Sunday, October 1, 2017

About succulents and Royal

Recently picked up an album - a so-called 'Verkade album'. Between '03 and '40 the cake-manufacturer Verkade published these illustrated albums, with the illustrations enclosed with the company's product. (Collect them all...)

This is a 1932 album; 'Vetplanten' ('Succulents'). The undoubtedly knowledgeable Mr van Laren gives much and varied information on the care of succulent plants and the various species thereof.

Notable on the title-page of the album is the mention that it was printed and bound by Blikman and Sartorius, Amsterdam.

In the field of typewriters in The Netherlands that is a familiar name; they were the importers/distributors for Royal typewriters. They are notable for having pasted their company name on each and every typewriter they supplied. So much so that often on the local online-ads site there is listed a 'Blikman & Sartorius' typewriter for sale, model 'Royal'. (They were however by no means the only importer to do so. James Plant prominently labeled every Underwood that passed his warehouse and Ruys tagged all Olivetti machines with their own brand. Blikman & Sartorius were the most consistent and 'visible' in doing this, though.)

As example of their eagerness to place their name, they went to the trouble of taking this Royal De Luxe portable machine out of the case and rub off the 'touch-control' label. They then put their company name prominently on the centre front of the machine.

It was perhaps a company policy; everything that leaves the door gets labeled :)


  1. I would be nice to have one of those labelled machines in the collection. I do not recall seeing any in the USA although some (SEARS, Montgomery Ward) retailers had typewriters rebranded with their name and many typewriter shops added their label.

    1. Oh but for the cost of shipping across the ocean :)
      Actually overhere it's impossible to get a Royal that hasn't been defaced by B&S. They were not claiming to be anything other than the distributors by the way, they were just very noisy about it :)
      The store-brand typewriters start to appear here I think only from the seventies onward really, mostly Japanese machines. Odd, but then no retailer overhere was ever quite as large as the US stores.