Typewriter of the moment: Ian Fleming, the man with the golden typewriter


Ian Fleming at his typewriter

Ian Fleming at his typewriter

[Apologies.  Several of the links in this post simply don't work any more.  I've tried to make sure the photos are there. Watch for an updated post -- and be sure to read the comments.]

Ian Fleming, the creator of secret agent James Bond, at his typewriter, the gold-plated one:

Gold-plated?  According to IanFlemingCentre.com:

Ian Fleming’s first biographer, John Pearson, has identified 15 January 1952 as the “birth date” of James Bond and reports that CASINO ROYALE was finished on 18 March. Andrew Lycett’s IAN FLEMING points out that Ian “may have completed the job in an even shorter time”.

Ian Fleming married Ann Rothermere on Monday 24 March in that same year and often joked that he wrote CASINO ROYALE to take his mind off the forthcoming wedding. Whatever the timing, he had left his time working in naval intelligence with the determination to write “the spy story to end all spy stories”. He was forty three, about to marry and have his first child; his ambition and his experience came together at this moment in the creation of James Bond. He rewarded himself by buying a custom-made typewriter – plated in gold.

There you have it.

Is this a close-up of that typewriter? From AtomicMartinis.com:

Ian Flemings gold-plated typewriter

Ian Fleming’s gold-plated typewriter (Formerly at Atomic Martini; James Bond Shop)

I first saw a James Bond movie in 1964, “Goldfinger.”  I spent the rest of the summer reading all the James Bond books then in paperback.  Bond adventures reflected the attitudes, tone and tension of the Cold War.  They also provided great escape for a teenager with a summer of little else to do in central Utah.

The books proved much better than the movies.  While I’ve seen most of the movies as they’ve come along, I encourage people to read the books.  The stories are different from the movies, especially the movies coming after “Goldfinger.”  The gadgets are less spectacular, but the characters and travelogues are more spectacular.

Mostly the stuff is just fun.  Bond was sort of a Harry Potter for slightly older kids, and still can be.

I have not read any of the post-Fleming Bond novels.  Does anyone recommend them?

Other Resources:

4 Responses to Typewriter of the moment: Ian Fleming, the man with the golden typewriter

  1. Cary Mark says:

    I forgot to answer some of your questions. Ian Fleming paid $174.00 for his model. There are four links at the bottom of my web page in the comment section and one link talks about him buying it. I am not sure how many were made, but 200 were given away in one writing contest sponsored by Royal. There is an advertisement about the Royal Typewriter Company writing contest on one of the four links also. Recently a collector wrote up the following blog about these Royal Gold models and it talks about the ones that are exactly like Flemings.

    http://oztypewriter.blogspot.com/2013/05/celebratory-typewriter.html

    Like

  2. Cary Mark says:

    Mine is exactly like Flemings to the detail. Royal Typewriter Company gave away many of these Gold models for awards. The Fleming Royal gold model is very rare now. I can’t even remember the last time I saw the Fleming model on Ebay. There are some Royal gold models out there that are similar.

    Like

  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Great history. I had thought Fleming had a one-of-a-kind, something he customized himself.

    Do you know how many of the gold-plated typewriters there were? Did Fleming buy his, or did the company comp it to him?

    Like

  4. Cary Mark says:

    If you want to learn more about Ian Fleming’s Gold typewriter and see mine that is exactly like it go to:

    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/80687-royal-1953-gold-deluxe-portable

    There is also a blog about my typewriter at:

    http://spyvibe.blogspot.com/2013/04/ian-fleming-1953-royal-quiet-deluxe.html?m=1

    Like

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