Royal Portable Typewriter

Royal Portable Typewriter

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This portable Royal Typewriter was manufactured by the Royal Typewriter Company in 1933. The portable Royal came in several variants of the “Quiet DeLuxe” including this model A. The model has the serial number A373262, dating it to 1933. The typewriter has a four row QWERTY keyboard with right and left shift keys and variable touch control.
Currently not on view
Object Name
overall: 5 in x 11 in x 13 in; 12.7 cm x 27.94 cm x 33.02 cm
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Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Computers & Business Machines
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National Museum of American History
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Lovely photos! Special thanks to Lucas Dul for the informative comments on the Royal P and for the Vogue font info. The Vogue type sample I saw was very artful, but I never knew the history of it!
My father-in-law was a map maker in the British army in India and Burma during WWII. He bought by barter in Rangoon in 1945 a Royal Portable typewriter serial number P145339. Is it possible to determine from the serial number when the typewriter was made and any other details of its history? The typewriter is now in a steel case made for it by my father-in-law's brother-in-law, a sheet metal worker who made Spitfire planes during the war.
In response to the comment on the date of a Royal Model P, with serial number P145339. The serial puts it at late 1929. Royal added the gul-wing ribbon covers in early to mid 1930. I’m a typewriter repair technician living in Chicago and would be happy to help if there are further typewriter related questions. The royal Portable was introduced in 1926. Up until then, Royal was doing very well producing standard machines, but was noticing interest in the portable type machines made by competitors. Portable typewriters entered the market in the early 1910s, so Royal was pretty late into the market. They decided to create a larger type portable machine that was able to accommodate all the amenities of a full sized standard. Four rows of shifted keys, ribbon color selectors, margins, line spacing, ratchet detents, bail rollers, etc etc. literally all the bells and whistles you wanted, in the time and age where machines cut out rows of keys or margin systems to save on space. Royal also introduced fully customizable colors. They had some standard finishes like gloss black glass enamel, but also created some truly remarkable colored machines. I have seen bright yellow and orange sunburst, teal, neon green and pink....whatever people paid for. On top of this, one could special order a German designed Art Deco font called Vogue. These are super rare, and very lovely. All In all, the Royal Portable was an amazing machine! They work very well and are superbly light and responsive. If you like writing on a typewriter, I highly recommend getting one serviced and adjusted. It’ll last you a lifetime. I have owned and sold many Model Ps and they are my top pick for a portable typewriter, reliable, beautiful, hard working-machines. These are what propelled Royal into becoming the “best typewriter company in the world.” I hope this helped answer some of your questions!

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