Under normal circumstances, if I were to come across a late-model Royal Royalite in the thrift store, I would probably pass it by–especially an off-white one beginning to yellow with age. The Holland-made Royals with the “squashed Futura” look just don’t do much for me.
But an off-white Royalite slathered in flower decals…?
Now that’s irresistible tackiness! $5 was worth just the opportunity to photograph it.
If you were to guess that this typewriter was probably owned by a 16-year-old girl, you’d be right. The proof is that her class schedule, including Driver’s Ed, was written on a sheet of notebook paper inside the case. Take note, Pottery Barn set designers!
Also down in the bottom of the case were three Gold Bond Stamps. Those of us of A Certain Age remember trading stamps. Your mom would get a certain number whenever they bought groceries. At home, the stamps (most often the green S&H variety) would go into a little booklet, and after so many booklets were filled up, they could be redeemed for Valuable Prizes. I remember my mom once got a set of “unbreakable” dishes with trading stamps. (“Unbreakable” is a loose term in the presence of an 8-year-old.) I think that one could even get a Maytag washer by redeeming a ridiculous number of stamp books.
It makes one wonder: were typewriters ever offered as trading stamp prizes? Could that be how our mystery teenager’s mom bought her typewriter?
I’m leaning toward naming her Lizzie, after Elizabeth of York, whose marriage to Henry Tudor (aka Henry VII) effectively ended the Wars of the Roses by bringing together the houses of Lancaster (whose badge was the red rose) and York (the white rose). Henry subsequently adopted a white-on-red rose as his own badge. Known today as the Tudor Rose, it is still used as the heraldic emblem of the UK. It seems doubly fitting for the name, then, that our Royalite should be white with red roses.
Now if only it had script typeface.