Kroy 80K Lettering System and a Dayton Portable Typewriter

Some of you may remember some months back when I posted about a KROY 24 Lettering System I found at Goodwill and passed up. Well, sometimes life demands that you have a thing and refuses to acknowledge your reluctance. At least the price was right: $0.00 – Bill practically pleaded with me to get the thing out of his shop so he could have some table space:

The KROY 80K Lettering system. Imagine an electric daisywheel typewriter with a typewheel that weighs at least half a pound. Shown here with the protective plastic cover open - I expect the cover is mainly to keep you from reaching in while the thing is spinning around and getting your fingers broken.

It came with 24 Font Disks packed in a box with the documentation and a sales brochure. The sales brochure seems to indicate that I have nearly every font disk made for the KROY.

This is what the output looks like. It's clear tape with an opaque peel-off backing. Peel off the backing and stick your typeset line into your pasteup mechanical. Ahh, those were the days. (not really)

Bill's shop is more packed than usual with typewriters awaiting repair.

You can see why he wanted to get that KROY machine off his table space ASAP :D

The Dayton Portable Typewriter - I've never seen one before.

We're guessing it's from the 30's, made in Dayton, Ohio

Pretty cheaply constructed, with weird leather-like paint.

The body panels are probably stamped steel or aluminum, with unfinished edges.

They apparently had the budget to personalize the platen knobs though...

The maker's tag on the back. I've read that Darryl Rehr has a Dayton with a 2-digit serial number. This one has a 3-digit serial. I wonder if the serial number ever got to 4 digits?

Typecast on Bill Wahl's Olympia SG1 at his shop.

Updated: August 14, 2012 — 10:20 pm


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  1. I vaguely recall a post about the Dayton. It was on Robert’s blog. Here it is, I found it:
    That one seems to be very rare!

  2. That’s a rather cool machine you picked up. Great for a zine.

  3. Neat Kroy! The thinking man’s Dymo.

  4. Holy Toledo! Daytons are rarer than hen’s teeth.

    Here, I’ve made a PDF of my ETCetera story about my Datyon.

    You should definitely read Robert’s story too.

    I hadn’t noticed the personalized platen knob, but my Dayton has one too! Very cool detail.

    1. wowser, so Bill’s is officially #6 known to exist? The prefix on his is “BX” instead of “AX” (BX-530 it looks like when I enlarge the original photo of the back plate) I wonder if that’s because it has the black leather-like paint rather than the smooth greenish-grey with the blue pinstriping that yours has.

      Now I’ve read both yours and Robert Messenger’s research on the subject, I see how it’s an incredibly rare find. I dunno what Bill paid for it, but he said a guy just called him out of the blue and offered it to him.

      1. How nifty.

        I don’t think it’s worth a mint — I didn’t pay a lot for mine even though it was in a high-profile auction. Collectors probably won’t go gaga over a Dayton. Still, it sounds like Bill probably got a very good deal, and I think it’s wonderful to have such a rare object. I hope Bill will be able to get it into good working condition.

        1. Yep, I looked up the Dayton in both Rehr and Adler and they both issue really tame estimates of value. Myself, I can’t imagine anyone wanting one for anything other than it’s rarity.

          From what I can gather, I’m guessing the “AX” and “BX” prefixes may refer to color, and the only pictures I’ve seen are of the grey/green with blue pinstripe ones (yours and Rehr’s). I wonder if Bill has the only known black-painted one? That would be nifty.

          I’ll keep an eye on it and see if Bill does a more in-depth restoration job on it. It was a hot mess when he got it – the wooden case cover was missing its top panel, and a great many years of nastiness had gotten into the machine. The rust doesn’t look too bad. It’d be hard to match that paint texture, though.

  5. Hello, have you bought this Kroy 80K typewriter? If yes, can you let me know some hardware usage information of this machine?

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