Post-Script: I realized only after writing this piece that I hadn't yet described the intricacies of getting this Royal ship-shape. Yes, it was already functional, but I went through it again, cleaning, degreasing & re-oiling its mechanism, reconditioning the platen, adjusting the ribbon vibrator, replacing the ribbon and waxing the exterior panels. I also meticulously scrubbed the carrying case inside and out, and put together an instruction manual on its operation and care. As for shipment, I ensured it was secured, well-packed and double-boxed, plus insured for its replacement value, should some mishap have occurred. Not that it's some spectacular or rare specimen - which it's not - but that it represented someone's dream come true.
It's funny, the care we put into these obsolete writing devices. I have two classic rotary dial telephones in my home, neither of which I hold in nearly as high regard as the lowliest typewriter. Perhaps it's because, in the case of telephony, the mobile phone provides an experience better in every way - except where it counts, that is - in actual sound quality. Whereas advances in technology don't seem to be providing a better writing experience, just more gimmicks and distraction.
This reminds me that, as time marches forth, there will be but a finite number of functional manual typewriters in existence, whose numbers are certain to slowly decline through the coming decades even as their utility remains in every way as relevant as the day they were assembled.
Photo via Lumix G5, typecast via Smith Corona Galaxy 12.
Errata: Second to last line should read "...dare I say it..."