My Gourland is leaving my collection; I'm trading it for another rare portable, a Victor. Before it hit the road I took some photos to share with my readers.
One distinctive feature of the Gourland is the cutouts in the frame, presumably intended to give access and to lighten the machine. There are even two cutouts in the right and left areas just above the keyboard (hard to see in the photos).
Compare the photo above to this picture:
The mechanisms aren't identical, but the shape of that rear cutout is a giveaway. As Greg Fudacz has observed, this 1916 patent by Jesse Alexander seems to have provided inspiration, at least, for the Gourland. Renowned typewriter inventor Charles Spiro (responsible for the Columbia index, the Bar-Lock, and the Visigraph) then worked with the Gourland typewriter company to develop the machine; he received several patents for it (none of which mention Alexander's patent).
In the photo below, you can see two rails. The carriage slides along the back rail (with no ball bearings) and a wheel runs along the front rail. The system is actually similar to that of the Underwood. The notched rack is the tabulator rack, which tilts back when you hit the tab key.
On the right (below) you see the backspacer mechanism running next to the tabulator rack. The lever at the bottom of the picture tilts the paper shield forward. The control seen just above it is for reversing the direction of the ribbon.
To tilt the carriage back, you simply push firmly. The drawcord remains attached to the carriage.
Ad from Typewriter Topics, 1922:
One of the strangest facts about the Gourland is its afterlife in the 21st century. Someone in China decided to make a faux, decorative "typewriter" based on a photo of a Gourland (possibly mine). The name came out "Govrland." This then morphed into "Governor's Land" in an imitation of the imitation. What's next?
I think Jesse Alexander, Charles Spiro, and M. J. Gourland would have a hearty laugh!
More information on the Gourland: