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Saturday 18 February 2012

The Royalite and The Nippo: Typewriter Cousins?

When I received my Condor from Richard Polt, I was alerted to the possibility it was made by Nippo in Japan, as was Richard's Alpina Baby. Sure enough, when I compared the mechanical design with my Nippo Atlas, it came up a match.
I must confess I found it a little harder to believe this same design went all the way back to the Dutch-made Royalite, although it was on Will Davis's say-so, and one knows better than to query Will on the mechanics of a typewriter.
Eventually I got around the getting out a Royalite and comparing it with the Nippo P-200. Yet again, a match in the mechanical design.




Nippo P-200
What really surprised me in this exercise, however, was to discover that I had allowed myself to accept all the bad publicity about the P-200 - I had contributed to it often enough myself.
When typing with both the Royalite and the P-200, the Nippo machine came out miles ahead.
Many typospherians have commented that when comparing models, it is necessary to factor in that they vary from machine to machine.
However, I have to say I have seldom found a very good Royalite. This one seems to be suffering from much the same sort of problems as my Laird Fortune Covey-designed Royalite, the one Richard Amery spent many hours fixing, starting with a sticking spacebar. That machine types quite well now, and this Halberg-designed Royalite may need some of his magic touch. For the time being, it's tinny and loud and pretty awful to type with.
By comparison, the P-200 is a pleasure to use. Maybe it's just my luck to find a good Nippo and a bad Royal. Who knows? What I do know is that I won't be taking the Royalite on any assignments in the foreseeable future. It would wake the dead.
But in 1963, Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Maine Republican, had no choice than to be photographed typing on her Royalite, as Nippos hadn't been made back then.


Richard P said...

So they are basically all children of the Halberg.

Roeland rutten said...

Hi, i'm from the Netherlands and have the opportunity to purchase a nippo p-100 typewriter in excellent condition for ,, however I have trouble determining the value. I am not a collector of typewriters, my goal is o make a profit through reselling. How vauable is this machine to the average tyewrite collector?

Thanks in advance,


Robert Messenger said...

Hi Roeland. Nippos are reasonably common in most parts of the world, including the US. It's of little value to collectors.

Nick Bodemer said...

I have two Royalites, and I have to say that I have never experienced any problems with their space bars. Maybe Royal kept the good ones in the US.

Robert Messenger said...

Kept the good ones in the US? Were any Royalites made in the US, Nick?