Typewriter Database Update – “Operation Typewriter Hunt: Brother”

I’m hip-deep in the rewrite of the Brother Serial Number Page at the Typewriter Database this week, so if you have a Brother machine uploaded to the Database, please log in and check the comments on your Brother galleries. I’ve probably been badgering you about your machine. (:

A Work In Progress, that page is. If you’ve looked at it lately, look at it again, it changes every hour as I dig up some new information from a Store catalog or a lucky google image find of a machine with a serial number shown. I’ve sucked the “Edsel Saunders Collection” of Brother Parts and Service Catalogs and Addendums dry of every scrap of dating and model info I could find, sorted through every Brother machine that’s been uploaded to the database and am currently tracking down every Department store catalog I can find that includes typewriter ads, and collecting photos and serial numbers of every Brother machine I can find on eBay and Etsy in an attempt to specifically nail down all the various brandings and models and when they were produced.

It *can* be done, and I think I can do it, but I need your help. If you are a Typewriter Hunter, I now call on you to photograph all of your Brother machines and upload them with serial numbers to the Typewriter Database. Also, I ask that you play a little game with me called “Typewriter Hunt: Brother“. The rules are simple: if you see a Brother typewriter in the wild, get a picture of the machine plus it’s serial number plate and upload it to the Database as a Sighting. Cell Phone photos are fine, as long as the serial number can be read. I want ’em all, every one you can find all the way up to those nasty plastic wedges.

If you are not yet a Typewriter Hunter, please take this opportunity to become one. Please sign up for an account at:

2014-10-23-1What we’ve got so far on the page is pretty good. I’ve nailed down most of the various Brother JP “Model Types” (JP-1 through JP-18 and various variants) and I have some theories firming up about various store brandings (Sears and Montgomery Ward) and the 5 “missing” Brother JP models that weren’t covered in the “Saunders” documents. More on that later, as more data comes in.

Brother, because of it’s unique date-coded serial numbering system, presents us with an opportunity to let the machines themselves tell us their own story. All we have to do is get enough of them together to be inspected, and the patterns of models and when they were made will become apparent. Help us to complete the Brother story by uploading your machines today!

Updated: October 23, 2014 — 11:53 am


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  1. I’ll see what I can do over the week end. I should have had all of my machines done over a year ago — before my HDD died and I need to retake all the photos.

  2. Looks like this is going to be extremely helpful. I think the only Brother I’ve uploaded is a “Wedgefield,” but I have a couple more that I should add.

  3. Will check my entries and look out for more Brothers! :)

  4. Holy crap. That must be a lot of data you are going through there. Brother were extensive with their catalogues.

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