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The Royal Jetstar and Custom Electric typewriters

by | Jan 11, 2018 | electric, Royal | 7 comments



The Jetstar’s nifty ribbon setting indicator light:

  

Here’s the ’68 TV ad for the Jetstar:

The Ultronic and the Jetstar share the same mechanism and both have strong aluminum bodies, but their styling is very different:


Read about the Ultronic here.

Serial number PE8237771:

Here’s an illuminated ad for the Jetstar that a dealer might hang in the window of a shop:

This catalogue page from 1970 pairs the Royal Jetstar with the smaller All-Electric.

The Custom Electric was essentially a Jetstar with some faux-wood paneling and a few extra features (much like the Custom Ultronic), as illustrated in another 1970 catalogue page.

Note that this is a catalogue for Bennett Brothers (still in business), which did not sell these typewriters to consumers but only to retailers, or to companies that wanted to provide “awards, premiums, or prizes.” Maybe you would be awarded a Custom after 50 years of service as a typist at Acme Widgets! Maybe most of the Customs went to niche markets such as this.

This photo I found online shows an Ultronic in its box with a user’s manual for the Custom — illustrating the point that these typewriters are mechanically the same.

The original Jetstar was a small jet airplane developed by Lockheed in the late ’50s.

7 Comments

  1. SteveK

    Nice find! Down here Jetstar is an Australian low-cost airline and a wholly owned subsidiary of Qantas.

    Reply
  2. Bill M

    Nice typewriter. I like its square design better than the Hermes square plastic of about the same era.

    The IBM has some unique punctuation marks. Almost all the . parts being small circles and the hollow !.

    Reply
  3. McTaggart

    Nice find Richard. I would focus my attention on the motor drive belt, if it is too slack then the typewriter is not working fast enough to actuate the typebars properly. How is the carriage return? is it snappy? You can tighten the drive belt by moving the motor back as the locating screws on the motor are usually elongated for this purpose.

    Reply
  4. Richard P

    Thanks for your advice. The carriage return works just fine, and the power roller moves steadily, so I think the belt is tight enough.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    I just picked up one of these at a garage sale and can’t find much about it. Did you ever find out how much it’s worth?

    Reply
  6. Richard P

    It's rare, but most collectors don't even know it exists, and aren't interested in modern electrics. So its market value is normally going to be quite low.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Thanks for the reply! I appreciate it. It was interesting reading your article about it.

    Reply

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