Two Royals and Birthday Lemonade

I went into Mozo’s about a week and half ago to check out Moe’s latest find: a 1970 Hermes 3000 with script typeface – mint condition:




1970 Hermes 3000
Serial number: 7059922


It had the original manual as well as an original brush:


Not only that, it had the original warranty card:


I felt like I should have completed the warranty and mailed it in.

There was also a receipt for a draw band repair. It cost $8.50 to get a draw band repaired in 1973:


My question: how does a draw band snap in just three years of use?  Hermes was obviously not using 80lb fishing line for its draw bands.

I congratulated Moe on her find and told her that while I wasn’t in the market for a mint condition script Hermes 3000, she would certainly find a happy buyer.

Typewriters in need

Moe asked me if I was interested in cleaning up a couple typewriters for her friend Tim.  Tim is a retired newspaper reporter with a fondness for typewriters. He had two portable Royals that needed care. Both were very dirty, one with a broken draw band, one with a lot of rust and a cemented segment. I told Moe that I was up for the job.


I love before and after typewriter photography. I may have a fetish for decay—if I know that it’s a temporary state. Here I indulge in what I call “Beforn”, a form of ruin porn:


That’s a dead spider by the spool


Aahh – it speaks to me…”help meeee…”


White residue on the keys. Baby Blue had the same stuff. It’s probably some chemical precipitate from the 1950s plastic of the keys.

Bad News and the Philosopher Queen

Moe called me the next day while I was working on Tim’s Royals.  Bad news.  The Hermes 3000 got dropped.  Could I come in and take a look?  Of course.

It didn’t look too bad:



DSC03722 DSC03723

Moe was philosophical about the Hermes.  She said: “I don’t get upset about that sort of thing.  Why should I?”

Indeed, she’s right. Why should you?


Philosopher Queen Moe, her bevy of beauties, and a stable of stallions

When Life Gives You a Broken Hermes, Make Lemonade

Moe asked me if I could do anything to get it typing again.  The carriage was mashed into the body and not moving.  The plastic carriage housing was shattered and the cool margin indicator was pulled out. Blurg.

Then I had an idea.  My birthday was this past weekend.


I had my husband buy the mashed Hermes for my birthday (because nothing says “Happy-Birthday-Darling” like a broken typewriter).  Now I will be able to dismantle and investigate the complex mechanisms slowly and methodically at my own pace and not worry that I may never get it back together and working.  At this point, it’s an interesting parts machine, but who knows? Perhaps it will type again.

Here are the ladies of Mozo’s. Roia (mother of the Arduino Kid) is posing with the LC Smith and Moe is posing with the Parisian wrestlers:


I think this poster of turn-of-the-century Parisian wrestlers could look great framed and hung in the bathroom:


12 thoughts on “Two Royals and Birthday Lemonade

  1. First, Happy Birthday! Second, I think you are right about the white gunk on the QDL keys. I had the same thing all over my Remington Quiet-Writer keys but it came off with a bit of scrubbing. Have you tried Evapo-Rust yet? It worked well for my Corona 3 segment.


    • I have used Evapo-Rust. It’s great! The formulation that I use leaves a sticky residue though, and the treated parts need to be rinsed afterwards.

      This little Royal Companion’s segment cleaned up nicely with mineral spirits and a little scrubbing. Fortunately, the rust seemed to more cosmetic than functional.


    • I hadn’t even thought of that, but it looks like both platens are good and if anything the older one is slightly softer.

      I’m hoping that the damaged 3000 is more than a parts machine. I think it might just be a case of some bent parts in the carriage and if I straighten them out, it will type again.


  2. Love the word “beforn”!

    I was just cleaning a QDL with similar moldy-looking keys. I had to remove all the keys and bathe them in Scrubbing Bubbles before individually wiping them off.


    • I was able easily wipe the residue off with Goo Gone:
      Goo Gone

      I didn’t use Goo Gone on the baby blue QDL I recently cleaned – I had to really, really scrub those keys.

      I want to find another typewriter with moldy-looking keys so I can see whether my success with Goo Gone was just a fluke.


      • Tyler Anderson says:

        Do you think the GooGone would be ok to use on paint? I’ve a Corona 4 with (supposed to be) gold paneling that has some odd black residue on it that isn’t coming off unless i scratch at it with a pick, but even then, and with great fear of harming the underlying paint, I cant get it all off. I would love to get rid of the black stuff, leave the gold stuff. Thoughts?


      • I’ve used Goo Gone on old paint without mishap (it’s very good for removing tape residue) but I would test carefully in an inconspicuous spot.


    • The Companion has a textured “crinkle” finish. The crinkle finish is often found on vintage typewriters of the 1930s – 1950s. I assume it gained in popularity over the smoother glossy finishes of older typewriters because the crinkle finish hides smudgy fingerprints so well.


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