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"Model G" as the original designation for IBM Model M



Almost a month ago, rocco_16v posted on deskthority something that gave us very concrete IBM-written evidence for the existence of "Keyboard G"/"Model G" - presumed to be what Model Ms should've been - outside some inner assembly rear labels found on IBM U.K. made keyboards in the mid-'80s. Seeing that gave me the itch to dive deeper and write about it, and what I found was very interesting. "Model G" lived on after that 1985 internal IBM communiqué; no longer a major family designation like Model F or Model M, but more narrowly defined and repurposed. Models 1A (122-key Model M Converged Keyboard) and 1B (104-key Micro Switch ST Quiet Touch Keyboard) were introduced as G's counterparts. The evidence for G, 1A and 1B had been sitting under my nose for ages...

TLDR (as per my understanding)

[*] Keyboard/Model G was intended to be the Keyboard/Model F successor that at some point became Keyboard/Model M. As very early Enhanced Keyboards have "Model M" on the back, this must've happened very early on and likely just before general availability.
[*] Model G was relegated to designating the IBM Enhanced Keyboard under the Model M umbrella, unlike how "F" and "M" were applied to many keyboards.
[*] To complement this "new" G, Models 1A and 1B became counterparts and in the case of the latter even transcended the Model M family. This new nomenclature survived into the 2000s via IBM i documentation.

As always, I won't draw an absolute line under these conclusions. I still have questions to answer and will make updates if needed. Any further input or comments are appreciated.

Thanks for reading!


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