I wanted this entry to be a typecast, but my scanner is broken so we can just pretend it’s written on paper. I picked up a new machine today, a Royal Futura from the ’70s I would guess. We were at the local thrift store, and I saw it sitting on some furniture. From the design it seems like this was from the end of the Safari-like Royals.
I was very surprised with this, my first Royal. Even though there are a few plastic parts (the carriage end caps, the ‘face’ of the machine around the keyboard, the case is a little cheap) it’s mostly made of metal. I’m sure the quality/thickness of the metal parts are of a lesser nature than, say, my Olivetti 21 or Olympia SM9, but it’s not a flimsy machine by any stretch. Maybe I’m biased toward the Europeans, but I had the idea in my head that the Royals were not as precise and were flimsy by comparison. This machine is, actually, pretty decently put together. It has a light typing touch, and the type lines up nicely. This was a relief, since I really don’t like using machines that type all over the place.
The biggest surprise was how clean this machine is. I mean, this thing must have been serviced before being donated to the thrift store. It is clean inside and out. Even the platen looks and feels almost new. This is the closest I have been to a “new” manual typewriter that was made almost 40 years ago. Even the rubber feet are soft! Overall it’s in excellent condition. I had to scoop it up – a steal for $18.
I actually bought this for my daughter to use, since the type action is so light and will be easy on her 6-year old fingers. I imagine I will be at her desk using it myself, too. I actually like the “white” keys with black letters on them. It seems more like typed letters on paper to look at. Also, the tombstone shaped keys are nice to type on, since they seem closer together than the keys on my other machines. This may be an optical illusion from the shape of the keys, or just wishful thinking on my part.
I may have to seriously think about getting a Quiet DeLuxe now….