The Quiet De Luxe “A” Model that Royal introduced in 1939 had direct parentage in the “A” Model “De Luxe” and the short-lived 1938 “Quiet”, but it looked like neither one. Royal had consolidated all four of it’s 1938 higher-end models into just three variations of a single brand-new design: The “A” Model “Quiet De Luxe”, the “B” Model “Aristocrat” and the all-new low-end “C” Model “Arrow”.
On the *very* lowest end of it’s line, Royal still offered Depression-era Varsity and Signet models in new shells, but that’s a different serial number series, and we’ll get to them later. Presumably the new “C” Model had been introduced with the intent of obsoleting those models, but the Depression portables manage to stick around a few more years, and Royal’s Portable lineup ends up being not all that much simpler than it was in 1938.
The “Aristocrat”, as we saw in the previous article, preceded the “Quiet De Luxe” by one year, but that’s a technicality because I don’t believe the first-year “B” models actually had a name. In 1939, the QDL came onto the scene and immediately became popular, selling very well until disaster strikes just 3 years later and brings everything to a grinding halt. We’ll get to that in a moment…
Of course, the disaster that brings it all to a halt happens on December 7, 1941. Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, drawing the United States into World War II. At Royal, all civilian-model portable production stops entirely by the beginning of 1942, as they re-tool for War production. It is WWII that hammers the final nail in the coffin of the Depression-era serial number line “Signet” and “Varsity” models, not the “Arrow”, but it’s the “C” Model “Arrow” that goes off to War. The 56,000 Royal portables that our sources say were made in 1942 and 1943 are very likely all U.S. Navy Radio Mill “Arrows”: