Friday, November 4, 2011

Ahoy!

While I am working on the description of the next classroom typewriter activity, I thought you might enjoy some pictures of the newest machine to enter my private collection.


As you can see it is a pre-war Royal Arrow made for the US Navy. I have no idea what kind of service record this little typewriter had, but it did serve for some time in the Oregon Civil Defense.




The odd keyboard layout is one clue to the unique nature of this typewriter. The other clue to its specialness is the type style.


Sans-serif, with a slashed 0 is the hallmark of a "Radio Mill" typewriter. This machine was used to transcribe messages sent over wireless.

Wonderful.

It boggles my mind to even think about what kind of messages this typewriter typed. There is definitely some history there.

The light white-gray paint was so dirty and grimy that the machine looked yellow. It was shockingly filthy, but the dirt created a protective layer ensuring that the paint, when clean, would look new.

11 comments:

  1. What an amazing piece of history. Thanks for sharing! Great addition to your collection.

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  2. Truly amazing machine. I wonder why a machine for military service was high-vis white, though.

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  3. wow I searched for a couple years for my navy mill and it's nowhere near that nice! congrats!

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  4. Jealous! The Magic Margin Treatment has made it new again. (:

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  5. Awesome! It looks beautiful now, and these are NOT easy to find.

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  6. I must say, I do like the cut of this one's jib. You could say it floats my boat. Just caps or does it ave a lower case too?

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  7. Great machine. I've wanted one of these for decades and have hunted for one for as long. They are very rare to find and in such good condition.

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  8. @Rob: Lower case (it's there for some punctuation) is all caps too. It looks just like my whiteboard handwriting.

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  9. Well, if it was grimy before, it looks immaculate now. That white paint job makes it look like something Aperture Science would produce. In fact, I expect to see portals popping up in that white room any minute, now.

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  10. The reason the keyboard is like that is because these typewriters were made for copying down morse code messages I believe, hence the lien through the zero. I remember hearing that somewhere, but I forgot exactly where... Either way it's really nice!

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  11. I have a Royal Arrow US Navy Radio Mill typewriter for sale on Etsy, it is functional and clean- a real beauty!
    Here's the link:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/89450530/vintage-wwii-royal-arrow-us-navy

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