A Brotherly Bonanza


Interesting, eh? I was at MTE today poking around at stacks of old service manuals (a large leather-bound Victor Calculator Service Manual binder caught my attention, but it turned out to be filled with the service manual for a Smith-Corona Electric), and Bill mentioned that he had 2 boxes of old Brother service manuals that he’d inherited from Sanders Typewriter Service after the owner’s death. They were duplicates of ones he already had, so he lent them to me. Booya!

I carted the two boxes home, knocked years worth of dust and mouse poop off ’em and took a look at the jackpot. My first target wasn’t far from the top of the pile; the Brother JP-1 Parts Catalog and Service Manual. Yep, a full illustrated service manual for the beloved Brother ultra portable (and incidentally the many clones and labellings of this highly successful design), and a detailed parts catalog listing every spring, nut and washer and showing where it goes. Oooh, baby – I know what I’m reading tonight. (:

What’s more, as I mentioned, there’s a pile. Two full boxes worth of Service and Parts Manuals for almost the entire Brother line from the JP-1 to the JP-18 (and here I thought it only went to JP-3!)

2014-05-06-2Sadly, I’m missing the JP-3 manuals, a model I do know exists (I have one), so the others I’m missing might actually exist also. In any case, I can immediately glean some basic information such as the list above where I quickly note a description of each JP model I found manuals for. The JP designation seems to have ended after the JP-18 wedge machines, as I do have manuals for additional later machines like the Brother WP-series Word Processors and a Brother dot-matrix printer.

Boy, have I got a job ahead of me parsing through this mountain of information, but I suspect I will be able to generally relate years to models for just about all the Brother daisywheel wedges just by the publication date for each service manual. That oughta be easy enough, but as I dig deeper there might be more – I see some serial number tables mentioned in the thousands of pages here.  The problem will be finding the time to parse it. I’ll need to break the task up into manageable chunks like “scan the JP-1 stuff first and find someone to PDF it“. I seem to have been lent the material for an undefined amount of time, so there’s the luxury of pulling out the tastiest bits for now and poking at the rest later. Just organizing the unopened catalog envelopes full of Brother official updates to the manuals will take some time. An early order of business will be to dump the mouse-gnawed binders and organize the sections chronologically…

Updated: May 6, 2014 — 8:04 pm


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  1. Sound promising for those of us who are wedge-tolerant. :)

    1. Ya, looks like I’ve got a swath of models that cover from the early 1970’s to the early 1990’s, heavy on the 80’s. Finally pegged down what the Correct-O-Ball was, and should have service manuals for all those AX-model wedges. I believe Sander’s clearly did a lot of Brother repair in the 80’s, cuz he had just about every wedge model covered.

  2. Save yourself some work and get set up to do the scans directly to pdf’s. I know some scanner/copiers are set up to do this and will insert multiple pages into one pdf file. Must be some scanner software available which will do it. I’ve done it a little bit harder way by opening a word doc, scanning the pages into it, then save as a pdf.

  3. Eeep. That’s going to be a pretty big job. Hope you have some time on hand.

  4. Hi, although I’m not a frequent commenter, I have commented a couple of times in the past, and do read this blog frequently. I just wanted to ask if you have a HP scanner. I have an old (maybe 10 years or so) combo printer/scanner/copier, that allows you to scan documents (max. 8.5in x 11in) and save as .pdf

    If you know of anyone with a HP, try and ask them if there machine is capable of saving scans as .pdf

    1. I’ve got access to a couple of machines that do that, but the documents I have are littered with odd-sized pages (fold-outs), different weights of paper and have been hole-punched after having been ripped out of a glued-spine book. This stuff, for the most part, is never going to feed in an ADF.

      Besides, I’ve already got a volunteer for the PDF-making. I like having the high-rez TIFFs anyway, for archival purposes.

      1. Cool, thanks for responding.

  5. hi!

    Been looking all over the web for JP-11 manual …
    Do you have one? Please!?! :-)

    Best regards
    Peter, Denmark

    1. I don’t have any user manuals for the Brother Models, just parts and service manuals and service addendums.

  6. I just picked up a JP-11 that is great except for being very dirty and having a hard return key. I would love to have the service manual for it.

    Barring that, I would love to know how to remove the carriage and I can probably figure out the rest.


    1. Hmm, a JP1 doesn’t have a return key, it has a return lever, being a fully-manual machine. (:
      The service manual is in the file download area of the Typewriter Database. You’ll need to have Typewriter Hunter access to get into there. Post here after you sign up, to be upgraded:

  7. @munk

    Hi, I just joined the typewriterdatabase.com

    Can you give me access to the Typewrite Hunters? I need the J-16 documentation in hope to save one Brother CE-60 with Brother CE-68 parts I did receive today.

    thank you

  8. I Registered for the database. I am a new typewriter enthusiast that became interested because of my new (to me) Montgomery Ward Signature 300. I just found out last night that it is a JP-1 model and am having fun digging into the typewriter world. I have been searching for help/instructions on how to adjust the internal mechanisms to fix the vertical alignment etc. If upgrading my account would give me access to a manual to help me do that, I would be greatly appreciative!

    1. You’re now upgraded! The JP1 service/parts manual used to be in the file area, but we moved those files to a pay service because it got too unwieldy to host them. The JP-1 manual is available as a “Bible” (printed professionally on 60# paper and spiral-bound) or for cheap (think it’s $2.99) as a PDF. either one contains the service and parts manuals, the printed one includes user manuals and an age list.

  9. Hi! I’m hoping you can help me. I have a Brother EM-2 electronic typewriter (purchased in late 1982-early 1983). We’ve carried it from Hawaii to the Philippines to Pensacola, Florida, and now to here in Western Washington State. It’s a beautiful machine, and my husband and I would love to get it working again–he’s a retired Navy electronics tech and can fix pretty much anything/everything–but he needs a manual, if there’s one available. It would be wonderful if you had one to offer. Please let me know if you have or can create a copy and how much you would charge for it. Thanks in advance!

    1. EM-2 is one I don’t have. sorry ):

  10. How about the JP-15? I thought I saw that as an alternate designation. (Grasping at straws here!)

    1. ahh, yeah. I do have the parts/service manual for JP-15 and JP-15x. A few problems, though:
      1) it’s gigantic, around 400+ pages in A4 format with many, many double A4 foldouts. Basically impossible to photocopy in the US, where we use smaller letter-sized sheets, and nobody keeps A4 around.
      2) I haven’t scanned any of the electronic machine manuals, mainly because most repairs to them involve replacing prefab electronic components that are no longer made. I’ve been concentrating on the mechanical designs that actually can be fixed by the average user.

      So TL;DR would be “I have the manual, but making a copy would require a lot of toil for a very low-demand item that would be of doubtful value in solving your problem, should it require a part that no longer exists. it would be incredibly easier to just cruise a few thrift stores for a comparable electronic wedge in practically new condition for like $10. Seriously, they are plentiful and cheap.”

  11. Oh, well. Thanks for your help. We were hoping, but it looks like we’re at a dead end. We DO appreciate your checking, though. :-(

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