Brother Valiant 391
Posted on January 25, 2014
Not as pristine as my Brother De Luxe but with a similarly robust typing feel, is this slightly younger Brother Valiant 391 (Serial number E1388002 = May 1971). I bought it (cheaply) thinking it might be one of the rarer Brother variants.
A Google search on this model of typewriter doesn’t deliver much, but it is listed in Oztypewriter’s “The Brother Story”.
The fabric case with broken zipper that came with the typewriter was so damp and mouldy I immediately binned it – and the metal top cover, which lifts off in one piece, is marred by rust spots – as is the metal carriage assembly and paper guide.
No, this is not a “microwave”!
While the top is metal (with its brown plastic and wood grain window trim), the base is made of quality (i.e. sturdy) plastic.
Yet another cleaning/restoration project I need to get around to – I think it’s worth the effort though.
There’s something about the simplicity of the 391’s wedge-like design that appeals to me.
Like the typewriter and its case, the user manual and the exercise booklet that came with them are also showing the effects of damp. The heading on this page of the exercise booklet (according to my wife) is “Basic Practice”:
The typewriter shown in the exercise booklet is clearly not the wedge-like Valiant 391 (it’s likely the booklet was distributed with a range of Brother typewriters). The date at the back of the booklet (my wife informs me) is October 1969:
“44” (above) marks the 44th year of the rule of Emperor Hirohito, the “Shōwa period” (December 25, 1926, through January 7, 1989). And yes, you guessed it, “10” marks the month of October!
Some of the English excerpts from the Japanese language exercises are of interest:
Exercise 3: “Sentence Structure” has an excerpt from what I think is Shakespeare – part of a written piece called “An Elizabethan Day”:
Exercise 4 is “Speed Reading”:
We gave up trying to translate the formula!