Wednesday 11 September 2013

Two Royal QDLs- One of Them's Gotta Go.

The real trick to collecting anything is not to get too attached to them. You never know when you might have to sell a few items of your collection in order to fund something else. Or, you may just look at your collection one day and realise that you have a few multiples of the same thing.
I looked at my collection of typewriters recently and decided that I had a few too many. So, two of them wound up on eBay and went off to good homes (I hope!). Since I use my typewriters for other writing besides typecasting, I decided that I only want to have machines that work well and do what they're supposed to. Of course, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. My circa 1936 Smith-Corona Standard, 1939 Remette, and the 1928 Royal portable are rough typewriters to work on compared to the 1950s Olympia SMs and Smith-Corona Silent Super. However, these three Depression-era typewriters are so beautifully made that I just can't part with them.
There are, though, other typewriters I have that should be off-loaded from my collection. I just recently had a circa 1947 Royal Quiet De Luxe nicely restored by Tom at Elite Office Machines and it's now a great typewriter to use. Problem is, I already had one of the same model;

The model on the left is the one I bought a couple of years ago. It has its faults, but it's a beauty to write with. The one on the right was recently serviced and it types very nicely too, but the left one has the edge.

Here's a typing sample from the first QDL I bought a couple of years ago;

Dig that cool number '4' font! And here's a sample from the recently restored QDL;

Sure, the ribbon's not as strong as the other model, but still has plenty of life left in it.

Now, the crinkle-paint job differs a little on these two typewriters, too. Here's the first one;

And here's the second, which looks a little more well-worn;

However, for me, the greatest cosmetic difference lies in the actual keytops of these machines. The tops on the first one I bought are quite faded, making typing difficult in low lighting;

While the keytops on the newer model are sharper;

Some of you may have read of my recent attempts at changing out the faded keytops. This is a job that I plan to continue with at some point.

I can't help but think that the second QDL was perhaps used more extensively over its lifetime compared the first one I bought. Either way, as good as this one types, the temperamental model that I got two years ago is the one I would rather keep. I can live with its (minor) faults.
And here's the set-up I used to write this post.

Pretty Zen, but it was murder on my lower back after fifteen minutes. As my wife sometimes says to me; "You are old, Father William."

Thanks for reading!


  1. Very nice machines, both of them!

    The newly restored one has a feature I am considering increasingly important when it comes to using a typewriter: a big, easy on the eyes typeface. Working an average of 15 - 17 hours a day with computers over more than a quarter century has a dramatic effect on the eyesight, I tell ya!

  2. Ah, the classic Royal numeral "4." As I recall, that 4 is accompanied by a funny "5" with a jaunty cap.

  3. Tough choice and precisely why I find it hard to part with a typewriter.