Sunday, February 9, 2014

1966 Brother Echelon 66

Basically a Brother Charger 11 with a tabulator, this would have to be my favorite new acquisition. It is lightweight, yet a great performer, and has the original stickers and manual! It was designed in 1961 by Akio Kondo. His design was used until the mid-1980s. This typewriter is carriage-shifted, and has a pop-up paper support. Its serial number indicates that it was made in November, 1966. The Echelon 66 was a relatively inexpensive typewriter, often sold by discount stores such as Valu-Mart (a Seattle-based subsidiary of Weisfield Jewelers), Villa-Mart (the Portland, Oregon, equivalent of Valu-Mart)  for roughly $45. (They listed a comparable value of $80; the question that arises is: was the basis of the "comparable value" a Brother, or a more well-known portable?)

This typewriter is painted in Brother's initial color offering; the first Brother portable was painted this shade of gray. It also has the first type of case handle. It also may have its original ribbon spools. (I spooled a Point of Sale ribbon onto them

The bright red key is the preset tabulator.
These spools look like they were original to the machine--I have never seen ribbon spools that were stamped like this.

Notice the gold labels on the ribbon cover--the top one indicates that Good Housekeeping guaranteed this typewriter; the bottom one is Parents' Magazine's seal of endorsement.
Valu-Mart sold the entire Brother range in the 1960s. This ad is from The Seattle Times, August 15, 1968

A detail from the above advertisement  showing the Brother Echelon 66

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