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 (an idea I “borrowed” from the TWDB):

  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). (Again, the TWDB already does this, but I’m choosing to start from the original AX series and ignore JP numbers completely – sacrilege!).

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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