Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Royal-Litton Sahara

I've got several of my machines up for grabs. Meanwhile, I've been earnestly resisting the urge to buy more, but Sunday I found a neat piece I simply couldn't pass up.

Courtney and I went to our local thrift store, and I thought I had all of the typewriters mapped out. Most of them are either too expensive or in some kind of mechanical disrepair, so I thought I wouldn't be tempted. Should have know otherwise...

Under the keyboard, bottom of the case. Yuck!

The machine was quite filthy when I got it. It took a lot of compressed air, brushing, and scrubbing to get most of the dust and gunk out. 

The plastic pegs standing upright hold the bottom of the case to the frame of the machine. Three of them broke, so I had to apply Gorilla Glue. 

Stripped and ready for cleaning.

Quite hilarious. I got an instruction manual for a machine I don't own. If anyone reading this has a Ten Forty and wants a manual, I'll be happy to oblige. 

All done! The two holes in the top of the ribbon cover is where the name plate used to be.

I like the keys a lot. Good size, right amount of indention.

The machine is very interesting. You can see the paper support is inspired from the Olympia line, while the ribbon vibrator is a direct rip from the Olivetti Lettera series. If you position the rollers on the bail bar just right, you can feed the paper through without lifting the bar at all! No bent corners!

It looks good, but regrettably, it doesn't type as good. Paper doesn't feed straight after a few swipes of the carriage return lever (must be a bad roller or something). The D key has a weak return spring. The space bar must be fully depressed, or the carriage won't advance. The shift key must also be fully depressed or the capital letters will fly above the line. Perhaps it was damaged, or it's just a fluke. 

Either way, I won't be winning any speed contests with this piece. It doesn't have a tabulator or touch control. It's much lighter than my Lettera 32, but as far as quality goes, it's no contest.

The only thing I wish is that my Lettera had a blasted paper guide!

This one is for sale, if anyone wants it.

Power to the pen!


  1. That's actually an Adler Tippa, badged as a Royal. Good machines when they're in good nick. (:

    1. It's a stiff competitor for my Lettera 32 as far as ultra- portables go. You still want my Olympia EC?

    2. heh, I didn't actually want it. I have a Brother wedge and centronic interface I use instead. (:

  2. Good find for $15. I agree with Ted, they are potentially nice little typers.

  3. Ah, I knew those keys seemed too familiar. They do have a nice feel. My three Tippas are great little machines.

    1. I might see if Vern can touch it up. The shift is kind of wired. If you don't press down hard enough, the letters fly off the line.