1938 Royal Speed King #B-796068
Status: My Collection
Created: 11-25-2015 at 10:14PM
Last Edit: 11-23-2016 at 08:28PM
This is my Speed King - the early version of the 1950's machine. On a difficulty to find scale with 1 being any Quiet DeLuxe and 10 being the Royal HE, I'd put this as a ballpark estimate of 4 so far. Not hard to find at all if you know what you're looking for. If you check all of your channels for a week or two I have no doubt that you can add one to your collection.
The issue is that this machine strongly resembles the O - how do you tell them apart? I'll be glad to help.
If you're looking at a case and haven't seen the machine yet, a glance will tell you whether or not the case is a Duo-Case. These were originally sold in a Duo-Case, meaning that the case has locking latches on both the left and right side of the front face. It is possible that a Speed King could have migrated cases at some point, but if the two are still together they'll be in a Duo-Case.
The first and most obvious thing is the tab key on the right side of the keyboard. You won't find those on an O, but make sure that the machine isn't a non-English keyboard - at least one style of O has an accent key that looks like this tab key. The second thing is the choice application of crinkle paint.
On the Speed King, the paper table and the two raised bands around the sides of the machine are crinkled. The rest of the machine is black. Keep in mind that if the machine you're looking at has the bands but not the paper table, it is possible that at some point it was rebuilt.
Getting into the fine detail category for identification, on the right side of the paper bail there is a little handle for better operation of the bail. The keycaps are concave, providing a better feel for the keys.
If you find a machine that fits all of the criteria above (case notwithstanding), congrats! You've found a Speed King! These were advertised as being sold in Black, Green, and Maroon (see attached ad), but so far only the black and green schemes have been observed. Keep your eyes open!
Hunter: Ian Brumfield (T1peM0nkey)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
I've been hunting for typewriters since 2012, but I've loved them for long before that... about 2003. In the short amount of time in which I've started seriously collecting I've amassed a collection of over 65 machines (now specializing in Royals), one of which is parts. At the ripe old age of 20, to boot!
In November of 2013 I participated in National Novel Writing Month and hit a pretty decent 105,991 words; all written on manual machines. I think that this is a new record, but there isn't any official record keeping in the Typewriter Brigade.
I also run The Daily Clipper, which while admittedly abandoned for 2 years is back up and running, soon to bring you articles on all sorts of history. Scheming and planning a website on the same domain.
RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Royal Speed King on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Royal Serial Number page and the Royal Speed King By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.