Brother Deluxe 700T

So I am trying out this old Brother Deluxe 700T manual typewriter. It is is nice condition, and seems to work perfectly well. The bell sounds dull and the ribbon is faded but does feed. The machine works well and it is my only machine with a ‘1’ key (instead of using ‘l’) and an exclamation mark (!). On the other hand, it feels sloppy and tinny compared with the Dora and especially the Hermes, which feels like it was machined from solid lump of steel where this feels more like it was riveted together from pressings. Good pressings, I suspect. It’s in great nick and set me back $20, which is pretty reasonable. I’ve put a two colour ribbon in it, since the other ones have black.

I can’t be bothered inserting pictures carefully, so here they all are:

Brother Deluxe 700T with it's top on. Beige beige beige.

Brother Deluxe 700T with it’s top on. Beige beige beige.

 

With the top off. Case in background. All plastic but all in good condition. Why is tab in red? Is it dangerous?

With the top off. Case in background. All plastic but all in good condition. Why is tab in red? Is it dangerous?

 

Some type from the Brother, man.

Text in two colours. The machine produces stuff that looks good on the page, though it feels flaky under the fingers while typing, as if bits are bending and flexing, but everything seems to end up in the right place when the typebar comes down.

 

My Brother from Nagoya.

My Brother from Nagoya.

Quick wipe with a bit of Jif on the casing, no cleaning of the machine itself required, and away it goes. The case is very plasticky, and looks quite flimsy, so I am quite impressed that it is so intact; I suspect it has not been used very much. No doubt being owned by me will see to it that the plastic lugs and springs and other vulnerable bits get broken. But in the meantime it gives me another unit to, well, put somewhere.

Nagoya B75635279, means was made Feb 1977. ‘JP-7’ model, under the hood.

Conclusion: The type is clear, with excellent contrast and readability. It has a paper stand, an eraser table, 1, 1.5, 2 line spacing, fixed but useful tab stops, a carriage lock (that I cannot get to work, though I can’t see anything wrong with it, so probably it is me), a ‘1’ and an exclamation mark (bang!) and an asterisk (*). I would say the selection of characters is probably superior to my other machines. It feels tinny but actually works very well and is lighter than my other machines (because uses a lot of fairly thin plastic). If results are important and ‘feel’ is not, it is an excellent machine. If ‘feel’ is as important as results, it does not match up with the Hermes. Brand new it would have been a lot cheaper than the Hermes (and it was cheaper second hand as well, though of course none of them cost much) and probably cheaper than the competing Olivetti, though, so I can see why there are so many Brother typewriters around.

This I think shows how clear and well-aligned the type is. The OCT routines I use work better with this than with the other machines I have.

This I think shows how clear and well-aligned the type is. The OCR routines I use work better with this than with the other machines I have (I will admit I thresholded the image in ImageJ because there was some show-through of type on the other side).

Nothing you needed to know, for sure.

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About Darren

I'm a scientist by training, based in Australia.

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