Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Royal Typewriter Co

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Royal Bar-Lock.
May 1913. No.1 Model and No. 5 Model.

The Royal Typewriter Company was a manufacturer of typewriters headquartered in New York City with its factory in Hartford, Connecticut

The Royal Typewriter Company was founded in January 1904 in a machine shop in Brooklyn, New York by Edward B. Hess and Lewis C. Myers.

In 1905, with their limited cash running out, Hess and Myers turned to Thomas Fortune Ryan, the wealthy financier. They demonstrated their machine which had numerous innovations including: friction-free, ball-bearing, one-track rail to support the weight of the carriage, a new paper feed, a lighter and faster typebar action, and complete visibility of the words as they are typed. Ryan was impressed and put up $220,000 in exchange for financial control.

In March 1906 the first Royal typewriter, the Royal Standard, was sold. The Royal Standard was different from its competition in that it had a "flatbed" design.

With demand increasing, Royal purchased 5¼ acres in Hartford, Connecticut as the new site for its manufacturing facility. Original plans called for floor capacity of 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) and cost $350,000 to build. In 1908, Royal began manufacturing there.

In 1911, Royal introduced the Royal 5 typewriter, which also utilized the "flatbed" design.

By 1913 was making typewrites in Britain (see advert)

Royal's first model utilizing the "upright" design was the Royal 10, which came out in 1914. Original models had two beveled glass panes on each side.

1926 Royal introduced the Roytype brand name for its line of typewriter ribbons and carbon paper.

1926 Royal entered the portable typewriter market - years behind its competitors such as Underwood, LC Smith Corona, and Remington.

1960s Litton Industries owned Royal and Imperial Typewriters; transferred manual typewriter production from Hartford, Conn., to Hull, greatly expanding the factory there[1]

1975 Announcement of plans to close the Hull and Leicester factories[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Feb. 3, 1975
  2. The Times Feb. 3, 1975