.Davis Typewriter Works

.Davis Typewriter Works

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Royal Quiet De Luxe ramblings

One of the topics in the Portable Typewriter Forum that has always interested me the most is the discussion/debate about what kinds of typewriters people can get who really want to use them. Usability, robustness, ergonomics, aesthetics, all these come into play when selecting a typewriter to use frequently.

One of my favorites has long been the Royal Quiet DeLuxe you see here. This is the two tone version with the glass key tops. Designed by Henry Dreyfuss, this machine has never failed to get noticed when out on my desk.

I think it is a known fact that Will and I are two of the loudest proponents of getting a Smith Corona "Super 5" variant for heavy usage, but this machine is almost completely different from those, in looks, feel, size, everything. The glass keys and the two tone paint make this variant seem much more elegant, even refined, as compared to the bigger, heavier "Super 5's". It's action is completely different, too. Not in a bad way, but different. Both of us can flat out BLAZE on this machine if we want to. There is no doubt in my mind that these machines, in whatever variant, are great to use frequently.

Perusing E-Bay, I have noticed the very high prices that some of these command. The later ones without glass key tops go for less, but even those can approach 100 dollars! What is driving this pricing, I wonder? Style? Royal's reputation, lasting even to today? I don't know. They're distinctive, to be sure, and very functional. And I'm sure that I have seen them recommended on the PTF as regular users, at least I THINK I remember that...

This machine was purchased years ago from a professional typewriter repairman who has since gone out of business. Therefore, this machine works perfectly. I've put a lot of miles on it, and it still works every bit as well as it did when I got it. Looks just as good too. There are always several on E-Bay, so if you're willing to throw the bucks it will likely need to get one, I'd recommend one from a usability standpoint. And it doesn't hurt at all that they look good too.


  1. Dang. So that two-tone, glass-key QDL I just passed over in the Goodwill store today should have come home with me, after all.

    I just haven't had good experience with the few Royals I've had (except for the HH, which is a fine machine). The Speed King has a feel I just don't care for, although admittedly it had been abused prior to my adoption of it. Ditto the Futura.

    Well, if that QDL is still there tomorrow, I'll consider it a sign from the gods.

  2. As long as the price is good, and the machine is nice looking, why not give it a try?! They are very distinctive aesthetically, designed by a very well known industrial designer, and aren't bad to type on at all either. Of course, one's personal preferences for "feel" on a machine come into play here, but I'm sure that if it was the only machine I had, and had to use it regularly, that I could get by just fine. if you do get it, let us know what you think of it!

  3. I picked one up recently for my son as a Christmas gift. He used a typewriter recently at my grandmas house and loves the nostalgia of the thing. Even wants to yank the paper out and yell out "COPY" I found it at a second hand store. We both wrote our price on a paper and I got it for 20 bucks, sans ribbon spools. The case was in very good condition and the back panel is bowed and two of the keys have spilled ink in them. Ours is a 1948 model and hopefully we can figure out how to take care of it so it will last.

  4. I've found two post-Dreyfuss Quiet Deluxe models at my local Goodwill. All they needed was a little bit of oil.