Xerox Takes a Memo

It’s a little known fact that the Brother EM-411 sold in the USA and Canada (and sold as the CE-650 in Europe and Australia) is the same typewriter as the Xerox Memowriter (apart from obvious differences in their body shells and keyboards) .

A two-year agreement struck between the Xerox Corporation of America and Brother Industries in December 1986, allowed Xerox to manufacture several models of an electronic typewriter, designed by Brother, at their plant in Fremont, California. – that is, manufacture “Brother” typewriters and at least one “Xerox” typewriter,

Brother models manufactured by Xerox were the EM-401 and the EM-411 (below).

“Xerox” models were the Memowriter and (from 1989 onwards) the Xerox XT-15, which both appear to be based on the same design.

You can understand Xerox wanting to supplement their new 60-series with a stylish compact model. In Europe, Rank Xerox did the same by selling the TA Triumph-Adler CompacTA-400/400 DS as the Xerox 6001/6002 (1987).

It’s interesting that Xerox and Brother took a collaborative approach towards their competitors, rather than the adversarial (protectionist) approach taken by Smith-Corona.

One reason, perhaps, why Xerox and Brother are still going strong, whereas Smith-Corona isn’t.