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FP In The Library

This is the FP in the school's library. When it was in my possession -- being more willing to beg forgiveness than ask permission -- I went ahead an painted it. The color was not exactly like the historic FP green, but gave an overall impression of the same color. In reality, the gray was chipped and scrapped from years of use in public education. This is one of the few public typewriters I have been able to get set up around our campus.

Krylon Celery Green. It's much lighter than the old FP green.

This FP has a a darker tint and earmuffs. 
The earmuffs are a carbon ribbon kit. 
Photo via Machines of Loving Grace

Blue FP from a Life magazine advertisement.

I have started to see an interesting shift in the mindset of my students. The typewriters are no longer objects of curiosity or antiquated tools, they are starting to become part of the fabric of their educational experience. It's an interesting and nuanced change. I am proud to have some hand in making that happen.


  1. Replies
    1. These old desktop machines are perfect for that kind of thing. They usually are pretty rugged and can take a fair amount of abuse. If you had and old Underwood, it would make a pretty cool typing kiosk.

  2. The repainted machine looks great to me.

    How much use does the public typewriter get?

    1. A fair amount. Most of my students have used it to give demonstrations to other kids. Thankfully, our school Librarian is very interested in making the library a vibrant place, so a little noise is always OK.

  3. pretty neat. My FP has a wide carriage. The ribbon doesn't come up all the way except on red setting. I don't know how to fix that or I'd have lent it to the class here.

  4. Good paint job. I hope it gets some use. Those earmuffs turn the carbon Royal into a cartoon boxer dog!

  5. Super paint job. Nice to hear the students are gaining more interest in typewriters.

  6. You'll have to excuse me; I have to take a trip to stea- er...visit that FP.

  7. I'm suddenly thinking my ecru FP could use a paint job. Haven't painted a typer in several months, time to get back at it.
    Nicely done.

    1. Do it! Painting a typewriter is so much fun! This was a lark and it turned out well.

  8. Very beautiful machine, indeed! Maybe I should try my hand at repainting my old Smith-Corona 5TE. It could really use a new finish.

    What I like the most about this kind of initiatives is that your students are getting a hands-on experience on what typing used to be. It's just not the same typing on a computer with built-in spell-check (which can make some really funny mistakes more often than not) than actually having to think of such details as grammar, spelling and punctuation BEFORE committing your words to paper. A manual typewriter could do wonders to improve the quality of writings in the younger generations, IMHO.

    1. Miguel, thank you so much. You are right the work that my students are making has more confidence, more creativity, and more art. It's a testament to how good some of these old tools were. We (as a society) should not be so quick to condemn a technology because it's not new or electronic.

  9. Looking fantastic in that colour!

    I've also got a Royal FP, which has all the signs of abuse from a long and hard life. Tell me, how much did you take this unit apart to paint it? Was that the hardest part of the process, Or did you find other challenges?

  10. Hey there, I just purchased my very own Royal FP today. She is my first typewriter and I got her for a song ($31). She's a bit beat up on the outside but everything seems to be working just fine so I wanted to paint her. I stumbled across your blog and I really admire all your paint jobs. If you could help me out with a little instruction on how to go about giving her a new coat of color I would very much appreciate it thanks.
    I love your work!! - Samantha


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