Rainy Day Appreciation of my 1981 Montgomery Wards Escort 550 (Brother JP-7)

Weapon of Choice: 1981 Montgomery Ward Escort 550 (Brother JP-7)

This typewriter as offered in the 1981 Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog

Nearing the last stand for Manual and Electric Typebar machines offered by Monkey Ward. By 1984, only the electric is offered alongside various electronic wedges, the new Brother Type-O-Graph and a selection of home computer/printer setups by Commodore, Coleco (remember them?) and Atari.

However, in 1981, the only computer/printer offered by Monkey Ward is this Sharp Memowriter.

Updated: April 11, 2024 — 12:16 pm


Add a Comment
  1. I’ve got one of those also. Nice full-feature typewriters for what they are. I guess the only thing I dislike is the way the machine flexes during typing.

    1. yeah, maybe an artifact of the wide flaring of the shell out from the frame. I like the shell to hug the frame – feels a lot more solid. (:

  2. I love garage typing! There’s something freeing about it, like it gives you permission to write anything you desire because, well, it’s in the garage, not the main house.

    It’s interesting how both Sears and Wards seem to have offered some good machines over the years. Perhaps under-appreciated.

    It’s been a rather wet summer for us in ABQ. And the forecasters predict a bit more moisture this winter.

    1. Yeah, now that I have some room in here and the weather’s getting consistently nice, I can enjoy some garage time again.

      It’s worth saying that Brother manuals were well designed and built even into the 80’s, and are well worth the $5-$10 I usually spend on them. JP-5’s too, although I believe that design didn’t get much traction in the market. I can’t say the same about Brother typebar electrics of that era (those seem to uniformly suck).

      Even the US-built Galaxies from the 80’s are still pretty good, considering they were still building a machine that wasn’t really all that different from the machine they built in the 1940’s.

  3. I think a turquoise JP7 was the last manual typewriter I found at my local thrift store, maybe a year ago. Very good machine!

  4. Hi Munk,

    My name is Jake. I am a PhD student studying economic history—I wanted to reach out to you to ask you about historical adoption of non-QWERTY typewriter keyboards in English and other languages.

    I’d be really interested in speaking with you about my ideas. Feel free to send me an email at (redacted).

  5. Thanks to you, I’ve acquired a Sears Manual 2. I had to clean out a bit of pet hair and adjust the Upper Case alignment, and now it is working just fine. I was also considering a JP-7 (Sears Achiever?). Would there be any big difference between this and the JP-5? I’m also considering a Sears Forecast 12 so I can get the Smith-Corona experience. How do these Brothers compare?

    Thank you so much for your website and information

    1. JP-7 is a bit flatter than the JP-5, but is otherwise similar. The Smith-Corona is a larger machine and more substantial because of the metal casing. You’ll like it. (:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.