To Type, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth...

A man of the cloth and the steel he wields


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  1. I do love my international keyboard layouts.
    Nice find, all in all! All you need now is an interrobang.

    I’ve speculated about placing punctuation at only the beginning of a sentence and not at the end to indicate its type. (There would be a new symbol for imperative, I think) But try doing that some day. It really messes with your mind.

  2. I am hereby enlightened — I didn’t realize Brother was making these little manual typewriters into the late ’80s.

    Robert Messenger has a good in-depth article on Japanese portables in the new ETCetera.

    My impression is that in today’s casual Spanish, many people are leaving out the initial ¡ and ¿ — but there is a sound reason for their existence. In Spanish, unlike English, the question mode is conveyed purely by intonation, without any change in syntax. Quieres Taco Bell. = You want Taco Bell. ¿Quieres Taco Bell? = Do you want Taco Bell? So in a long sentence, the initial punctuation serves the purpose of alerting the reader that this is a question (or an exclamation) instead of a simple declaration.

    Hard to believe that OBSOLETE! doesn’t discuss typewriters. Surely in the next issue.

    1. Just got my new copy of ETC. this morning – A quick read and I note that Brother started manufacturing portables in Bartlett, TN in 1979. However, in Robert’s omnibus blog post here, he says: “In 1986 Brother Industries opened a plant in Bartlett, Tennessee, where it manufactured 600,000 typewriters annually for the US market, and from 1989, Brother progressively transferred what had previously been Japanese production to China. But this was for electronic typewriters only: Brother had stopped making its own manual portable typewriters before then.” Either way, If his dating theory is correct (and we’ll know for sure pretty soon via OMEF 80), then 1988 production of American-made Brother portables is probable – and there might be a possibility for at least a small number with dates into the early 90’s.

      I know! when I worked out the date for this one to 1988, I was sort of flabbergasted that the metal shell and basic quality was still pretty much exactly the same as a model 20 years it’s junior. I could really only believe it because the black plastic carriage shell and lack of paper support arm.

  3. I just last week picked up a Brother Charger 11, sn C4576714, light beige color, plastic, regular keyboard, but I haven’t correlated it with a year of manufacture. $7 at a yard sale. No opinion yet about its quality but considering it’s sitting here next to an SM9, I don’t expect to be thrilled.

    Yeah, those odd characters are fun. I actually need the umlaut for my name, yet only one of my typers has it, a Smith Corona with Change-A-Type. And all of my computers.

    == Michael Höhne

    1. well, going by my reading of Robert’s date code theory, your Charger 11 ought to be 1964, because it lacks the 7th digit.

  4. The Brother is so nice looking! Did you have to do a lot of restoration work on it, or just a little?
    In terms of the Obsolete magazine, I think the typewriter related imagery and fonts definitely make it look like my kind of reading material (besides books, roadsigns, etc). Maybe you could contact them and see if they use typewriters?

    1. I didn’t even have to dust it off. It came to be absolutely clean as a whistle and dust-free, which is suspicious for a machine without it’s case. I suspect that it came to the Goodwill in a case but that someone separated the case from the machine and bought just the case (or the store employees might have tossed it if it was too thrashed.)

      Luckily, I found a Targus laptop bag that fits it perfectly and is even the same basic color scheme, at the same store. (:

  5. That’s in nice shape, and I love getting those useful characters. I’ve often thought when reading that it would be nice to know at the start of a sentence that it will end up being a question. We should totally steal that from Spanish.

  6. Would like to know more about Correspondent typewriter by Digital

  7. I like your typewriter, and I just got one but I’m a typewriter novice. How do you type the number 1? How do you use the international symbols? Thanks!

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