Typewritten index card in black elite typeface that reads: Hello! I'm a 1955 Royal HH. I'm what's known as a standard typewriter. Usually I would sit permanently on a desk in one space and rarely move, much like a desktop computer now. Smaller and lighter portable typewriters existed for easier use, but they didn't come close to my performance, particularly for long periods of typing. Of course this performance is the reason that writers and creators like Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Elia Kazan, Mario Puzo, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, Charles Bukowski, George Burns, Herb Coen, Bruce Catton, Paddy Chayefski, Don Dellilo, Alice Denham, Paul Russell, James T. Farrell, William F. Buckley, Sterling North, Robert B. Parker, William Zinzer and even Hugh Heffner used Royal HH typewriters just like this one. I've got the standard Royal elite typeface and I can lay down type at 12 characters per inch and 6 lines per vertical inch. This makes me an excellent candidate to write the next great American novel. Why don't you get some paper and give me a whirl?

I usually type up a short introduction card for the handful of typewriters sitting around the house so that visitors will have an idea of what they’re appreciating. It’s almost like having a museum card on a work of art, but usually mine have a call to type on them. Naturally there are either index cards or paper close at hand to encourage both touching and typing.

Above is the brief introduction to the 1955 Royal HH I finished repairing, cleaning out, and re-assembling today.

A large standard Royal HH typewriter on a side table next to an old fashioned glass with a Negroni in it.
Ready to type at the end of the day, a Royal HH sits next to a Negroni.

1949 Smith-Corona Clipper Black Wooden Case Restoration

Two overlapping 4x6 inch index cards typed in blue ink which read: 
Smith-Corona 1949 Case On my lunch break today, I spent some time cleaning up the Black fabric-covered wooden carrying case for my most recent Smith-Corona typewriter acquisition. I started by wiping down the black fabric which was filthy, but otherwise in very serviceable condition. There are a few small cuts or small divots, but nothing painfully eye-catching. It took some elbow grease with mild detergent and a damp cloth, but it came out quite well. Next up came some work on the steel fittings which were showing sighs of pitting and rust. A bit of masking tape to protect the black fabric, and a bronze brush seemed to take care of the worst of it. Wiping things down with some Sparklean a brand of jewelry cleaner I have lying around seemed to polish things up nicely. I finished things up by quickly wiping down the interior. I also cleaned out the clever spring loaded hinges, and then gave all the solid metal fittings a light and very thin coat of machine oil. Thinking 1 was done and having the case back in order for at least the next decade, it dawned on me that the white splotch on the case exterior was probably some spilled liquid paper. I went at it with a touch of 91% isopropyl alcohol and then wiped it down with a moist cloth. It came off readily and doesn't seem to have damaged the exterior. Next up for the weekend is to clean out the sticky keys and provide any internal cleaning and oiling which may be required.

Some photos in the process of cleaning up the black wooden case of my 1949 Smith-Corona Clipper which are suggestive of methods one might attempt at restoring their own versions.

A sparkling shiny latch and polished steel fittings on a black fabric covered wooden typewriter case. The fabric is press onto the wood to make it appear as if it's black painted wood grain.
Near the right side of the handle you can see the white liquid paper spill on the case which cleaned up quickly.
A close up of the feet and hinge on a typewriter case showing how rusty and nasty the metal has become over time
All the metal fittings on this case were this bad and needed some attention.
A before and after comparison of a corroded, rusty hinge and feet on a typewriter case on the left, and cleaner and shinier fittings on the right hand side.
Before and After
A photo of a typewriter case featuring a cleaned hinge next to which is a piece of blue masking tape with a hole punched into it for cleaning a rusty hinge fitting. Next to the hinge are a metal single hole punch and a green plastic-handled bronze bristled brush.
Extreme abrasives like this brass bristle brush on a fabric covered wooden case will cause damage, so mask what you don’t want scrubbed clean..

Not factory perfect, but certainly acceptable for another 75 years of happy use.

A wooden library card catalog on which sits a 1949 Royal Quiet De Luxe Typewriter next to a crystal old fashioned glass and a fifth of Glenmorangie in a scotch bottle. To one side is a blue vase with small pink roses.

I’ve seen many references comparing the use of typewriters in an overstimulating technology space to the slow food movement. Since one regularly pairs wine with their meals, it only seems right to extend the typewriter analogy to liquor as well. Today, I’m pairing this smooth 10 year single malt Glenmorangie Scotch with the 1949 Royal Quiet De Luxe.

Surely Hemingway would approve?

Type-o-sphere, what are you pairing with your typewriter today?

Typewritten index card in green elite type repeating the words of the paragraphs above.