One good thing about these electronic wedges (in case you were wondering) is the fact that you can pick them up cheaply; largely for the reason that nobody wants them.

Generally, I don’t want them either, but there are one or two earlier model wedges I am interested in. The Brother CE-30 is one such wedge…

BROTHER_CE30_REAR_R

The “thick” end of the wedge

This  typewriter came with what I consider to be essential for any  function-rich electronic machine, instructions on how on to use it!

Brother_CE-30_User_Manual

CE30_DESC_2_50 CE30_PARTS_3_50

It’s difficult to find any dating information for the CE-30, but I think it’s a mid 80’s model.

BROTHER_CE30_FRONT_L_ELEPHANT

The “thin” end of the wedge

The keyboard’s pretty much what you’d expect of a desktop computer, so the typing feel isn’t great.

BROTHER_CE30_LPROFILE

On each key press, the Daisy wheel spins at high speed and the CE-30 hammers each character onto the page like a nail gun! It’s fun, and the end result is a nicely uniform line of crisp characters which – without the variation or the imperfection that you get from a manual typewriter – are decidedly lacking in character.

BROTHER_CE30_TYPESAMPLE

Having said that, there are plenty of nice features that  you don’t get from a manual typewriter, like Pitch Selection…

CE30_PITCH

interchangeable typefaces and keyboard symbols selection…

CE30_KEYB_SELECTOR

Ribbon cassettes and correction tapes are inexpensive and easy to come by…

CE30_ribbons_n_tapes2

but daisy wheels are harder to find, for some reason – and when you do find them – are more expensive than IBM element balls. Don’t ask me why! Brother must have manufactured millions of them and as far as I know they were cheaper to manufacture.

BROTHER_CE30_FRONT_R0

All things considered, I’m more than happy to keep this Brother in my collection, but it does make me wonder why Brother and other wedge manufacturers (with the possible exception of Olivetti) couldn’t show a bit more imagination.

BROTHER_CE30_RPROFILE

Function over  form I suppose!

BROTHER_CE30_LID_ON