A French twist on two classic typewriters …
“Ce que disent les experts en dactylographie est d’un interet vital pour tout professeur, etudiant et maison de commerce ….”
“What the experts say about typing is of vital interest for any teacher, student and place of business …”
La Nouvelle ROYAL La Premiere Machine A Ecrire Du Monde
The Royal KMM introduced Royal’s famous and patented Magic Margin system, whereby holding down the right or left margin lever and sliding the carriage to the desired location “magically” set the margin. — from Machines of Loving Grace
La PREMIERE fois dans une machine a ecrire …
The FIRST time in a typewriter …
Une simple frappe sur la clavier — la marge est mise!
A single keystroke on the keyboard — the margin is set!
Sometimes alternately labeled “Model 17” or “No.17″ or not labeled at all. The model debuted in 1939 and became the primary workhorse for government offices during WWII. In 1947, it was renamed the KMC (for Keyboard Margin Control). The model was discontinued in 1950.” — from Machines of Loving Grace
For more, see Richard Polt’s KMC vs, KMM post. 🙂
The Royal R 702/Imperial 92/Adler Universal 400 is illustrated below …
It differs from the R 700 and R 701 in that it has a row of tabulator keys rather than the standard tabulator (numbered “25” above).
The serial number on this R 700 goes beyond the numbers listed for the Adler Universal 200, however if you look on the TWDB at the numbers under “Triumph” and “Standards”, there’s mention of a “New Series” starting in 1977 from serial number 300 006 50.
The late 1970s seems right for this machine, given its 1982 purchase date.
Serial Number is on both the carriage and the body of the machine …
T-A “Royal R 700” typewriters aren’t exactly common. The results of a search were confined to Western Australia (this typewriter), South America and Central America …
The Hour (Series One) is a 2011 BBC drama series about a pioneering BBC current affairs programme, launched in June 1956, at the time of the Hungarian Revolution and the Suez Crisis. Part espionage thriller, it centres on the love triangle between a journalist, a producer, and an anchorman.
Not only is it superbly written and casted, and one of the best BBC dramas I’ve watched in recent times, it’s also choc full of typewriter sightings.
As good as the cast undoubtedly were, I did get the feeling that leading man Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw) and leading lady Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) were a little too modern for the era they found themselves in.
Similarly, while many of the typewriters were exactly what was expected …
… unexpected sightings like the (1975 —) Olivetti Lettera 25 that belonged to news editor, Lix Storm (Anna Chancellor) stuck out like a sore thumb …
As did Bel’s Lettera 32, but to a lesser extent (1964 —).
And there was I thinking Bel was a “Royal” gal …
Speaking of Royals, Isaac Wengrow (Joshua McGuire, below) kept tabs on MI6 agent and part-time assassin Thomas Kish (Burn Gorman), from behind the cover of a very Fifties-looking Royal standard …
Either that or he was enviously eying up Kish’s Adler Universal (1956 —) which only the most “eagle” eyed of typewriter nerds could have spotted …
The Royal standard with the enormous wingspan, on the other hand, was hard to miss …
Why they kept the Adler tucked away in the smallest cubicle, and assigned it to a part-time Arabic translator (undercover agent) is beyond me.
Still, mustn’t quibble. After-all, handsome Hector Madden (Dominic West)’s Hermes 3000 with the customary missing platen knob was almost contemporaneous (1958 —) …
And a teleprinter, which got moved around a bit despite its obvious lack of portability, certainly looked the part …
Not that any of this detracted from my enjoyment of what was an excellent series.
Series creator and principal writer Abi Morgan (born 1968) is a British playwright and screenwriter known for her works for television, such as Sex Traffic and The Hour, and the films Brick Lane, The Iron Lady, Shame and Suffragette.
For The Hour she deservedly won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special (2013).
The Hour was cancelled after the second series was transmitted – its ratings being one quarter lower than the first.
I blame that Lettera 25.
“I’m a BAFTA nominated actress and this is the typewriter they give me.”
In response to my Gary Seven’s Royal Assignment post, Robert Messenger (who else) correctly identified the typewriter as a Royal Emperor electric typewriter …
ORIGINAL CAPTION: Royal-Typer automated typewriter introduced by the Royal McBee Corporation in 1960 (RM: more likely 1962-63) combines the functions of tape reading, tape punching, tape reproduction and manual or automatic typing.
… and is not an Electress …
… nor an electric version of the Empress …
So this is, in effect, a guest post by Robert, with all images and information herein provided by him. Thank you Robert!
The Royal Emperor and the Royal Empress were designed by George Henry Kress.
Kress was born in Whitestone, Queens, New York, on the 19th January 1912. A graduate of the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, he had a distinguished career as director of industrial design for IBM (at their facility in Endicott, New York) and later as president of his own design consulting firm, Goerge H Kress and Associates Inc.
During his time at IBM, Kress was responsible for the industrial and commercial design for the frames and covers of the IBM 701 (IBM’s first commercial scientific computer).
IBM President Thomas Watson and IBM 701
George Kress died on the 8th May 2000 in Chatham, Morris, New Jersey, aged 88.
In “Assignment Earth”, a 1968 episode of Star Trek, the Enterprise time travels back to 1968 Earth – a passenger materialises via the transporter wearing a 20th century business suit and holding a black cat named Isis – a constant companion he was able to communicate with telepathetically and which could take human (female) form.
Meet interstellar agent “Gary Seven” (guest star Robert Lansing ) who is planning to intervene in 20th Century events. In the course of the episode, Seven asks a woman who he supposes is a fellow agent – in fact a secretary named Roberta Lincoln – to dictate a report into an electronic typewriter which has voice recognition.
I’m Supervisor one nine four, code name Gary Seven. I need a
Yes, report. Everything you have done for the past three
(He gestures to the
Oh. Everything I’ve done?
Everything you’ve done.
(puts a sheet of paper in the
Well, let’s see.
Not with your fingers.
(He flicks a switch on the
side of the machine.)
Well, how do you expect me to type, with my nose? Did you see
that? The machine typed everything I… It’s typing
everything I’m saying! Stop it. Stop it! Stop it!
(He turns it off.)
Okay. That does it. I quit!
As to the identity of the real star of this episode, Dwayne F of Vintage Technology Obsessions identified the Gary Seven typewriter as a “Royal Electress” as far back as 2012 …
I do see more than a few points of difference in the body shape, which looks more like an “Empress” (but isn’t). If not a variant of “Electress” I think we can safely say it’s a close “Royal” relative.
I wonder if the TV producers asked for and received a prototype that never went into production?
A Royal Electress as posted on the Typewriter Talk forum in 2014
Postcript: Mystery solved thanks to Robert Messenger. See his guest post: Gary Seven’s Royal Emperor
Atonement aired recently on free-to-air television (SBS).
If you haven’t seen it, it’s a 2007 English movie based on the novel of the same name by Ian McEwan (screen adaptation by Christopher Hampton) and follows the lives of young lovers Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley) and Robbie Turner (James McAvoy). When the couple are torn apart by a lie constructed by Cecilia’s jealous younger sister, Briony (Saoirse Ronan), all three of them must deal with the consequences.
The opening title sequence and scene transitions are punctuated by the sound of a typewriter, which serves to remind us that what we are watching is a story within a story: The story written by McEwan and the story written by a grown-up Briony Tallis.
Two Figures by a Fountain
Right from the start of the movie, 11 year-old Briony cuts her literary teeth by writing a stage play on a Corona 4 portable.
Events conspire to thwart the performance of Briony’s play however (spoiler alert), when the daughter of a friend of the family (one of several house guests) becomes the victim of a violent sexual assault.
Briony fingers Robbie Turner (the handsome part-gentrified son-of-a-housekeeper) as the culprit after she misinterprets a fountain scene, and an argument, between Robbie and her elder sister Cecilia.
After watching Cecilia strip to her (flesh-coloured) underwear and jump into a fountain to retrieve a broken trophy handle that has fallen into the water, Robbie returns to his quarters, sits in front of a Royal typewriter, and types up several abortive drafts of a sexually-charged love note.
He eventually gives up on the typewriter and pens a note to Cecilia by hand (possibly a continuity error because the letter that finally gets delivered is typewritten).
Since the note contains two occurrences of the rudest four-letter word in the English language and is clearly intended for Cecilia’s eyes only, Robbie’s fatal mistake is to ask Briony to deliver the note to Cecilia by hand.
This was a sumptuous production that I enjoyed from start to finish. Even the second world war scenes – war scenes usually being that point in a movie at which I lose interest – were beautifully crafted by director Joe Wright and his cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey.
While Robbie and two battle-scarred soldiers wander the French countryside after becoming separated from their unit on the eve of Dunkirk, Briony – now grown-up (but still very much in possession of her Corona 4) – volunteers as a nurse to help the war effort and seeks to atone for the wrong she’s done.
Just when you think the movie has gone on too long, and is possibly going nowhere except down the path of delivering a formulaic happy ending, an elderly Briony (Vanessa Redgrave) comes out of left-field and delivers an ending that leaves you feeling satisfied (or at least that’s how I felt).
Like his fellow writer and friend, Martin Amis, McEwan poses with an Olivetti Lettera 32.
What’s clear from the movie, and from an article Mother Tongue published in The Guardian on October 13th 2001, is that Ian McEwan understands the possible ramifications of a hastily-written letter:
… At home, there was violence in the air. There always had been, but only now could I really see it for what it was, and begin to judge it. My father, I know, felt he had a right to it, and it was no one’s business but his own. When I was visiting my parents in the late 70s, Rose told me the latest. I was inclined to believe her and I offered to talk to David. The idea horrified her. It would make things worse when I went. That week he gave me as a late birthday present, an Olivetti portable typewriter. I was grateful – my old machine was falling apart. But the first thing I wrote on it, in a tiny bedroom upstairs, was a letter to my father which I gave to Rose to keep. She was to give it to him if she was threatened again. In it I told David that I loved him. I also told him that hitting Rose was a criminal act, and that if necessary I would come from England and see both the military police and his commanding officer. It turned out she destroyed the letter the week after I left. She said she couldn’t sleep at night knowing it was in the house. Matters went on much as before, and what settled the problem in the end was only mellowing age, illness and growing dependency.
The memory of another letter from that time still makes me smile and wince, and remains a caution. Speed kills. Late one Friday morning, just before leaving my flat, I typed an indignant few lines to the Spectator concerning some slight I thought I had received in its pages the week before. Generally a mistake to complain, but I hadn’t learned that yet. I put a carbon in my pocket and hurried off to a Friday lunch in Bertorelli’s. At some point in the conversation, as the main course was being served, the Spectator article about me came up. I produced my stinging reply, and it was passed around the table, from Clive James, to Mark Boxer, Martin Amis to Karl Miller, from Christopher Hitchens to Terry Kilmartin to Peter Porter to Julian Barnes. Gratifying that, having the writers and critics whose opinion I valued most read my letter. There was general silence, then some throat clearing, and a move to change the subject as Jeremy Treglown, who had seen the carbon last, cupped his hand and murmured kindly in my ear “There’s a dangler in the first sentence”. Dah! – as Amis and Hitchens liked to say. In the first word. That indignantly detached participle. “Sir, Having destroyed my meaning with dishonestly juxtaposed quotation, I find myself perplexed by your reviewer’s sudden concession to probity when . . .”