Wednesday, September 26, 2012

History Comes Alive


The Royal "Radio Mill" in my private collection is one of the more interesting typewriters I own. The typeface (10 pitch all-caps) is very easy to read. Considering its purpose, that makes sense. I've been using it recently to make lists for our Sunday shopping. It is a fairly mundane task and I am sure that there have been far more important things that a 10 pitch radio-mill Royal would have done in its life.

Here is one such thing:


This is a naval dispatch is dated 7 DEC 1941; a date that will live in infamy. I found it while browsing the National Archives web page. This particular dispatch was sent to Sqantum Naval Air Station outside of Boston.

What caught my eye wasn't the historical import of the document, but the typeface used to type this dispatch. When I saw it it looked very familiar. I had and idea, so I went to the office and typed this out on my Royal:


My ribbon is a little drier and the original form might be a carbonless carbon, but the similarities are there. What clinched it for me was the number "4." It is very distinctive as you can see in this earlier post:


 When you see something like this it really makes history come alive.

11 comments:

  1. Very nice Mill. That dispatch is priceless.
    One day I hope to add a Mill to my collection. Then I have been looking for a real working mill at a decent price for over 30 years.

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  2. I was very attracted to that beautiful Royal Mill of yours the first time you posted about it. I eventually got an Olivetti Studio 44 Mill. Like you, I find mill typewriters so unique and interesting.

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    1. p.s. I just looked closely to read the dispatch, just amazing!

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  3. What a neat find! To know a machine just like yours delivered this news. A piece of history, that is.

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  4. Wow. This really drives home the power that a typewriter can have.

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  5. I love that mill. My navy mill is not in nearly as good condition. Have you copied any Morse on it? I have, very ineptly but I did get some callsigns on straight key night with it.

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  6. That dispatch is priceless!
    Thanks for sharing that :D
    My Royal navy royal mill isn't that great condition either. It's yellowed and refusing to work.
    I come by your blog and stare at yours at times, haha.

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    1. The yellow might be stains from smoke. You might want to try cleaning it with my favorite method. I wrote about it in this post:

      http://www.magicmargin.net/2011/10/how-to-cleaning-wrinkle-paint.html

      It may only be really dirty. Mine was the same way before I cleaned it.

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  7. Amazing you found this message. Shiver.

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  8. PS Thanks for the Sphinx ... great one.

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  9. Typewriters are made even MORE fascinating -- if that's possible! -- when they portray history in such vivid ways as this. Thanks for sharing!

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