Recently on Arlington Freecycle I received an old typewriter. The internet informs me that it is a post-World War II typewriter produced in 1957. It is a Cyrillic typewriter made my Royal and is as heavy as lead (I think it weighs 28 pounds). It works although it needs a new ribbon and they keys are a little sticky.
It does need some aesthetic help, it looks like someone taped something to it and then put it in the attic where the glue could harden and become hard. I Googled typewriters to find out the best way to clean them and came across The Classic Typewriter Page by Richard Polt. He has tons of information on typewriters and pictures of some incredibly amazing ones. Apparently Cyrillic typewriters are hard to come by on this side of the Atlantic. However, he did not have information on how to remove glue from a typewriter. I ended up writing to him and he immediately wrote back. His advice was to use Goo Gone or Soft Scrub.
Now I have a 28 pound typewriter and I’m not sure what to do with it. It takes up a lot of space. I have identified it as a Royal Model FP manual typewriter and apparently it came in a variety of fun colors, although mine is the standard boring gray. I would be interested to know which Eastern European country this alphabet matches. I wonder how most typewriter collectors display their collections? I guess they live in a house rather than a tiny Alexandria apartment…The Model FP was the favored typewriter of Herb Caen, a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle who called it the The Loyal Royal.