Royal Standard No.5
The Royal typewriter began in 1906 and was one of the longest-lived typewriter manufacturers in the world. Royal’s first model was the Royal #1. Royal continued to manufacturer typewriters until the 1970s. The company still exists today, but has changed direction many times as part of various parent companies. Royal is owned by Olivetti and still sells typewriters, but none with the famous Royal brand.
Royal started with ‘flatbed’ models, and from there progressed into less exciting machine designs. Royal’s intent was to build a sturdy work horse and not an exciting or revolutionary machine. However, the design featured numerous improvements over earlier machines, which was the work of the company’s founder and vice-president E.B. Hess.
From the beginning, Hess worked to build the ultimate visible writer. His first patents dealt with a nine-bar typewriter with revolving sleeves, each carrying nine characters. Hess himself decided that his invention was a ‘freak’, and it was never built. He went on to improve existing machines and by 1923 he was reported to have collected more than 140 different patents dealing with typewriter technology.
By 1910, even the backside of his Royal 1 was barely big enough to list the patents covering this first machine.
The Royal 1 was followed by the Royal 5, a similar flatbed machine. (Other model numbers had to do with different carriage widths.) In 1914 the upright Royal 10 appeared. This was the classic model with beveled glass sides that would grow to be one of the market leaders.
- First year of production: 1906
- Company: Royal Typewriter Company , New York , USA
- Featured: Royal #5