Is it a 2 or a 12?

Hammond models 2 and 12 are sometimes indistinguishable from one another. The Hammond No. 2 is a rare machine, not many were made, but the subtle differences between the 2 and the 12 confuse many. Hopefully this will help clear things up.

This is a Hammond No. 2

This is NOT a No. 2.

What’s the difference?

The No. 2 was released in 1897 just a couple of years after the Anvil and Shuttle but it was not much of an improvement over its predecessor. Many No. 1’s were still in regular use, both Ideal and Universal, and so the machine did not sell in as large a quantity as other models.

The No. 2’s defining feature is the springed finger tab which allows you to press down and see what you are typing. This becomes fixed in the No. 12, so it’s with this core design we’ll start.

When the No. 12 came out, many of the No. 2’s were upgraded (remodeled) resulting in a machine that is a No. 2 at heart but now is very much like a No. 12.

Aside from the big, ivory colored “Hammond No. 12” fingerboard, and the one-piece paper rest, the paper tube was also changed. Other design changes are a little more subtle, making it very hard to determine original model. Sometimes we can only go by the serial number or if the words “remodel” are stamped into the frame.

The Hammond No. 2

  • Spring loaded crown;
  • Serial numbers begin around 30,000.
  • Early No. 2’s have a nickel plated eraser board, metal roller knob, and a removable key bed;
  • One post for the impression strip.
  • Three-piece paper rest;
  • No backspace, or an “add-on” backspace affixed to the rear frame, not on a mounted post,
  • Perforated cylinder paper tube; as opposed to mesh, and
  • No fingerboard or place to mount it.

The Hammond No. 12

Serial numbers begin around 68,000 but some prototypes are late 50,000. The 12 got several upgrades that made it worth the switch from older No. 1 and A&S models. Not only did it incorporate the No. 2’s anvil and shuttle system, but the 12 also added:

  • Fixed crown;
  • A margin adjustment key;
  • Two posts for the impression strip instead of one;
  • Mesh paper tube;
  • One piece paper rest which debuted with the 12 and thus a big giveaway;
  • Mounted backspace key which became standard with the 12;
  • Ribbon vibrator to type in two colors; and later
  • The anvil lock was simplified.

So .. Which is it?

The confusion is when a No. 2 gets remodeled into a No. 12. The spring loaded finger tap in the crown is a definitive feature of the No. 2. From there everything else is an remodeled addon, but the machine may not always get a remodel stamp.