The following dates of first manufacture are based on advertising and other documentary evidence. In some cases, model numbers encountered in ribbon listings remain unverified. Thermal models are not listed (the PA-1000 “Intelliwriter”, the first of these, was introduced in 1984, the PA-1050 in 1986).
The “Intelliwriter” name was also used for a variety of daisy wheel portable models.
Office (Professional) Typewriters
- 1982 ZX 400, 500
- 1983 ZX-403, 405, 405A, 410, 505, 510
- 1984 ZX-340, 350, 360, 370 415??, 416??
- 1987 ZX-420, 426, 440, 507, 515, 515M, 525??, 550??
- 1987 XQ 360, 370, 380
- 1989 XQ-345, 355
Compact (Semi Professional) Typewriters
- 1984 ZX-300, 320, 325, 330, 331
- 1986 XQ 315, 320, 325, 340
Portable (Personal) Typewriters
- 1984 PA-3250, 3260 (so-called “mini wedges”)
- 1986 PA-3100, 3100 E, 3110, 3120
- 1987 PA-3130, 3140, “Celebra” QL-825, 855
- 1989 PA-3100 II, PA-3100 S, PA-3110 II, PA-3140 II, 3140 S
- 1989 PA-3000, 3000 S, 3020, 3030, 3130K, QL 800, 830
- 1991 PA 3000 II, 3000 III, 3000 S, 3000 H, 3000 X, 3020 II, 3030 X, QL-200, 300
- 1994 PA-4000, QL-100, 110, 110L, 210, 310
- 1996? QL-800, QL-830 “CELEBRA”
In general, the years above appear to be corroborated by serial numbers which begin with a single digit year code.
Serial number analysis:
The Sharp ZX-500, manufactured in 1982-1983 #30157164
The Sharp PA-3140 II Made in Korea #18052171 K:
K likely stands for “Korea”. The first digit suggests 1991, not just because it fits the pattern of other serial numbers (below) – but also because two sightings of a PA-3140 (Made in U.K) have serial numbers #0A107737 and 0A10400Y. You would expect these to have either been manufactured in the same year or, more likely, earlier than the PA-3140 II , i.e. 1990.
According to Sharp’s own history, the PA-1000 “Intelliwriter” was introduced in 1984. A serial number sighting for a PA-1000 Made in Japan- #41038568 suggests “4” is very likely the year of manufacture. Sharp PA 1000 advertising has also been sighted in the USA 7 April and 11 Nov 1984.
PA-1050 serial number sightings #61044017 and #61030074 (Made in Japan) suggest 1986 as the first year of manufacture. Sharp PA-1050 advertising sighted USA 1 September 1987.
I’ve inferred from Sharp’s history that first generation PA-3100, 3100 E, 3110, and 3120 daisy wheel models began production in late 1986. This is backed up by advertising for the Sharp PA-3100 in AUSTRALIA 18 Dec 1986.
Later PA-3100 series models, PA-3000 series and QL series portable daisy wheel electronic typewriters and XQ series office and compact e.t.s commenced production from 1987. This is backed up by advertising:
- PA-3100, advertised USA 29 Oct 1987
- PA-3100, listed as NEW Canada 15th October 1988
- PA-3100 II , PA-3100E advertised USA 13 Nov1988
- PA-3100E, advertised UK 30 March 1989
- PA-3110 II, advertised USA 28 Feb 1990
A Sharp PA-3130K Made in UK with serial number #9A316133 suggests 1989.
Two Sharp PA-3100 II’s with serial numbers #08069106 K and #18257138 suggest 1990 and 1991 respectively.
A serial number for the Sharp PA-3000 Made in Korea #98027248 suggests 1989. A lot of advertising exists for the Sharp PA-3000 in the USA, UK and AUS in 1990.
Two Sharp PA-3000 II serial number sightings #1880412X and #28605744 Made in Korea suggest 1991 and 1992 respectively. This is backed up by advertising. A Sharp PA 3000 II advertised in the USA 6 Sep 1991 is described as Sharp’s “newest” daisy wheel typewriter. There is a lot of advertising for this model in 1992 and 1993.
Given that the PA-3000 II is circa 1991, you’d have to put your money on 1992 for a Sharp PA-3000 III with a serial number #28030750.
A serial number for a Sharp PA-3000X #2A109530 Made in U.K. also suggests 1992.
Advertising for the Sharp PA-3020 II has been sighted USA 15 Aug 1993.
A serial number for the Sharp PA-3030X #4A101956 Made in U.K. suggests 1994.
A serial number for the Sharp PA-4000 #48529308 Made in Korea also suggests 1994.
A serial number for the Sharp PA-4000 #7A122231 Made in U.K. suggests 1997. This is backed up by advertising sighted for the Sharp PA 4000 USA 22 March 1996.
U.K serial numbers seem to take this pattern:
- PA-3130K – #9A316133
- PA-3140S UM – #0A10400Y
- PA=3030X – #4A1001956
- Fontwriter FW-710 – #5A11554Y
1989, 1990, 1994 and 1995 is likely for the above. “A” is possibly a factory code for the UK (Wrexham) plant. The meaning of the “Y” or “X” at the end of a serial number is as yet unknown. Similar to what we think for Nakajima’s use of X,Y,Z, could X and Y be indicative of a month code at the end of the serial number? Since some serial numbers end with zero, this would only make sense if this began with 0 for January up to 9 for October, in which case X=November, Y=December. Seems a bit counter-intuitive. “Z” at the end of a serial number will quickly dispel this theory (don’t think I’ve come across one …)
Korean serial numbers seem to take this form:
- PA-3000 Made in Korea – #18051171
- PA-3000 II Made in Korea – #1880412X
- PA-3000 II Made in Korea – #28605744
- PA-3000 III Made in Korea – #28028550
1991 and 1992 is likely for the above. The second digit “8” suggests a Korea factory code.
Sharp QL series (Made in UK) serial numbers make complete sense as being manufactured in the period 1994-1997 and possibly later:
- QL-100 #3A117845
- QL-210 #4A104536
- QL-210 #4A115815
- QL-100 #5A150770
- QL-310 #6A109944
- QL-310 #7A106486
Serial numbers not sighted for QL-800, QL-830 “CELEBRA” which seems to be a USA marque. I’d guess around 1996-97.