Serial Number Table Last Edited: 12/6/17 10:27
NOTE: dates shown are JAN 1 unless noted, so the serial number shown is the *first* serial number produced the given year. Exceptions are serial numbers preceded by "up to"(where you can assume that the numbers reported in that subsection are DECEMBER 31, END OF YEAR NUMBERS) or rows where a month is given in the month column. If the serial number is shown as a range (xxxx-xxxx) it indicates that we know the entire range of serial numbers for the given year.
Mar 3, 1911 • Granted: Oct 15, 1912
Inventor: James Bartlett Hammond
Hammond Typewriter Co., 69. Street and East River,New York, U.S.A.
Since 1931: Vari-Typer Inc., 132. Street, New York, U.S.A.
Later: Ralph C. Coxhead Corp., 333. Avenue of the Americas, New York, U.S.A.
|Models and s/n||Y||M||D||Remarks||Ref.|
|1880||This date is not a production date and should not be used,
although it had been common for collectors and historians to use it until around the year 2000.
It is the right year for the first small Hammond factory, but it was basically a laboratory to solve the design problems of the Hammond until production began four years later.
In addition to the problems with the material the type wheel face was made of, there were problems about the quality of the printing. This second problem apparently was a major one that slowed the date of the production of the Hammond 1 Ideal until 1884.
Hammond No. 1 Ideal
|1884||Production likely began in mid to late 1884.
Factory = Foot of East 52nd Street
Sales Office = 75 and 77 Nassau st., New York
Curved keyboard, entire wooden housing, two piece type-shuttle, central "turret" covered with olive celluloid sheet.
There are no known advertisements for the Hammond before 1885, and those are late in the year.
|1885||Ideal #1 Serial 85||39|
|1886||Sales Office = 143 Centre St., New York||130|
|1887||Ideal #1 Serial 3149||39|
|1887||Ad states over 4000 in use.
Sales Office = 75 and 77 Nassau St., New York
|1888||Ideal #1 Serial 5621, 5902, 9081
Sales Office = 75 and 77 Nassau St.; 77 Nassau St.; then 78 Nassau St., and also 292-298 Ave. B, New York
|1889||Ideal #1 Serial 7563||39|
|1890||Ad states 11,000 now in use.
General Offices and Factory = 69th to 70th Streets [some give the address of the second factory as 639 East 69th St.], New York
Sales Offices = 77 Nassau and then at 447 and 449 East 52nd St., New York
Hammond No. 1 Exchange Model
|1891||In April, 1891, Hammond announces that it will sell a special version of the #1 Ideal with a wooden covered housing (a bit different shape than original covered housing) for $50. These were called "The Hammond EXCHANGE" model. In a trade catalog for the # 2 models, it specifies advertises this as "The Exchange Model of 1892." The Exchange model Ideal Hammonds were given their OWN serial number sequence. The serial numbers are quite low, and thus should not be confused with the regular Hammond sequence and are much later than the original ones. This is the only situation when Hammond made machines with base serial numbers outside the sequence for the regular Hammond #1's and all other Hammond models. Exchange model Ideal #1's were offered as late as 1896.||130|
First major modification of the #1 Ideal is introduced.
The wooden housing is eliminated but the split shuttle and ebony keyboard remain the same.
Earliest ad for this is February, 1892.
Then, by no later than December, 1892 (based on a dated advertisement) another modification was made. The split typewheel is replaced with a single-piece type sector that was attached to a vertical cylinder. This attached type sector was named an "anvil" and the hammer was modified to go with it. The new form was called the "Anvil and Shuttle" design. It was applied to BOTH the Ideal and the Universal keyboard #1 Hammond models.
Thus, the Hammond split typewheel is no longer a feature of new Hammonds from December, 1892 on. It is replaced by the "shuttle." Typeface catalogs now describe the availability of the typewheels and the shuttles separately.
Also, in 1892, a "manifolding attachment" is introduced for both the Ideal and the Universal. The "attachment" appears to simply be interchangeable rubber hammer tips varied hardness.
Hammond No. 1 Universal
The Hammond #1 Universal was introduced in 1890 (the earliest ads are July, 1890),
and have serial numbers running in the same sequence as other Hammond models.
The three-bank machine has nickel-plated ringed keys. The number of keys is 30, the same number as on the Ideal. The key tops (called "finger pieces" by Hammond) themselves were advertised as interchangeable for different languages. This and the overt recognition by Hammond that many typist have been trained on "universal" machines made by other companies, is the only advantage of the new Universal design overtly recognized by Hammond in its advertising.
By December, 1893, the Universal is advertised as having the "type-bar touch," It has the same "tower" mechanism as the Ideal of this period and includes the split typewheel. From this point on, Hammond typeface catalogs have to distinguish Ideal and Universal typewheels.
The introduction takes place at the same time that Hammond opens its new, larger factory.
|1890||#1 Universal serial 14421||39|
|1897||#1 Serial 4621 (suspected Remodel serial number)||39|
Hammond No. 1 'A'
|1891||The Model "1A" [a collector’s designation, not a factory one] was introduced in 1891. The 1A is an Ideal Keyboard machine with the original ebony keys on a two-row keyboard that is "open," with the frame attached to a flat baseboard. Originally, it had the split type wheel, but by 1893-94 it had the one-piece shuttle [collectors designate this as the "1B."]. The range for 1 A's in the Typewriter Times [November, 1986] list is from ser. # 4502-# 24626. Note that Universal keyboard Hammond # 1's were introduced in 1890 and have serial #'s running in the same sequence as other Hammond models.||130|
|1898||#1A Serials 16285, 22226, 23633||39|
Hammond No. 1 'B'
|1893-94||Ebony keys, curved keyboard, no more wooden housing, two piece type-shuttle, central "turret" covered with olive celluloid sheet||5,130|
No. 2 Ideal and Universal
|1895||Sales Office = 139 Broadway, New York
The introduction of the Hammond #2 Ideal and Universal models was launched in 1895, but most of the early ads are from 1896. The following were new to these models:
|1895||#2 Serial 26457 [Universal]||39|
About 1896, Hammond introduced five additional models based on the #2 technology.
All but the #5 were offered with either Ideal or Universal keyboards. These models were:
|1898||#2 Serial 34259, 34265, 34266 [all Ideal], 35841 [Universal]||39|
|1898||#1 Remodeled to #2 Ideal, Serial 3053R, 8983R||39|
|1902-1903||Sales Office = 165 Broadway, New York
About 1902-1903, Hammond begins to ship all Hammond models with a simplified paper rack. The rack on previous models had been constructed of two cast support arms and a rod, all of which had been nickel plated. Now the rack was made of a single bent rod that was nickel plated.
This is often called the "coat hanger" paper rack. This was much easier and cheaper to make, and was also used on the #12. Introduced in 1904.
Of course, some early #2 machines have these later racks because the three-piece rack often broke, and, once available, it could be replaced with the new form.
|1905||Sales Office = 223 Broadway, New York||130|
|1906||Sales Office = 212 Broadway, New York||130|
|1908||#2 Serial 61277||39|
No. 12 Ideal and Universal
In 1904, at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Hammond introduced the model 12 with
either an Ideal or Universal Keyboard. Some of the new model machines were sold in 1904,
but most of the earliest ephemera are from 1905.
The major new characteristics of #12 Hammonds is he introduction of a modification in visible access to the line being typed by eliminating the tab system on the # 2-based models and introducing a kind of "ribbon vibrator" that moved the ribbon down after a letter was struck. The visible aspect of this change is a horizontal metal wire sitting on top of the tower with a ribbon carrier at the carriage side and attached at the front of the tower with a small metal bale that allowed the wire hoop to move up and down. There is an angled up pinch in the loop at the front that can be pushed down for ribbon adjustment of to insert a small cut piece of red carbon paper to change the color of the printing. This was marketed as the "Polychrome Ribbon Attachment."
In addition, the hammer now had a head with four different rubber faces on it that could be switched depending on the elasticity/hardness needed. The heads were part of a roratatable rubber ring. There were modifications that included a feed ratchet and release to make it easier to adjust and a change in the way the hammer spring worked. Other characteristics of the #2 basic design were retained in the #12 with both keyboards. Aesthetically, the color of the celluloid key card guide was made in black or in white.
|1906-1908||The Universal 12 was offered with a mathematical keyboard and a four-row typesector.||130|
|1907||Universal #12 Serial 103615||39|
|1912||The "Reversible" Hammond #12 Universal model was introduced. While the main purpose was to make it possible to type in Arabic and Hebrew, the machine could write all of the other 300 type styles available by then.||130|
Multiplex Ideal and Universal
The primary change that defined the new Multiplex models introduced in 1913 was the capacity to carry
two different type sectors on the tower anvil. To change typefaces, all the user needed to do was to lift
and rotate the anvil and drop it into the typing position.
The first models through mid 1915 were "open" versions; they still used the ribbon spools as on the previous model and the key levers and tower were exposed.
In addition, the Multiplex introduced a back space key. The key tops of the Universal were changed to metal-ringed glass-topped ones.
The most obvious change in both models was the enclosing of the tower and key levers and the
introduction of ribbon cups and regular metal spools. In addition, by no later than this,
a capacity for a two-color ribbon was introduced.
The first Hammond portable was introduced. It was made of aluminum and was in a leatherette-covered wooden case. It had all the usual covered Multiplex characteristics, but it was somewhat smaller and lighter. It was offered, like the regular Multiplex Universal, as a Mathematical model.
For the first time, Hammond offered the Universal with variable pitch settings—from 4 to 18 letters to the inch. This change, in combination with the interchangeable type faces, will become the basis of the Varityper models from 1927 on.
In 1915, the new covered Multiplex Universal was first offered in a "Mathematical Model" that was "improved." The improvement over the #12 mathematical Universal is not clear.
Note that the Reversible Hammond 12 Universal continued to be made and sold until at least 1915. It was replaced by a "closed" Multiplex version that year.
|1917||Multiplex Serial 110154 [Ideal], 163881 [Universal]||39|
|1915||Introduced 1915, Aluminum frame, Non-folding keyboard.||130|
|1919||Portable Multiplex Serial AL202867||39|
Model 26 Multiplex Folding
The Hammond Universal Multiplex Folding Portable was introduced.
Note that the common incorrect date given is 1923, but the 1921
date given is based on a postmarked advertising flier for the folding
portable that was sent on September 27, 1921.
The main innovation was a keyboard that folded up to make the machine far more compact that the original portable of 1915. It was also made of aluminum and was offered in special models, particularly the Scientific and Mathematical one with three shift keys and two four-row type sectors of different pitch sizes.
It also could be purchased with a switch to vary the pitch size for the escapement.
Basically the same machine as the Model 26 Portable. In addition, this design was the basis of the first Varityper in 1927.
|1923||Sales Office = 553A East 69th St., New York||130|
The variable pitch version of the Hammond Multiplex Folding Portable is re-labeled as "VARITYPER."
The decal appears in the same position on the tower cover as "FOLDING" had in the previous year.
These are manual, non-electric machines from serial #300,000 ending with the electric models starting in 1930 at serial #400,000.
Earliest documented offering of an aluminum-framed mechanical desk-top office VARITYPER with variable pitch switch.
Offered by Vari-typer Incorporated of New York, NY.
Based on a trade catalog and the several testimonial letters it includes from June, 1928 to April, 1929. The catalog is copyrighted 1929.
|1929||Since 1929: Vari-Typer Inc., 132 Street, New York, U.S.A.
The 1929 Vari-Typer is a manual, non-electric office model; the lower body including the space bar guard, are often unpainted (the whole body is aluminum).
First Electric Varityper introduced in ca. 1930 by Coxhead of NYC
Ralph C. Coxhead, 17 Park Place, New York
Ralph C. Coxhead Corp., 333 Avenue of the Americas, New York
Ralph C. Coxhead Corp., Newark, New Jersey
|1933||Second version of Electric Vari-Typer introduced ca. 1933 by Coxhead in NYC; these used a carbon ribbon and were the key to sales to advertising agencies and small newspapers||130|
|1950s||Name changed to simply Coxhead = Vari-Typer Corp., Newark, New Jersey - both names were used.||130|
|1953||Third version of Electric Vari-Typer introduced ca. 1953 by Coxhead in NYC. Model "DSJ".||130|
|1953||Vari-Typer Stencil-Writer introduced ca. 1953 by Coxhead in NYC.||130|
|1956||Fourth version of Electric Vari-Typer introduced ca. 1956 by Coxhead in NYC. Model "DSJF".||130|
|1963||Model 660 Vari-Typer. 5 other models available.||130|
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