The Brother 700T (JP-7) manual portable typewriter

Here we have a Brother 700T (JP-7), serial number 875635279, made in Japan. It's in pretty much perfect condition.

This is a very typical late portable manual -- made in the 1970s (1977) when profit margins were getting squeezed and plastic became the rule.

It is neither stylish nor solid-feeling. The case in particular relies on flimsy-looking plastic clips, and if the thing fell off a table or even had something heavy fall on it, I suspect cracks would abound. This one is pretty much perfect, which makes it worth all of about $20.

One advantage of the plastic is that it is relatively light, so this is a quite portable portable. Further, the engineers at Brother knew what they were doing. The thing may be built with cost in mind, and it feels a bit cheap under the fingers, but the basic mechanism is very well sorted out, and the result (the text on the paper) is actually excellent.

What this means is that the Brother is an excellent choice if you want the manual typewriter experience in a way that will deliver good results but ought not cost much.

So, let's open it up. First, in the case, which as you can see is completely unremarkable, except possibly for being remarkably beige.

the case

We remove the case and flip up the paper stand. The design of the unit is no more inspiring than that of the case. It looks like something from the early computer era.

front-top view of the brother

We can dig in a bit further by removing the ribbon cover.

with the ribbon cover off --
two black ribbon spools

Inside it is less plasticky. By 1977 Brother had completely sorted out how to make large numbers of reliable manual typewriters. Nothing flash, but highly functional. There was a reason they stayed in the game longer than most other players.

Some of the nice features include:

Here is a sample of the typeface -- nothing exciting, I'm afraid, but very even in density and very well-aligned. Outstanding.

character set and
typeface example from the Brother 700T

Here are some relevant links:

Conclusion: an excellent typer for little investment and no competition from collectors. A good buy if you want to use a typewriter as it was intended, rather than collect them.