The HH

by | May 4, 2011 | Royal | 14 comments

PS: The color in the first photo is more accurate: brown gravy, not gray flannel. I just learned from tw-db.com that this model was made only 1954-56. Mine dates from 1955. Anyone know what the “E” in the serial means?


  1. Ryan Adney

    I was told it's an indicator for either Elite or Pica. I have no proof of this other than hearsay.

  2. rino breebaart

    That looks like a fast machine. As though it's bracing for the impact of an explosive writing run. It needs a speedometer. And a tacho. Possibly an oil temp too.

  3. Duffy Moon

    1) so the sticker came with the machine, and was not added by you? I like it.
    2) I kept my own HH in the trunk of my old Nissan, with bad struts, through the Season of Snow and the Season of Potholes, and it was in fine form when I finally worked up the nerve to bring it into the house. Now it's painted and gone, and I miss it something terrible, when you post things like this…
    3) My dis- and re-assembly skills were not up to the task of getting that sucker apart for painting, and I ended up taping stuff up and going at it in sections with a spraypaint can. I'm sure to you it wouldn't be a big deal: if you can tackle the Twolypia project, this'd be a slice of pie.

  4. rn

    Richard: what's the queer curved extension south of the tab key?

  5. Art

    I <3 the sticker. I want one. And one with a monkey wrench on it too.

  6. Rob Bowker

    …and there was I thinking you had your blog title sussed from the start:-) Glad you are keeping it. Glad if you change your mind and switch to a new name. Glad you ditched the sticker – I just don't get it. That's one ugly machine though – how about some panel beating before the paint job? Lights and fins to add to add to Rino's speedo?

  7. Richard P

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Richard P

    Ryan: It seems unusual to indicate the pitch in the serial code, but this one is elite, which does seem to fit the E.

    rino: It is indeed fast. Similar to the KMM, with a bouncy feel to the keys.

    Duffy: 1) Yes, it came this way. The retired English prof says a friend of his who never touches computers gave him the sticker.
    2) There are many more out there for you! They made them for only 3 years, but they were fat and busy years for Royal.
    3) That WOULD be a big deal for me. I took a close look. In order to separate the body from the works on this machine, you essentially have to reduce it to a pile of parts. It's much harder than the Twolympia project.

    rn: That is an attachment to the tab key which also activates the tabulator. The idea is that you can hit it with the side of your hand without taking your fingers far from the keyboard. Very ergonomic.

    Art: If you send your mailing address to polt@xavier.edu I can mail you the sticker (slightly wrinkled)!

    Rob: "One ugly machine" with this brown wrinkle paint, yes. But search on Flickr for photos of green and pink glossy HH's and you'll see how attractive this model can be. If you like big office typewriters, that is … though this is not as elephantine as an Olympia SG or a Hermes Ambassador.

  9. Rob Bowker

    You are right! That ice cream pink glossy is an over-stuffed armchair – like it was poured into existence.

  10. Art

    @Richard P: If only I had a mailing address… I think instead, I'm going to draw my own. :) Thanks though.

  11. Typewriter King

    For those who are wondering about this answer, here is what might be the question: "What does HHP and HHE mean?" Anyway, I have seen that HHP means Pica, and HHE means elite.

  12. Typewriter King

    That is part of the tabulator, but instead of your right pinky, you use the heel of your right palm to actuate the tabulator so you can keep all your fingers on the keys. I've used it many times, and believe me, it's neat. Most all Royal HH machines, and at least one FP I've seen are so equipped.

  13. Typewriter King

    Actually, they made the HH beginning in either of late April or early May of 1952 all the way sometime into l956, so it was four years they made this wonderful machine. I have one from 1952 (pica type, 11" carriage), and one from 1955 (elite type, 13" carriage). I also have several for spares.

  14. Typewriter King

    Actually, these are fast machines–good typers, good performers too. In fact, my ol' '52 pulls me in like a magnet, and the next thing I know, I've just finished another letter to my girlfriend about the time I thought I started it. Funny thing, though. I find the best lubricant for this and any typewriter (that I've worked on) has been tranny fluid (Ford Mercon V. The stuff stinks to high Heaven–a little like dead fish–but it sure does work!!).


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