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20-1-2017 18:50:10  #1


Brother Electronic Typewriters discontinued

Hi Guys-

It appears that the nails have been put into the coffin of the Brother electronic typewriters. It appears they have been discontinued. While I don't see this as a big loss in one sense, it seems that this series were the last of the typewriters that could be very, very easily purchased. Every Staples and Office Max store in my area that I have been to has had at least one model of this line, a couple even two. So from that perspective, if an office decides they want a typewriter for filling out forms or something, it is no longer as easy as heading to staples and dropping $100.....A link to a brother page where they are now listed as discontinued....http://www.brother-usa.com/typewriters/default.aspx?src=tw_discontinued
If anyone knows otherwise, feel free to correct! I noticed on Amazon when they are no longer available except for hideous prices through 3rd party vendors that something must be up.....

Pat

 

20-1-2017 20:19:18  #2


Re: Brother Electronic Typewriters discontinued

Brother discontinued electronic typewriters here in the UK about three years ago.  At first they said that the factory in Wales that had been assembling them from Japanese parts was going to make toner cartridges instead but that imports of typewriters would still continue from the 'Far East'.  However, within months, the machines had disappeared from the Brother UK website and Brother UK had washed their hands of supplying spare parts.  The only volume maker of electronic typewriters is now Nakajima as far as I am aware.  Silver-Reed typewriters in the UK have been re-branded Nakajimas for some years now.

 

20-1-2017 21:04:16  #3


Re: Brother Electronic Typewriters discontinued

Anyone remember when Smith-Corona went out of business in 1995?  The last American brand--although I'm not sure, but I have a feeling the electronics were outsourced.  Anyway, it was sad for a whole lot of folks--not to mention the people responsible for its manufacture.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

21-1-2017 00:25:19  #4


Re: Brother Electronic Typewriters discontinued

TypewriterKing wrote:

Anyone remember when Smith-Corona went out of business in 1995?  The last American brand...

Not true: Royal is still around, and still selling typewriters, even a manual called the Epoch. Granted it's the same Chinese-made Nakajima as you would get from Michael's, but in a modern case similar to my Olympia Carina 2 (http://typewriter.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?pid=15799#p15799).
 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

21-1-2017 00:44:20  #5


Re: Brother Electronic Typewriters discontinued

Well, happily, I stand corrected. 


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

21-1-2017 11:40:13  #6


Re: Brother Electronic Typewriters discontinued

If enough interest could be stirred in typewriters then it seems to me there might be a niche market large enough to support one manufacturer - I am thinking a large portable as an introductory model, marketed to "serious writers and others who appreciate a fine mechanical writing instrument" - introductory price circa $1200.  Why would anybody pay this when an excellent used machine can be had for a faction?  Marketing. The new machines would be gleaming and mint and mechanically perfect, and would come with a meaningful warranty and a guarantee that spare parts would be available for a certain number of years. They would have to be very good - equal to the best of the fifties or sixties - but would come with that new typewriter smell (I've caught a few whiffs of that in portables that have been stored in their cases a long time barely used). And there would be factory service centers where the machine could be sent for service and overhaul plus a network of factory trained field techs for lighter repair or adjustment (could easily train copying machine and printer technicians for this job).

The major obstacle - beyond developing the market and finding sources of investment - is that the hands on know-how of people who actually designed and manufactured high quality typewriters is becoming extinct right now. It makes me want to buy a Royal Epoch just to help support some factory somewhere which is maintaining a little hands on experience, as something to grow on. Typewriters in the workplace are dead in the first world, but they could enjoy a second life as fine writing instruments.


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

21-1-2017 17:10:27  #7


Re: Brother Electronic Typewriters discontinued

You said it in the very first of your post--if enough interest could be stirred in typewriters.  $1200 is a bit rich for a lot of people's blood--especially since there are still a lot of older machines left lying around that need repair.  And just how many writers are out there who actually use a typewriter in the process of writing the next best selling novel?  Mind you, I am not saying they're not out there--but just how many of them are out there?  They would have to retype the whole thing onto a computer before they get it to a publisher. 

I think that what would be more practical would be a company that takes older typewriters and reconditions them.  There are several small outfits that do that now--for a price.  Not $1200 for most machines, but expensive enough.  Too rich for this ol' cowpoke's blood anyhow.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

21-1-2017 19:23:47  #8


Re: Brother Electronic Typewriters discontinued

TypewriterKing wrote:

And just how many writers are out there who actually use a typewriter in the process of writing the next best selling novel?

Probably more than you think, but not enough to support a fledgling typewriter manufacturer. 

TypewriterKing wrote:

They would have to retype the whole thing onto a computer before they get it to a publisher.

Actually, they don't. I write all of my initial drafts using a typewriter, and once it's ready for a final edit, which I do using a word processor, I simply scan the typed pages and use OCR software to create a digital copy of my text. It's simple and very fast.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

21-1-2017 21:29:34  #9


Re: Brother Electronic Typewriters discontinued

TypewriterKing wrote:

You said it in the very first of your post--if enough interest could be stirred in typewriters. $1200 is a bit rich for a lot of people's blood--especially since there are still a lot of older machines left lying around that need repair. And just how many writers are out there who actually use a typewriter in the process of writing the next best selling novel? Mind you, I am not saying they're not out there--but just how many of them are out there? They would have to retype the whole thing onto a computer before they get it to a publisher.

I think that what would be more practical would be a company that takes older typewriters and reconditions them. There are several small outfits that do that now--for a price. Not $1200 for most machines, but expensive enough. Too rich for this ol' cowpoke's blood anyhow.

Sir, trust my marketing instincts.   The point of making it very pricey is to set it up as an exclusive luxury good, something sought after and envied like a Porsche. And you have to make it clear to your potential customers that they are spending this much because they have the taste and discernment to appreciate the fine writing instrument you are selling. The buyers don't have to be best selling authors - they just have to be people with disposable income whom you educate to the fact that they are worthy of a fine writing machine. 

I am thinking that the cost in today's dollars of some classic writing machines was not far off this mark. The page

http://www.saving.org/inflation/inflation.php?amount=100&year=1965

tells me that one hundred 1965 dollars are equivalent to ~$760 in 2016, so my price point is equivalent to $156 in 1965. How much was a new SG-1 in 1965? I don't know the answer but I recall that $100 was a price point for standards much earlier than that, so I am thinking that beautiful new SG-1 cost more.


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

21-1-2017 21:39:50  #10


Re: Brother Electronic Typewriters discontinued

P.S. Regarding the Epoch.  I checked it out an Amazon just now and it's hovering around $170.  I admit that's a very hard sell for me even given the motivation to show some support for whatever struggling remnant of the typewriter industry survives today - since I know what I could get for that price: like an SG-1 in near mint condition which could crush 10 Epochs before dashing off a "Dear Sir", scattering their plastic body parts. 

But what if I could buy a miraculously brand new SG-1 for the price I mentioned, one which I knew carried support for several years so there was no point in stocking spares. I would be seriously tempted to make space and budget to buy one, and I would at least want one whether or not I could afford it. Wouldn't you?


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

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