1940 Royal Companion #CD-132801
Status: My Collection
Created: 07-01-2017 at 04:42PM
Last Edit: 07-02-2017 at 12:51PM
Came with original black carrying case.
Purchased from eBay in 2008 or 2009, for under $125. Arrived very dusty with some slight wear and tear, mostly cosmetic issues, but, as promised by eBay seller, works very well. Have been using it ever since to write letters and stories (I am a novelist).
I am contributing to this database in gratitude of all the other enthusiasts before me who have helped me in my typewriter search. I hope these pictures help someone who is repairing or using this model.
If you are thinking of getting a 1940s typewriter:
It is quite easy to purchase the correct typewriter ribbons online. Just do a Google search for your model.
Buying a vintage typewriter online, and having it sent to you, does carry risk of irreparable damage, so that something that "works" may no longer work once it gets to you. That is why I chose to buy a vintage typewriter that came in a case (i.e. a portable model). Having it shipped in its original case may lessen the chance of damage. I took a gamble and it worked as it arrived intact and in working order.
I bought it online as prices are much lower than if you tried to buy one in an antique store. The shops in my area were asking 2-3x as much for vintage typewriters that don't even work and need repair. I guess people would buy them from these shops "for display", or maybe for decoration in a restaurant or for a movie set.
I like to restore old technology and use functional old things for their intended purpose. Nothing makes me sadder, for example, than seeing equestrian gear being used for decoration or fashion statements by people who aren't interested in riding horses.
I use this typewriter fairly often and it doesn't really need much maintenance or even oiling. The ribbon lasts for quite a while and doesn't dry out quickly as I thought it would. Of course this all depends on where you are and your pattern of use.
I bought a thick felt typewriter pad to sit it on (see picture). I got it online on one of these vintage typewriter websites.
The only problem I have with it now is I can't find the ribbon reverse function. In other Royal models of similar generation, it is a lever on the left hand side of the dashboard front. Thanks to a member of this database with the same model, I found out (after many years) that this function lives in the two tiny silver knobs, unmarked, on either side of the black body, which I had previously mistaken for studs/screws. I never would have guessed!
I bought a couple of Edo-period Japanese books of Tang poetry the other day online. They were block-printed over 100 years ago and hand-sewn. They were being sold cheaply to be "cut up for craft projects". I rescued them, read them, and put them in my book case.
Whenever I see earrings and bracelets made of real vintage typewriter keys, I think of my Edo-period Japanese poetry books.
The other day I saw online sales of vintage LPs melted and reshaped to serve as a decorative tray or bowl.
Online trade is both wonderful and horrible.
Please restore and rejuvenate old things. They were made to be used. The Japanese and the Chinese believe inanimate objects have souls.
If only my typewriter could talk, what stories it could tell.
Hunter: Wena Poon (wenapoon)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
Amateur collector of 19th century and early 20th century things that I can still actually use. I don't sell or deal in my things, I just use them.
RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Royal Companion on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Royal Serial Number page and the Royal Companion By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.
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