Sunday, November 4, 2018

Typewriter spotting, typeface spotting too

Last week watched a simple film, an unremarkable and somewhat dated "Seven Keys To Baldpate". The version watched was released in 1947 and produced on a limited budget with unremarkable acting. The story I think rather shows its age, feeling more like a 1920s crime novel than a late forties 'noir' film. (As was remarked by a critic at the time...)

This 'aged' impression would not be far off - the story was written by Earl Derr Biggers and first published in 1913. That name would be recognisable to the public back then as the creator of Charlie Chan - a successful series of detective novels and several films featuring the Chinese detective created by Mr Biggers. This name might help draw in the curious to watch the film (- it did last week).

Coming back to Baldpate - the main character is a writer that is continually pulled away from his very nice Royal portable typewriter by the many goings-on. (An Aristocrat? Or an Arrow?)

The typewriter even gets featured in-action and close-up (when Kenneth actually gets the time to sit down at his machine). Quite a distinctive typeface, very unlike the more usual pica. (Royal 'Book'?)

A small 'typographical bonus' when watching this film, even though it's a bit dated with a convoluted story - it does still entertain.


  1. I do think that you've found an example of the elusive Book! The capital R is a good match. I'd love to have this typeface.

  2. Yep, looks like Book to me. Boy, I'd love to find a nice little 40's Royal portable with something other than plain old Elite on it. :D

  3. Well, so they made at least 1 machine with this typeface (now to dig around the RKO props dept.)
    Great looking typeface. (Why so rare? Why everybody Elite/Pica?))