Meet Percy, the First Rooster in the Hen House

Fresh Ribbon

Percy came to me in a dream, almost. I’d been hunting one of these with a vengeance for some time and with no luck whatsoever. Then – just as it happens with true love – I stopped looking and this Royal KHM showed up at my office door with a fist full of road-picked flowers and a shy grin.

It seems he’s not from around here. Probably hopped a train from Chicago – I found the barest remnant of it stamped on the shreds of his vinyl cover. You know, I live in a train town and it’s not least bit unusual to find a wayward traveler here and there. I’ve taken him in, promised hot water and hot meals in return for a little office work.

Oh, he’s filthy. I knocked out dirt-dobber nests and a couple of spider skeletons. Despite that, I was able to dust him off, put in a new ribbon, and begin typing as if not a day had passed since 1936. A steady, even Elite. This will be my new office typewriter – after a good going over.

Ed, I’m sorry you couldn’t get your hands on this one. You would’ve loved it.

7 thoughts on “Meet Percy, the First Rooster in the Hen House

  1. Love him! He somehow reminds me a bit of the photos you see of Depression times: men wearing the remains of expensive suits as they wait in line at soup kitchens, having fallen on hard times.There are the remains of a fine gentleman about him, and while he may be a bit bewildered and bitter about his fate now and again, I betcha he's never forgotten how to treat a kind lady!

  2. Handsome feller, that Percy. Careful that his slick city-boy ways don't turn the heads of your bevy of beauties, Monda. (I'm not worried: you raised 'em right.)Most of my NaNo is being written on my KMG, say 60-70% of it. It's a workhorse, and those glass-rimmed keys aren't as hard on the fingers as I expected, and I've got a lead on a similar-era Quiet DeLuxe stowed in a local garage. Those Royals, they'll catch you up and not let go.Ed would have been pleased.

  3. I dunno, Monda. Fella like that, come callin' on a lady who just happens to be housin' a stable of good lookin' lady typewriters…a fella that just so happens to be long on look & charm…Just keep an eye on him, that's all I'm sayin'.

  4. Percy's a twinkle-eyed rascal. Something about these old Royals make me want to type forever. I hear there's a typewriter man in Hot Springs who knows his stuff, but I'm not quite ready to do that yet. I'll clean as much as I can myself, although that may not amount to much. If anyone has a manual for Percy, I'd be thrilled to pieces to get a look at it.

  5. Monda, I don't think there's too much about Percy's controls that you don't already know. I can't tell from the photo if he's got \”Magic Margins\”, but that and the ribbon reverse are the only two oddments on my KMG — the carriage looks very, very similar to my machine.The platen should be easily removed. On my machine, you flick a round knob on the top of the right-hand side of the platen, and then the whole platen lifts out, very much like changing a roll of paper towels — the left-hand side of the platen fits into a little metal \”cup\” and the right knob comes along with the assembly. I can photograph this if you like.Looks like you have buttons to pop open the ribbon covers (?). The lever on the left-front side is probably a ribbon reverse, and I'll wager that small button next to it is either a margin release or a cover release. hard to tell.Prepare yourself for respooling the ribbon on Percym, though. Those Royal spools are unlike anything else I've seen, with a little hook that drops down when the ribbon is totally unwound, and catches the reverse mechanism.

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