Monday, January 24, 2011

Ambassadors of the Golden Bell

20110124 typecast

Typed on "Etta," the 1953 Royal Quiet DeLuxe
Royal Quiet DeLuxe c. 1953, aka "Etta"

This also gives me a chance to prove the point that you need to adjust your technique and touch to the particular machine, if you plan to rotate them through. Consistent with my other Royals, Etta requires a more even typing technique than I use on my computer keyboard or that I can get away with on Olympias, speed-demons that they are. You'll note the bunched up letters here and there in the typecast, resulting from me getting to the next letter before the escapement advanced to the next position. Also, Etta is outfitted with a knob used to adjust the tension of the mainspring, so on its loosest setting, the carriage almost flies to the end when you move it. I had to add some tension after the first two lines, which revealed that other problem that sometimes plagues Royals: the infamous "soft left margin," where it will return not quite to the leftmost stop. I see this on my model "O" Royal even more. Grievances aside, the QDL is a fine machine, and it really is very quiet, something I'd forgotten. Searching this blog shows that I've only used her twice, both times for a color-cast. I'm rather embarrassed that I have not used this machine more, in truth. It's no wonder I'm still getting used to it.


Ryan Adney said...

I love Royals, but that "soft left margin" can be annoying. I have a late 40s QDL that is in very good shape. At the end of a line you must move the carriage with a firm amount of deliberate-yet not cruel- force to get it to the actual margin. I have never noticed this with any desktops.

Elizabeth H. said...

I have yet to own a Royal, with the exception of a very briefly owned Royalite (we didn't get on). I hear so much about them skipping if you don't treat them with care that I wonder if I'd get on with the real thing, either. The Olympias laugh at the hamfisted, uncoordinated, and inept. I kinda like that about them.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go ahead and say Booo! on passing up the QDL. You'd better not be trying to get out of the typewriter-collection-addicts club. Stay crazy like the rest of us!

(Actually, that was probably a good move because, as you say, hopefully it went to a good home.)

Adwoa said...

The "soft left margin" is aggravating indeed, and I have it happening on one of my Olympia SFs, as well as a couple of unreliable ABCs. Nothing can mess up a neat page of writing faster, so I avoid using them.

Great job on resisting the siren song of thrift store typewriters - I have been doing quite well too, thank goodness. I console myself by taking pictures and putting a round-up of sorts on the blog from time to time. The funny thing is while I feel strongly drawn to bring them home when I first see them, after a few days I forget all about it (as I would have if I had bought them also, judging from the stacks of neglected typers...).

deek said...

Soft returns and skipping spaces...yeah, my mid-40s QDL has had both of those symptoms, although anymore, I rarely encounter either.

I think I have a firm carriage return on all of my typewriters (although it never seems as much force as when I proceed to a tab stop more than 4 inches THAT seems like cruel force) and I think I have subconsciously adjusted to a pace on the QDL that avoids the skipping.

The Olympia SF had weird margin problems, too.

I am fairly certain that on my Olympias, I could type with my feet and still produce 40wpm speed. Those machines are just so forgiving!

mpclemens said...

My Royalite skips terribly, though I suspect it's because I keep using it on my lap, which is a trial for any machine, and especially ones with sensitive escapements. The margin issue really isn't an issue, as long as I remember to do the right thing. Ditto the lousy typing technique.

The QDL may not have the same engineering precision of the SM-series Olympias, and certainly can't hold a candle to a good standard machine, but even with one session I can see why these were so popular. Once the typist is adjusted, it's a real treat to use.

Duffy Moon said...

Ha! I USED to make those phone calls from the Ohio Thrift. Not anymore. After the tenth such call, it's pretty obvious how it's going to go.

Now it's more of a lengthy decision tree involving how likely it is that another machine will be noticed.

I nearly came home the other day with a completely filthy Aristocrat just on the off chance my gray QDL might fit in its case.