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The Brother Typemaster

Brother Typemaster L5898557 pic 01


What’s in a name?

Quick. Think up a good name for a typewriter. OK, how many of you came up with Typemaster? Well, apparently so did Underwood, Brother, and Lanier. “Typemaster” first appeared in 1937 on Underwood portables, continuing through the 1970s, and also on a series of Brother typewriters sold at Goldblatt’s in the 1960s. It reappeared again in the 1980s on a series of Lanier personal computers. Who actually owned “Typemaster” as a trademark is uncertain.

The Typemaster that occupies a spot in my collection is a hefty Brother portable that Goldblatt’s boldly advertised as lightweight — “weighs only 12 pounds.” The lid by itself tips the scales at slightly over two and a half pounds, which is heavier, for comparison’s sake, than Apple’s 11″ MacBook Air. Still, the Typemaster is a sturdy machine.


Brother Typemaster L5898557 with cover Brother Typemaster L5898557 type sample Brother Typemaster L5898557 serial number Brother Typemaster L5898557 pic 2

Typemasters in advertisements

Three manufactuers claimed the Typemaster name, but Underwood was the first —

Underwood’s machine:
Found on Newspapers.com

Found on Newspapers.com

An advertisement for the Underwood Typemaster also appears in 1971.

Found on Newspapers.com

DrTypewriter’s Typemaster (fascinating views):

Here’s an Underwood Typemaster modified:

Brother’s machine:
August 29, 1965. Found on Newspapers.com

October 26, 1965. Found on Newspapers.com

December 12, 1965. Found on Newspapers.com

Lanier’s Type-Master/TypeMaster/Typemaster (whatever…):
Found on Newspapers.com

Found on Newspapers.com

Found on Newspapers.com

Found on Newspapers.com

My machine, as seen at TypewriterDatabase.com.

© 2016, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Richard P August 14, 2016, 12:26 am

    I’ve never seen the Typemaster name on a Brother product before. A bit presumptuous for a small machine!

  • T. Munk August 14, 2016, 8:06 am

    12 pounds? The thing’s a brick! 😀
    prolly a pretty fun brick, tho…

  • Nick Bodemer January 12, 2017, 7:44 pm

    I noticed that on your index, that this portable is listed as a 1985; the metal lid tells me it’s a 1965.

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