Typing by Numbers (Brother)

When it comes to its electronic models, Brother JP- number designations (found on the underside of the lids on earlier models) are not much use if you want to differentiate between different AX- prefixed series/models.

For one thing, late model Brother e.t.s don’t have a JP number. For another, e.t.s manufactured for the Japanese market all share the same JP-16 designation. This goes as far back as the 1982 release of Brother’s first electronic portables, the Electronic M8300 and the M9300, which are both designated “JP-16”.

In Japan, the following e.t.s have a JP-16 number designation on the manufacturer badge:

  • A JP-16 251 Electra 25 (AKA CE-25) portable electronic typewriter
  • A “JP-16 621” Electra 61 (AKA CE-61) compact electronic typewriter
  • A “JP-16 V30” AX-35 “Word-spell” portable from the mid 1980s
  • A “JP-16 U10” Wordshot III (AX/GX “Correctronic”) from the late 1980s

So if you can’t use the JP- number to reliably differentiate between different series/models of Brother “AX” prefixed portable electronic typewriters, what can you do? Well a good way to start is to split them into two main categories:

  1. Early AX- prefixed models (dual platen knobs)
  2. Later AX/GX- prefixed models (single platen knob)

(Note: the SX- prefix was used in both of these categories, but is much less common.)

To differentiate between the different model series in each category, a suffix can be applied using the first three letters of the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma). This gives us:

AX Alpha (α) Series 1985-1989 Models: AX 10, 12, 12M, 20, 30, EM-30, 31, SX-14

AX Beta (β) Series 1986-1988  (USA) Models: AX 15, 15M, 20, 33, Compactronic 300, 300M,310, 350

AX Gamma (γ) Series 1987-1990 Two distinct series:  (UK) AX 15, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and (USA) AX 18, 22, 24, 26, 28, OPUS WPT-470 (AKA AX-26), SX-16, 23, ZX-30

AX/GX Alpha (α) Series 1990 – 1994 Models: Models: AX-110, 130, 140, 145, 230, 250, 350, 450, 500, 550, GX-6000, 7000, 7500, 8000, 8500, 9000

AX/GX Beta (-β ) 1992-1994 Models: AX-210, 230, 240, 300, 400, 450, 500, 600, GX-6500, 7500, 8500, 9500

AX/GX Gamma (γ) 1994 – 2005 Models: AX-100, 300, 310, 325, 330, 340, 360, 375, 410, 425, 430, 550, 625, SX-4000, GX-15, 35, 100, 6500, 6750, 6750SP, 8250, 8500, 8750, 9750, (Malaysia) ML 100, 300, 500

WP Series 1990-1994: A further grouping might be “WP” prefixed word processing ETs manufactured alongside the AX/GX “Alphas” and the “AX/GX “Betas” and which share design characteristics with BOTH.


AX-30 – AX Alpha (α):


AX-24 – AX Gamma (γ):

AX 110 – AX/GX  Alpha (α) :

AX-300 – AX/GX Beta (β):

AX-325 – AX/GX Gamma (γ):

Stay tuned folks for more e.t. related tidbits. Don’t touch that dial


5 thoughts on “Typing by Numbers (Brother)

  1. Thanks Ted! Dates are best guesses so happy to be corrected there also. I do wonder if the AX/GX Gamma’s were made after 2005 … BTW noticed there’s an out of date reference to my old writelephant site in the references on that Brother page. Cheers. (:


  2. I will have to update the Brother page with these clarifications, thanks! (:
    However, note that “Stationery” is spelled with an “e” not an “a” 😀

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