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Keyboard Rear Labels

Notice 2022-04-23:

This topic is a work in progress and is subject to vast improvements!

For the most part, IBM and family thankfully included strong documentation on the back of their keyboards in the form of a rear label that usually displays the keyboard's part number along with a date of manufacture. A birth certificate, if you will. Thanks to these, we're able to date most IBM and family keyboards since 1981. However, the style, format and even data points for these rear labels have changed over time, thus this topic will serve as a gallery of known rear labels that can show how they've changed through time and from one OEM to another.

Contents

Common datapoints

Field
Explanation
Part number
A unique and typically 7-digit code used to describe a specific keyboard, usually by its layout and language. Whilst intra-part number varieties may exist, a given part number is expected to have a set number of features and specs. For example, a P/N 1391401 Model M is always expected to be a PC-compatible 101-key Enhanced Keyboard with a PS/2 connection.
FRU number
Also a unique and typically 7-digit code used to describe a specific keyboard but in the context of ordering a replacement for a specific keyboard. Unlike part numbers though, FRUs can specify a replacement that's in fact a different keyboard design but should still have similar functional capabilities (excluding key-switch design).
Assembly part number
IBM UK only, also called an internal part number. This one indicates the part number of the internal keyboard assembly and any keycaps on it for keyboards that are not monocoques. It doesn't represent the type of controller, presence of lock-lights or outer case of the whole keyboard. As such, multiple unique outer part numbers can share the same assembly part number. When present on the outer rear label, it's usually printed under the main part number in a smaller font.
Model
Before the mid-1990s, IBM and Lexmark rear labels could have a model field that indicates if the keyboard is designated a member of the Model F or Model M keyboard family. From that time onwards, IBM moved to assigning a model number for each keyboard release en masse. Typically, a model number from thereon would include two or three letters to indicate the OEM and 4 numbers to indicate the SKU. Common OEM codes include KB (Chicony), RT (NMB) and SK (Silitek or LITE-ON).
Date
Exactly what you expect, the date when the keyboard's manufacturing process was complete. The date format itself can be specific to a given factory's region or OEM convention. In some cases, the date may be a year along with either the week number or month.

IBM United States

1985-W02: P/N 6052141

Photo shark_6052141_IBM-US_852.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM 3178-C4 EBCDIC Typewriter Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model F 3104/3178 Terminal Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1986-02-26: P/N 4176191

Photo shark_4176191_IBM-US_860226.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM 5291 Display Station Keyboard Unit

Keyboard type: Model F 5291 Terminal Keyboard

1987-11-10: P/N 1392595

Photo shark_1392595_IBM-US_871110.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM 3151 ASCII Display Station Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model M Enhanced Terminal Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1991-M06: P/N 1396199

Photo dario_1396199_IBM-US_199106.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Numeric Keypad for IBM PS/2 L40SX

Keyboard type: Model M3 Numeric Keypad

IBM United Kingdom

1986-01-12: P/N 6111079

Photo shark_6111079_IBM-UK_860112.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM 3180 Display Station Keyboard Element

Keyboard type: Model F 122-key Terminal Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1986-06-09: P/N 1389152

Photo shark_1389152_IBM-UK_860609.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM 3179 Color Display Station Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model M Type I 122-key Terminal Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1989-09-15: P/N 1394324

Photo shark_1394324_IBM-UK_890915.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM 3476/3477 InfoWindow Twinax Display Station Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model M Type III 122-key Terminal Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1997-06-17: P/N 1397003

Photo shark_1397003_IBM-UK_970617.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Personal System/2 Host Connected Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model M Type IV 122-key Terminal Emulator Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

IBM Netherlands

1987-07-14: P/N 0985955

Photo dt_0985955_IBM-NL.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM 3191 Display Station 122-key Typewriter Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model M Type II 122-key Terminal Keyboard

Notes for this rear label: Has no visible date, thus date must be read from the internal rear label.

Image source: https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?p=500098#p500098

IBM Mexico

1995-01-17: P/N 1391401

Photo ebay_1391401_IBM-MX_950117.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Enhanced Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model M Enhanced PC Keyboard

Lexmark

1992-12-15: P/N 44G3620

Photo shark_44G3620_Lexmark_921215.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM ThinkPad 700-series, 720-series & PS/55 Note C52 Keyboard Assembly

Keyboard type: Model M6 Laptop Keyboard Assembly

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1992-W02: P/N 1398051

Photo ebay_1398051_Lexmark_92W02.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Space Saver Numeric Keypad

Keyboard type: Model M4 Space Saver Numeric Keypad

1994-07-15: P/N 232010-004

Photo shark_232010-004_Lexmark_940715.jpg

Full keyboard name: AST Ascentia 9x0N-series Keyboard Assembly

Keyboard type: Model M6-1 Laptop Keyboard Assembly

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1995-01-23: P/N 92G7461

Photo shark_92G7461_Lexmark_950123.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Enhanced Keyboard with TrackPoint II

Keyboard type: Model M13 TrackPoint II Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1995-02-06: P/N 84G6475

Photo shark_84G6475_Lexmark_950206.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM ThinkPad 755C-series Keyboard Assembly

Keyboard type: Model M6-1 Laptop Keyboard Assembly

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1995-05-26: P/N 92F6320

Photo ebay_92F6320_lexmark_950526.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Retail POS Keyboard w/ Card Reader

Keyboard type: Model M7 50-Key RPOS MSR Keyboard

1995-08-03: P/N 84G2526

Photo shark_84G2526_Lexmark_950803.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Space Saver Numeric Keypad

Keyboard type: Model M4-1 Space Saver Numeric Keypad

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1995-11-06: P/N 1394204

Photo shark_1394204_Lexmark_951106.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM 3471 InfoWindow Enhanced Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model M Enhanced Terminal Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1996-03-15: P/N 1397451

Photo shark_1397451_Lexmark_960315.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Space Saver Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model M4 Space Saver Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

Unicomp

1999-04-14: P/N 84G2524

Photo shark_84G2524_Unicomp_990414.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Space Saver Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model M4-1 Space Saver TrackPoint II Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

2004-04-26: P/N 18P7970

Photo shark_18P7970_Unicomp_040426.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Enhanced Keyboard with Pointing Stick

Keyboard type: Model M13 FSR Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

2020-11-10: P/N UT40U4A

Photo shark_UT40U4A_Unicomp_201110.jpg

Full keyboard name: Unicomp New Model M

Keyboard type: New Model M Space Saving Full-Sized Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

Maxi Switch

1997-07-23: P/N 13H6705

Photo shark_13H6705_Maxi-Switch_970723.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM TrackPoint II Keyboard (Black)

Keyboard type: Model M13 TrackPoint II Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

2000-11-03: P/N 92F6271

Photo ebay_92F6271_Maxi-Switch_001103.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Retail ANPOS Keyboard w/ Card Reader

Keyboard type: Model M9 RANPOS Keyboard

Key Tronic

1996-06-03: P/N 42H3979

Photo VolvoB5234T_42H3979_Key-Tronic_960603.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM ThinkPad 365-series Keyboard Assembly

Keyboard type: Model M6-1 Laptop Keyboard Assembly

Notes for this rear label: One of two examples of a "KTC2" M6-1 rear label, made in Mexico. The format and styling seems identical to Lexmark M6-1 rear labels.

Image source: Volvo B5234T#0733

1996-09-02: P/N 42H3970

Photo shark_42H3970_Key-Tronic_960902.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM ThinkPad 365-series Keyboard Assembly

Keyboard type: Model M6-1 Laptop Keyboard Assembly

Notes for this rear label: One of two examples of a "KTC2" M6-1 rear label, made in Mexico.

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1998-01-30: P/N 42H3978

Photo shark_42H3978_Key-Tronic_980130.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM ThinkPad 365-series Keyboard Assembly

Keyboard type: Model M6-1 Laptop Keyboard Assembly

Notes for this rear label: One of two examples of a "KTC3" M6-1 rear label, made in Mexico.

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

1998-05-11: P/N 39H4047

Photo shark_39H4047_Key-Tronic_980511.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM ThinkPad 755C-series Keyboard Assembly

Keyboard type: Model M6-1 Laptop Keyboard Assembly

Notes for this rear label: One of two examples of a "KTC3" M6-1 rear label, made in Mexico.

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

XSZ

2006-07-14: P/N 41J8019

Photo ebay_41J8019_XSZ_060714.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Modifiable Layout Keyboard with MSR

Keyboard type: Model M11 RPOS Modifiable Layout Keyboard

2006-11-29: P/N 41J7250

Photo shark_41J7250_XSZ_061129.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Retail POS Keyboard w/ Card Reader and Display

Keyboard type: Model M8 50-Key RPOS LCD Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

2008-03-26: P/N 41J7247

Photo mercadolivre_41J7247_XSZ_080326.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Retail POS Keyboard

Keyboard type: Model M7-1 50-Key RPOS Keyboard

IBM Retail Stores Solutions

2012-06-06: P/N 93Y1233

Photo shark_93Y1233_IBM_20120606.jpg

Full keyboard name: IBM Modular CANPOS II Keyboard

Keyboard type: "Model M-e" MCANPOS Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions

2014-02-24: P/N 7431818

Photo shark_7431818_Toshiba_140224.jpg

Full keyboard name: Toshiba POS System Keyboard w/ Card Reader

Keyboard type: Model M7 50-Key RPOS MSR Keyboard

Image source: Admiral Shark's Keyboards