A Whole New Ball Game

Goodness gracious great balls o’ type, who would have thought there were so many golf ball typewriter variants?

IBM were keen to develop and maintain a strong presence in Japan (a case of keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer). It’s hardly surprising then, that the most Selectric-like of all the Selectric clones is a Japanese one …

I overlooked Silver Reed in my recent post about golf ball typewriter “elements” (since edited).

Silver-Reed 255 C (above)

Maruzen M723 (Silver Reed) above and below

Perhaps the most well-known Selectric clones were those made by Remington Rand/Sperry Remington before they completely surrendered their typewriter production to Nakajima …

Remington Rand SR-101 (above)

~

I was surprised to learn that German (Triumph Adler SE 1000 CD and the Royal 5000) kugelkopf (“golf ball”) machines date as far back as 1975.

A few golf ball machines featured in their T-A Adler/Royal SE series of office electronic typewriters …

Triumph-Adler SE 1000 CD (Above)

~

Olympia manufactured just one golf ball typewriter: the SG 75 (1975) …

Facit were also cloning wide-bodied golf ball machines …

Facit 8100 (above)

Facit 1850 (above)

~

Back in Japan, Juki seem to have refined their “clones” to a greater degree, using a ribbon cassette which was more compact than the IBM equivalent …

Juki Sierra 3300 (above and below)

As might be expected, Olivetti came up with something very un-Selectric-like…

Olivetti Lexikon 82 (above)

~

The Lexikon 82/83 DL is a machine that still looks modern today. The element ball is smaller than those made by IBM, TA-Adler/Royal, or Brother.

Quite unlike a Selectric, these compact typewriters (and those made by Brother) have a moveable carriage and a print unit which remains in a fixed position.

The Lexikon 82/83DL pre-dates larger Lexikon office typewriters manufactured by Olivetti a few years later …

Olivetti Lexikon 90 (Above)

~

The element ball for the Lexikon 90/92C/94C has a completely different shape and orientation …

Brother followed Olivetti in developing a golf ball typewriter with a moveable carriage and a fixed print unit¹  …

Brother Super 7300 and a Brother Super 7800 (above)

My Brother Super 7300 (above and below)

The Brother Super 7300 was also sold in the USA as the Correct-O-Ball XL I …

The Brother Super 7800 was also sold in Germany as the Privileg 820CD Kugelkopf …

Brother Selecta 7500/7600 variants appear to be of a similar size to the Super 7300 …

… however the flip-up ribbon compartment is different and appears to take a smaller ribbon cassette …

~

¹Brother went further than Olivetti in developing (Brother 8300/9300) daisy wheel typewriters with a moveable carriage and a fixed print unit.

26/02/2020 …

While it might be the case that Olympia manufactured just one golf ball typewriter: the SG 75 (1975), they also released the SGE 77 (released in 1978). This typewriter was manufactured on their behalf by Hermes Precisa International of Switzerland and was also sold as the Hermes/Japy 808.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is electric-golfball-77-uk.jpg

5 thoughts on “A Whole New Ball Game”

  1. Seems the Royal 5000 and some of those other Selectric-like typewriters have their own proprietary elements. It would be very interesting to see those in action.

    Like

  2. As I’ve said before, you do a great job of investigating an under-researched period in typewriter history. I believe some of these models will be valuable antiques in the future.

    Like

Comments are closed.