia demonstrator (mounted on a pole). This photo was taken around the time that Seattle began using electric crosswalk lights, saying either "walk" or "wait"

1941 Royal Varsity

I bought this typewriter from Seattle Goodwill. It was Royal Typewriter's low priced model in 1941. And then I had the best pizza ever at Nordstrom's amazing cafe!

Tower Challenger Instructions and Case Brochure

Spokane Trip

Evolution of the Tower Tabulator

In 1949, Sears, Roebuck and Company introduced their new Tower line of portable typewriters. Originally, there was a choice of two models--one with a tabulator ($82.50) and one without ($64.75). Both of these were made by Underwood for Sears. The rear panel of each of these machines is identical to those on Underwood portables from the period, but with a metal panel with the Sears model number stamped onto it riveted over the part that would say "Underwood" on it. Early Tower typewriters have a rounded ribbon cover and are carriage-shifted. In 1953, Underwood redesigned their portables with segment shift. As a result, the 1953 Tower portables are more squared off and segment shifted. In 1957, Sears replaced the Underwood-based Tower portables with Smith-Corona-based Tower portables. For a brief period in the early 1960s, Sears sold some Remington-Rand based Tower portables, like the Tower Capri (a rebranded Remington Streamliner). By the mid-1960s, all Tower Portables were made by Smith-Corona.
Fall, 1950

Fall, 1951

Fall 1952

Fall, 1953

Fall, 1954
Spring, 1951

Spring, 1952

 Spring, 1953
Spring, 1954

Tower Tabulator Instructions

History of the Royal Quiet Deluxe Carrying Case, 1951-1958


On July 7, 1950, Jean O. Reinecke and Jon Hauser filed a patent for a typewriter case with Hawley Products Co as the assignee. The new carrying case was made of molded fiberglass, with a tweed covering. According to Robert Montgomery, the earliest cases were actually made of "laminated cardboard" that was sold to the Royal Typewriter Company as being "fiberglass". The case below is an example of a cardboard case. It is easily identified by the enormous chrome band connecting the handle. (and the fact that it dents easily). Royal sued the manufacturer for false advertising and won. As a result, most 1951 and 1952 Royal Portables have cases that actually are fiberglass. However, it is always possible to find exceptions to every rule. According to a history of American Tourister luggage, American Tourister began by manufacturing luggage of molded plywood veneer, until the postwar period, when "[Sol] Koffler met Don Hawley of Hawley Products at that same trade show and discussed the aqueous plastic material Hawley had first produced for use in shell casings and pith helmets during the war." According to a biography of Peter DeLuca , "In 1960, Western Molded Fibre merged with Hawley Products Company of St. Charles, Illinois, the largest manufacturer of molded fiber products in the United States. This company manufactured all of the very high quality speaker cones for sound reproduction at that time. They also produced the shells for American Tourister Luggage, many automobile heater system components, and a variety of other items made by the molded fiber process. "
Patent Drawing for the Royal Quiet Deluxe Case
(Patent Images courtesy of Google Patents)
An early Royal Quiet Deluxe case made by Hawley Products.
(Author's Collection)

A later case made by Hawley Products--notice the thicker band, bigger latch, and lack of chrome band between the parts of the handle. (Author's Collection)

In fact, the linings of many Royal Portable cases from the fifties resemble the linings of pith helmets made by Hawley Products:
For more information about the pith helmets made by Hawley Products, please follow this link.

Until 1953, gray Royal Quiet Deluxe portables had carrying cases with red linings and gray keytops; tan Quiet Deluxe portables came with green keytops and green case linings. In 1953, the green lining became standard. Around 1954, the case was slightly redesigned with a larger latch and wider chrome band. 1955 saw a change from yellowish tweed to grayish tweed coverings. The lining was changed from green to gray at this time. The case design continued on the lower-end Futuras into the early 1960s; these had turquoise linings.

Nye Office Machines, 1972

197X Smith-Corona Super G

Olivetti Lettera 33 and Smith-Corona Super G

1963 Remington Holiday

1963 Royal Citadel

This is a great machine, despite its size and being a Royalite...it has a nice satisfying feel.

1957 Underwood Universal

My first Facit ...Like Butter

I traded a 1922 Remington Portable for this portable in Bremerton. Mr. Lundy had spent a long time looking for a carriage return lever for this typewriter, and I realized that one from a Royalite would work:
This 1969 Facit 1620 is the best typewriter I have ever used...it types so smoothly and is so easy to operate...it was easy without a carriage return lever, but is easier with one. In terms of color and use, it is like butter. (If you haven't seen Saturday Night Live's Coffee Talk, I highly recommend it). It is so smooth and light; if a typewriter could be made of butter, this would be it!

I just replaced the Royalite carriage-return lever with a much better Royal Custom II one...it folds and unfolds much more nicely, and is easier to reach!

1957 Royal Quiet Deluxe--in Pink!!

I now have a pink Royal! I got it from a fellow Lion for a great price! He originally got it for free in Orlando about 20 years ago. This is one of the best typewriters ever!

Profit is worth an EXTRA EFFORT

This is an article that appeared in Office Appliances magazine in March, 1957.The typewriter on the upper left is an Olympia SM-3; the one on the right is a Remington portable

Smith-Corona's Big Fall Push--1951

This is a collection of advertising and marketing tools produced by Smith-Corona in 1951. It includes scripts for radio ads, copies of advertising mats and magazine ads that appeared in 1951. It refers to Smith-Corona's tweed carrying case with the name "Silver Birch carrying case." Also, notice the Colorspeed keyboards.

1960 Collegiate Portable Typewriter

I bought this typewriter from a fellow collector--it is a Cole-Steel Collegiate, made in 1960. According to period advertising, this model was sold for $49.79 by S.S. Kresge, which later became Kmart. Mechanically it is identical to the Cole-Steel portable; the only differences are the ribbon cover (which is raised on this model), and the lack of a touch selector.
According to Kresge's advertising, the Collegiate portable offered (quoted from the ad): 
  1. Completely cadmium plated mechanism throughout. Compare with ordinary black finish.
  2. Firm, solid chrome plated bars and metal fittings. Compare with other lightweight fittings
  3. Only 3 1/2 inches high.We believe this is the most compact of ALL portables.
  4. With Extra keys. Keyboard includes all standard plus several extra keys often not found on other portables.
  5. Lightweight Aluminum frame.
  6. Easy to read standard pica type
  7. Dow Chemical Styron Case
  8. Free picture manual of instructions
Also has left and right quick set margins, carriage centering device, automatic ribbon reverse, positive paper feed. 
(Reprinted from the Altoona (PA) Mirror, 12/8/1960