I’ve picked up, I believe, four more typers since my last post. Though I keep checking–and hoping–to find some locally, I’ve relied a lot on shopgoodwill.com for my supply. It can get competitive on there, with some prices reaching over the $100 mark.
Luckily for me, this early 1960’s Royal Companion–built like a tank disguised as a sports car–came home for $87 total. It resembles its predecessors not in the least, most of which were bulky and boxy and browny. This underdog is sleek and sporty, small, and falls in the realm of pewter or gunmetal or mid-grey. I’m certain James Bond had to own one of these, typing up reports off-camera or off-page.
Other than the p occasionally dipping into the red, the only other problems I’ve seen are a faulty margin release requiring manually disengaging it, a slightly slushy spacebar, and a sloppy ribbon feed.
I love the typeface, but it tricks me into thinking it is elite. But I’ve checked and rechecked to verify that it is indeed pica, 10 characters per inch.
Perplexingly, the paper bail, intentionally, has no rollers. Yet the paper–newsprint in this case–feeds smoothly, even when doubled over.
This Companion came with a rigid leather case, erasing shield(?), instruction booklet, and partially completed registration card.