What Ever Happened to the Royal Typewriter?
"Different historians attribute the invention of the typewriter to different people. As long ago as 1713, a gentleman by the name of Henry Mills was granted a patent by Queen Anne for an invention he called 'an artificial machine for the impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively one after another as in writing.' In 1829, Willima Burt of Detroit patented a machine called a 'typographer.' Though primitive in construction and appearance, this 'typopgrapher' incorporated the same principle for paper feeding that is used today. Hundreds of mechanical writing devices were patented throughout Europe, though they were used primarily by the inventor or a wealthy patron.
"In 1868, C. Latham Sholes of Milwaukee built his version of the 'type-writer,' and followed through by manufacturing and marketing it. His partner, a printer named Charles Clidden, found it natural to follow the arrangement of the letters in his typesetting case for the typewriter keyborad. Over time, modifications of this arrangement were made to avoid collision of the keys, but for the most part it is still used today.
By the turn of the century, there were 89 separate typewriter companies in the United States. Among these was Royal, which at its inception consisted of three men with a new design and the money and perseverance to promote it. Edward B. Hess labored in a small, one-floored Brooklyn factory to perfect his partner Lewis C. Myers' deisgn, with the financial backing of Thomas Fortune Ryan and his associates.
The Royal Model l Typewriter distinguished itself from its competition in that it was designed for the operator. The Model l required little effort to operate because Hess had solved the problem of the keys being difficult to push down. He reversed the action of the keys so that when the typist pushed one down, the type bar(containing the letter to be imprinted) was pulled up instead of pushed down" (What Ever Happened).
US bans time-honoured typeface
In an internal memorandum distributed on Wednesday, the department declared 'Courier New 12' - the font and size decreed for US diplomatic documents for years - to be obsolete and unacceptable after February 1.
"In response to many requests and with a view to making our written work easier to read, we are moving to a new standard font:'Times New Roman 14'," said the memorandum (NEWS 2004).
Machines of Loving Grace
"Royal was one of the longest-lived typewriter manufacturers. They introduced their first typewriter, the Royal #1, in 1906 and did not stop manufacturing typewriters until the 1970s. The company still exists, albeit having unders=gone many incarnations as part of various parent companies. Today (royals.htm).