So why did Canon (and Sharp for that matter) neglect to mention electronic typewriters in their company history?


Following their huge 1988 investment in the Costa Mesa plant in California – and faced with stiff competition from U.S. manufacturers such as IBM and Xerox and the Olivetti Corporation (America) – did Canon fail to make an impact in the American electronic typewriter market (despite their advertising claims to the contrary)?


If so, having enjoyed huge success in other areas, especially cameras and copiers, no need for them to mention the failure of their electronic typewriter side-projects.


Canon daisywheel for compact/standard electronic typewriters (front and back)

canon-diasywheels-big-small Mini Canon daisywheel for portable electronic typewriter (right)


Or does Canon’s abridged history merely reflect the fact that electronic daisywheel typewriters failed to emerge as a technology of the future?

Yes, that’s probably it, plus the fact that Canon were never fully committed to daisywheel typewriters or letter quality printing (not that this came across in their 1986 advertising) …


As their company history shows, Canon were busy pioneering bubble-jet and laser printing technologies …


Which makes it all the more surprising how good these AP series daisywheel typewriters are. Canon, I take my hat off to you …


(I knew that badge I bought a few years ago wasn’t completely wasted …)


Extracts from: Canon to Shift Typewriter Work to Costa Mesa (March 24, 1988|DAVID OLMOS | Times Staff Writer)


Canon AP100 (no LCD)


Canon AP1500 (LCD)


Canon AP200 electronic typewriter (no LCD)


Canon AP300 electronic typewriter (small LCD)


Canon AP360 electronic typewriter (wide LCD)


Canon AP400 electronic typewriter (no LCD)


Canon AP500 electronic typewriter (large LCD)

Canon Ap550

An RSX232-C serial interface enables the AP 400/500 to function as a conventional typewriter or computer output printer in word processing functions for personal computers. This interface feature is provided as an option. When the interface is employed, the local (off-line) mode function enables the AP 400-500 to operate as an electronic typewriter; the remote (on-line) mode provides compatibility with Qume and Diablo typewriter printers. The AP 500 can also operate as an intelligent terminal while the AP 400 functions as an I-O typewriter-printer. 1983:

Canon AP800


Canon AP7010



Canon AP160-II/AP6100



Canon AP8010 (it looks as if a better plastic was used on later models, perhaps the ones built in California? Or did some typewriters just have less exposure to ultraviolet light?)


Canon Fodder: Part One

Canon Consumables