How to Use a 1940s Royal Quiet Deluxe Typewriter

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Ernest Hemingway wrote most of his novels on one. Millions of others used them, too, making the Royal Quiet Deluxe the best-selling typewriter of the 1930s and 1940s. Compact and relatively lightweight, it was marketed as "the first truly modern portable typewriter" and may be thought of as the laptop of its era. Production of the Quiet Deluxe was interrupted by World War II when Royal, like other typewriter manufacturers, shifted to firearms production. The Quiet Deluxe never regained its eminence as a mobile writing machine in the postwar era as lighter, more portable typewriters — like the Hermes 3000 — swept the market.

Paper Handling

Pull the paper lock forward and insert the paper behind the cylinder, positioning it so the left edge of the paper is against the paper guide.

Turn the cylinder knob until the paper rolls under the paper lock. Push the paper lock back and lock the paper into place.

Remove the paper by pulling the paper lock and the paper release levers into the forward position and pulling the paper straight up and out of the roller. Alternatively, paper may be rolled out of the machine by turning the cylinder knob until the paper emerges completely from the roller.

Margin Setting

Hold the "Magic Margin" lever forward and move the carriage until the carriage position indicator is at the desired margin point. Release the "Magic Margin" lever.

Type outside the margin by pressing the "Margin Release" key.

Push the carriage return lever to restore the original margin setting.

Keyboard

Type a capital letter by depressing and holding either "shift" key while you type the letter. To type a string of consecutive capital letters, press the "Shift Lock" key on the keyboard.

Insert spaces between words by pressing the "Return" bar.

Return to a space to make an insertion or correction by pressing the "Back Space" key on the keyboard.

Spacing

Adjust the space between lines by pushing the "Line Space Selector" back for single-spacing or pulling it forward for double-spacing.

Push the "Line Space" lever to the right to return the carriage and advance the paper to the next line.

Move the "Line Finder" switch forward and rotate the carriage to the desired position to change line spacing to a fraction of a single space. To return to the original spacing, move the "Line Finder" switch back.

Tabulation

Move the carriage to the desired position for the first tab and note its numerical position on the Cylinder Scale.

Move the first tab stop on the tab scale at the rear of the machine to the same numerical position as the Cylinder Scale.

Repeat to set additional tab stops.

Advance the carriage through the tab stops by pressing the "Tab" key.

Changing Ribbon

Depress the "Shift Lock" key and move the "Ribbon Color Change" selector to the red dot.

Press any two keys in the center of keyboard simultaneously so the keys lock together at the printing point.

Open the lid of the typewriter. Use a down-up motion to remove the ribbon from the Rapid Ribbon Changer at the printing point. Wind the ribbon as far as it will go on either spool and slip the ribbon out of the ribbon guides next to each spool. Remove both ribbon spools from the machine.

Attach the new ribbon to the empty spool. Install both spools on the hubs and insert the ribbon in the guides next to each spool. Unwind enough slack to position the ribbon over the typing bars.

Close the lid of the typewriter. Insert the ribbon in the Rapid Ribbon Changer. Return the "Ribbon Color Change" selector to the blue dot. Unlock the two typing keys. Depress either "Shift" key and rotate the ribbon spools to take up any remaining slack.

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