Special Love: My Baby Blue

While I was out of town at the holiday wintering grounds with my herd, Moe from my favorite junk shop called and left a message: could I please come to her shop and take a look at a typewriter?

When I got back into town, I dropped by Moe’s. She had sweet little baby blue Royal Quiet De Luxe that a lady wanted to buy for her daughter, but it was all “jammed”.

The carriage lock was engaged.  I unlocked it and all was well.


I remember when this typewriter had come in – before Thanksgiving it was. The carriage lock was engaged then, and I unlocked it so that people could test typing on it. I guess someone locked it again.

The typewriter was very dirty and needed a new ribbon, so I asked Moe if I could bring it home and clean it up.  Of course, yes.


The serial number is AB3175632 which would make this a 1956 Royal QDL.


I brought the typewriter home and looked it over.  I washed the outside down with soapy water and used my new favorite dollar-store degreaser on tough grimy areas, LA’s Totally Awesome.


The blender photobombs AGAIN

The key tops had a resistant gray and white film that took a lot of scrubbing with green ScotchBrite to remove. I was careful around the printed letters.


The machine had chunks of greasy lint hanging from its insides. I first blew out the machine with compressed air and then doused all the internal mechanics with mineral spirits and then blew wet, dirty chunks out with more compressed air. I don’t usually use mineral spirits, but I wanted to use something that wouldn’t evaporate quickly.

While I scrubbed the type, I noticed that the typeface was something a little different. I couldn’t wait to throw a new ribbon in and see what printed out.

What typeface is this? Herald Pica?


I fell in love a little with this Royal portable. The machine seemed just keen to please and was so pleasurable to type on.



After the clean up, I took the Royal QDL back to Moe’s. Moe’s shop was its usual jumble of fascinating objects perched in precarious positions. There was a new arrival, a golden Olympia Monica, hanging out on a couch in the shop.

The Monica was beautiful shade of yellow/gold.  I took a closer look:


Someone will sit on it if you leave it here, Moe.

It worked great. German keyboard. The label says that was made in the United Kingdom:


Hmm. The serial number is 5693315. I will go back and take some more (less blurry) pictures and add it to the TWDB.


I poked around in the Olympia for bit, but then it was time to leave. It was with a reluctant heart that I left the baby blue QDL at Moe’s, but I was grateful for the experience of it. I had scrubbed the carry case and attached care and feeding instructions.

Goodbye, Baby Blue.


Time for a sing-along:








21 thoughts on “Special Love: My Baby Blue

  1. Tyler Anderson says:

    Glad to hear the Great Migration was a complete success! And yet another wonderful clean-up job. Those mid-century Royals are one of the few post-30s machines that pique my interest, truth be told. I’m still waiting for you to get a call to clean up some odd, unwanted machine Moe gets in. “Blickerdoodle Electric, or something” she’ll say.


  2. Holy smokes. This shop has the greatest finds!

    Both of those would’ve went home with me. Those mid-50 pastel machines go for so much nowadays. More importantly, they’re lovely to look at.


  3. Nick Merritt says:

    Lovely machine and typeface! But that German keyboard Monica is something I’d really love to have.

    Meantime, I am becoming a fan of your Zelig-like blender.


  4. Leigh says:

    Beautiful! I happen to have a turquoise QDL with the same typeface. Unfortunately, mine has some sort of carriage advance problem that I can not seem to fix myself. I’m going to have to take it to someone. It is a gorgeous typeface though, and I’m excited to see an actual block of text in it, as I can’t get mine to do more than a few letters!


  5. My goodness, Moe’s shop sounds like a magical place! I would have had a hard time letting that blue baby go (even though I have no more room). What a near typeface. I hope the blue and the Monica went to loving homes.

    How has your experience with the Awesome cleaner been so far? I have used it just a little, on machines I am not afraid of damaging. Are you diluting or using full-strength? It can be pretty strong-smelling.


    • That LA’s Awesome is awesome stuff – it really strips off the grime. I use it full strength. It is probably incredibly toxic, so in the future I plan to use it with gloves and a mask (to protect my face from spray) and outdoors for good ventilation. I don’t know what’s in that stuff, but it can’t be good for you.


      • Good plan… I’ve tried cleaning horrid grime in the house with it full-strength and drove myself out of the room! We’re having some nice days this week, so maybe I’ll take the Consul out to the porch and see what I can do with the Awesome.


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