Not so easy
The Sears Easy Touch does not quite live up to its name. Slotted keys make typing a real challenge and the alignment is so variable that no two lines ever line up. Nevertheless, it’s a fun toy.
This plastic-framed typewriter sold for around $20 in the mid-1960s, and included a foreign-language type kit. Users could swap English type for German, French and Spanish slugs, and even rearrange the QWERTY keyboard. The kit is similar to one found on the electric Medalist typewriter which Sears offered around the same time (see advertisements below). On the Easy Touch, the kit seems to have been introduced about a year after the machine’s introduction in 1965.
The Easy Touch was offered with optional carrying case, but a label on the inside suggests customers simply use the box.
Collector Michael Hoehne offers a good write-up about the Sears Easy Touch at TypewriterDatabase.com — see here. Later, Sears applied “Easy Touch” to a series of adult machines.
To download the manual, right-click and select “Save…”
Sears Easy Touch Typewriter with foreign language kit – manual
Alongside the Kamkap toy typewriter from about a decade earlier.
As seen at TypewriterDatabase.com.
© 2014, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.
Two of these in the Database? They are pretty full-featured for a toy, and must have some charm if collectors are seeking them out. (I assume you ebay’d for it, rather than chance-finding it locally.)
I have to say a bunch of the fun of collecting Sears-branded machines is how much you can learn from the Christmas Wishbooks online. I just wish the full yearly catalogs were scanned and available online. It’d be pretty cool to have a complete catalog of all the machines Sears marketed.
I acquired mine at ShopGoodwill.com for $15 (about what I was willing to spend). Yes, for a toy typewriter it is surprisingly full-featured, just a lousy typer. Then again, for $18 (1960s dollars), it wasn’t a bad deal. What fascinates me most about this machine is that an adult typewriter also came with a foreign language kit. That would be a nice item to acquire as a companion piece.
Oooh, I almost have a complete collection of 3 machines that can be found in the 1968 Montgomery Ward’s Christmas Catalog – the Signature 440T and a Signature 511D. I hesitate to actively seek out the third, though, a Signature Electric 1010 – I’m hoping serendipity turns one up in green at a thrift. I had to eBay up the 511D:
Having a framed print of a catalog ad sitting in the middle of the machines shown in the ad? Type-In Gold, baby – You should totally do that! 😀
That Electric 1010 is a Brother machine, eh?
Yep, a Brother JP-2 Electric
Yeah, mine was via eBay. The “foreign language” aspect was what got me—that, and that it was pretty complete. I paid too much, more than it is really worth, but ya know how that goes. Get right down to it, Mark, you paid more than it is worth, too. 🙂
Yeah, I’ve got to agree with you. The Easy Touch is a miserable little typer — so many features, but such crooked lines. I doubt, though, that children minded. Did many actually use the foreign language kit?
By the way, your post at TypewriterDatabase.com inspired me to look for one. That I got one for less than the sticker price (see photo above) was a real bonus. But, yes, I still paid too much!
can u double space on the kids blue typewritter?
The Sears Easy Touch looks like a device of torture. My Underwood 310 is hard enough to use.
Hello sir, I am so glad to find this page showcasing the Sears toy typewriter. Can’t seem to find many information about such typewriter. I was gifted a Sears toy typewriter which is all good except for the missing nylon gear beneath the ribbon spool. I am wondering if you have some pictures of that part. It is puzzling how the ribbon spool rotation and reverse mechanism works. When I type, I can see one arm pushing forward, i suspect to engage the missing gear, and another one on the other side also pushing forward in sync/. If both arms push forward, they would engage the gears and rotate the spools in opposite direction. And that is confusing.
Thanks to the instruction manual that you shared, I can see that the nylon gear is having a stud to drive the spool. This is the only bit I can really understand.
Thank you for reading and hope to see some light 🙂