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The Grants 707 Gullwing Electric typewriter

by | Mar 12, 2015 | electric, Grants | 24 comments

Here you see the gullwing ribbon covers (also found on some Vosses):

(Clarification: the ’74 Christmas season and a month thereafter.)

The spinning shaft with three flanges is the horizontal piece in focus in this photo (obviously, the typewriter is turned off):
 

 

Here are all the ads I could find:
Gouverneur (NY) Tribune-Press, September 4, 1974:

 Ft. Walton Beach (FL) Playground Daily News, December 8, 1974:


Medina (OH) Medina City Gazette, December 13, 1974:

Salem (OH) News, December 31, 1974:

Oneonta (NY) Daily Star, January 22, 1975:

24 Comments

  1. Richard P

    Oh, wow! There it is!

    The second machine you listed, at least, does have gullwing covers (see the photos).

    I also note that both of these machines have a power shift. I guess Nakajima realized that the manual shift was unacceptable.

    By the way, I do not have proof that this typewriter was made by Nakajima. The 737 I used to have definitely matched Nakajima designs, and this 707 has the telltale downturned margin selectors, so I am making a reasonable guess.

    Reply
  2. Rob Bowker

    I like the observation about even excellent typewriters having an Achilles heel, you just sometimes need to spend a while with it to find it. Reminds me, I must dig out the SCM electric I shoved in the loft shortly after being given it. A 'purposeful' striking action if I remember right.

    Reply
  3. Ted

    it's good enough, I think. I highly doubt they are Silver-Seikos (Reeds, whatever), and I'm becoming firmly convinced that Brother never allowed their machines to be re-serialed with anything other than Brother-format serial numbers.

    Reply
  4. Bill M

    Nice looking typewriter. I remember W.T.Grants, but I was in school then and do not remember their typewriters.

    Reply
  5. Don Lampert

    I too remember W T Grants stores. Especially memorable was the beautiful Raymond Loewy designed Grants store in downtown Buffalo, NY. It was unfortunately being torn down, and a group of us got to salvage – I still have two Alvar Alto tables, and a chrome deco chair from it. We did save some of the streamlined chrome light fixtures. too
    Cool colors, and styling – thanks for sharing a unique machine!

    Reply
  6. Scott K

    She's cute. That's for sure. The colours are very reminiscent of that era too. That's a great find you've got there.

    Reply
  7. Mark

    Ummm, Ted, that Sears Electric 1 which I posted on TWDB that you asked me to take apart totally had gullwing doors! It was just like Richard's machine but for the color.

    Reply
  8. Martin A. Rice, Jr.

    "Every typewriter [sic] … has its Achillies heel." Really?? Certainly not the Oliver!!

    Reply
  9. Ton S.

    "Every typewriter [sic] … has its Achillies heel." Really?? Certainly not the Olivetti Lettera 22, Studio 45, and Lexikon 80!

    I have not seen that electric before. Cool. I see that you are slowly catching up on electrics.

    Reply
  10. Phil

    Is it basket or carriage shift?

    Reply
  11. Kim Jameson

    I just found one of these, but it is lacking the power cord. Any recommendations on where to locate one?

    Reply
  12. Richard P

    Congratulations on your find. I think it's going to be nearly impossible to find an original cord meant for this particular model, but an appliance repair store — if you can find one of those anymore! — ought to be able to figure out how to adapt some other cord to the typewriter.

    Reply
  13. Ted

    Well, now 4 years later I finally get around to figuring out the dates the Sears Electric 1s were available and we see that this design was offered at Sears between 1974 and 1984, so apparently the power shifters were popular enough for Sears to offer the exact same machine (with the addition of a black/white ribbon after 1980 so it could boast "correcting") for 10 solid years without even a shell design or color change. In any case, the start aligns exactly with the start at Grants in 1974.

    Reply
  14. Richard P

    Thanks for the update! Yes, since I posted this I've noticed quite a few Sears versions (all with power shift, I bet).

    Reply
  15. Ted

    well now I've got one (Sears Electric 1/with correction) from the 80's – no gullwing doors. Looks like they probably made a shell change along with adding "correction" to this model in 1980 and lost the gullwing doors of the 1970's version. Still has the power carriage shift – very light and easy. The space bar is very stiff though, and it's hard to control when the repeat spacer fires.

    Reply
  16. Unknown

    I found the 707 on a local Facebook Auction site, in perfect condition! And, it has the original cord. Thanks for the information on this typewriter, enjoyed reading this entire article. Would send you a picture but not sure how to on here. It's a real GEM that I found and looks like it's hardly been used!

    Reply
  17. Unknown

    Enjoyed reading your article on the Grants 707 because I bought one today in perfect condition for $7.00 !! It was on a local Facebook Auction site. Love the little machine and absolutely love the colors, also has the original cord. Thanks for the information

    Reply
  18. Jimenez family

    I found one someone took out of an old barn, perfect condition, anyone know how much it may be worth

    Reply
  19. Richard P

    Maybe $50? They are rare, but not coveted by collectors. Try putting it on eBay.

    Reply
  20. Digitalcasm

    I just picked up a couple of Sears electric 1 since I liked the design. of the case and the look of the keyboard. I basically just paid for shipping and handling to get them. The model I received had a violent power shift. After reading this post, it's fun to think that maybe it was a bit of an over correction. The internals are beefy, the keyboard is unique, but man is that plastic case garbage. Most of the plastic tabs were already broken or broke off as I removed the top case to take a look under the hood.

    Reply

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