The Japy company was founded in Beaucourt, Territoire de Belfort, France, by a French watchmaker, Frédéric Japy, around 1770. When Frédéric passed the company on to his sons in 1806, it was renamed Japy Frères, and the brothers diversified the business, expanding to, among other items, typewriters in 1910 due to the purchase of the assets of the then bankrupt Rem-Sholes Typewriter Company. Japy then released, according to Robert Messenger, an unsuccessful portable model, followed by the purchase of a license of the Swiss Patria, rebranded as Japy, and re-coated with a Japy case. Japy went on to purchase a license from Hermès Paillard. In 1954, Japy re-named their typewriter branch Société de Mécanographie Japy. Eventually, Hermès took over the Japy typewriter branch in 1971.