Royal Succession

“Royal” branded e.t.s are rare in this part of the world, but clearly the “Royal” brand is not unknown, having appeared alongside the “Imperial” brand in the U.K. and the Commonwealth ever since the days of the mechanical typewriter and Litton Industries.

Triumph-Adler, the owner of the Royal brand through (most of) the era of the electronic typewriter, sold typewriters around the world under the brands “TA Royal”, “Adler-Royal” and (oddly enough) “TA Adler-Royal”.

Around the time Konishiroku, a Japanese photocopier company better known as the makers of Konica cameras, bought a 34% stake in Royal Business Machines in 1984, “Alpha” and “Beta” model names emerged.

Shared colour schemes were used to strengthen brand identity and provide a sense of continuity between typewriters sourced from Germany and Japan.

Take for example, a portable model, the Royal Beta 8000 (circa 1986):

And the Royal Beta 8200C compact electronic typewriter (circa 1985):

No doubting they belong to the same “Royal” family, but while the German lineage of the Beta 8200C is obvious, telling Japanese-made and German-made portable models apart is a little more difficult … until you lift the hood.

German-made portables (unsurprisingly) take a Triumph-Adler compatible ribbon cassette:

These e.t.s were designed to resemble their Japanese Alpha and Beta counterparts (even to the extent of sharing the same platen knob). Examples (circa 1986) include the Royal Alpha 605 and the Royal Alpha 115:

After Olivetti acquired Triumph-Adler in 1986, portable e.t.s from both companies were also sold as “Royals”. These include but may not be limited to:

  • The Triumph-Adler Gabriele 100 and 110 – sold as the Royal PE 101 and PE 101 DS
  • The Olivetti ETP-1000 – sold as the RT 5400/TQ-620
  • The Olivetti Linea 101 and Linea 103 – sold as the Royal RT 6100 and RT 6300
  • The Olivetti Praxis 200 – sold as the Royal TQ 840 (below)

Japanese-made “Royal” portable electronic typewriters (unsurprisingly) take a Nakajima All AX-series compatible ribbon cassette.

The Royal Beta 8000 (pictured above) and the Alpha 600/600P (below) are based on typewriters of Nakajima All’s AX-170-240 series.

The “Royal” Signet 100 and Signet 200 (circa 1987) are based on the hard-to-find Nakajima All AX-270 and AX-275:

Also released in 1987, the “Royal” 170/TQ 720 is a Nakajima All (AX-60) clone with the addition of a few colour highlights:

A little more design effort went into later (1988) “Signet” portables such as the Signet 25 below. These e.t.s are based on typewriters from Nakajima All’s AX-70, 80, 90, 100 series.

The last “Royal” portables to be supplied by Nakajima All, circa 1992, the Scriptor and Scriptor II, are (and no attempt was made to disguise the fact) rebadged versions of the Nakajima All AX-150 and AX-160:

In the early 1990s, Samsung took over from Nakajima All as the world’s OEM portable electronic typewriter supplier of choice.

The “Royal” RT 7300, RT 7500 and RT 7700 are based on the Samsung SQ-1000 and SQ-1030, respectively.

The RT 7700 is possibly based on the Samsung SQ-3010:

Despite its Olivetti-esque name, the Royal “ET Personal 510/Plus” is based on the Samsung SQ-1250:

So endeth the Royal line.