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INDUSTRIES: Business History of Office Equipment
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January 6, 1714 - English engineer Henry Mill received patent from Queen Anne for a "Machine for Transcribing Letters" ("An artificial machine or method for the impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively one after another, as in writing, whereby all writing whatever may be engrossed in paper or parchment so neat and exact as not to be distinguished from print"); typewriter (never succeeded in perfecting invention, died with him).

1761-1784 - Cabinet-maker Kaspar Faber produced his first pencils, the "Bleyweißsteffte", in Stein near Nuremberg; 1784-1810 -  2nd generation business named "A.W. Faber" (named after Kaspar´s son Anton Wilhelm); 1839-1846 - Lothar von Faber (22) took over Stein pencil factory; produced hexagonal pencil, developed first German quality pencils. marked them with "A. W. Faber" name - first brand-name pencil in world; 1843 - "A.W. Faber" pencils sold for first time in America through New York agency; 1849 - first foreign branch founded in New York; 1898 - Wilhelm von Faber´s eldest daughter and eventual heiress, Baroness Ottilie von Faber married Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen (descended from one of Germany´s oldest noble families); new company named "FABER-CASTELL"; 1978 - 8th generation, Anton Wolfgang Count von Faber-Castell, took over helm at company; 2001 - opened 15th Faber-Castell production facility in Canton, China.

1774 - Francesco Pineider sold stationary in Florence, Italy; first man in Italy to introduce printed letters drawn from Anglo-Saxon, Germanic tradition (pioneer in bringing moveable type to Italy); avant-garde equipment made it possible to produce perfect, spotless lithographic, copper-plate prints".

1796 - John Letts established stationery business in arcades of London's Royal Exchange; 1812 - created world's first Commercial Diary; 2007 - manufactures over 22 million diaries, market leader supplying more than 40 per cent of all branded diaries in UK, exporting to over 75 countries;.

November 16, 1796 - Marc Isambard Brunel, English inventor and engineer, received a patent for "Ruling Books and Paper"; January 17, 1799 - received a patent for a "Machine for Writing with Two Pens".

October 7, 1806 - Englishman Ralph Wedgwood received first patent for carbon paper, "Stylographic Writer" (an "apparatus for producing duplicates of writings"); used carbonated paper; process of saturating thin paper with printer's ink, drying it between sheets of blotting paper; fitted in writing frame between two sheets of plain paper; metal stylus used to transfer ink onto plain paper; designed to help blind people write.

April 30, 1808 - Italian Pellegrini Turri built first practical typewriter for a blind friend.

November 22, 1809 - Peregrin Williamson, shoemaker from Baltimore, MD, received patent for a "Metallic Writing Pen"; first American patent for a pen.

1819 - John Scheffer received a British patent for a "Penographic or Writing Instrument" (half quill, half metal pen).

April 2, 1827 - Joseph Dixon, Salem, MA,  first manufactured graphite-based lubricants, pencils, stove polish, crucibles; 1829 - introduced first graphite pencil; first to develop pencil automation; 1847 - built factory in Jersey City, NJ; 1870 - The Joseph Dixon Crucible Company world's largest dealer, consumer of graphite; 1872 - company made 86,000 pencils a day; 1983 - merged with the Bryn Mawr Corporation, renamed Dixon Ticonderoga Company. is a name you can TRUST! Joseph Dixon ( webcart/vigs/josephdixonvig.jpg)

July 23, 1829 - William Austin Burt, a surveyor from Mount Vernon, MI, received a patent for a "Typographer" ("type are arranged on the under side of a segment carried by a lever pivoted to swing vertically and horizontally...desired character is brought to the printing point by moving this lever horizontally to a position over the same character in the index, and the impression is made by then depressing the lever"); forerunner of the typewriter.

July 26, 1832 - John Jacob Parker, of Birmingham, UK, received a British patent for "Certian Improvements in Fountain Pens" ("...certain arrangements of parts, thus producing pens containing a supply of ink which may be made to flow to the nibs at the time of using the pens, and afterwards to cause any ink remaining in the pen to flow back into the handles or upper parts of the pens..."); first self-filling fountain pen.

November 15, 1837 - Isaac Pitman published system of shorthand, under title "Stenographic Sound-Hand."

September 30, 1841 - Samuel Slocum, of Poughkeepsie, NY, received a patent for a "Machine for Sticking Pins into Papers"; early stapler.

February 15, 1842 - Adhesive postage stamps were used for first time, in New York City.

August 26, 1843 - Charles Thurber, of Norwich, CT, received a patent for a "Machine for Printing" ("intended as a substitute for writing where writing with a pen is inconvenient by reason of incompetency in the performer");  typewriter; successfully typed as a roller provided inking; called a Chirographer, known as "Thurber's Patent Printer" - proposed as an aid for the blind but was slow to use, had little success; November 18, 1845 - received a patent for a "Mechanical Chirographer" ("Improvement in Writing-Machines"); typewriter precursor.

March 17, 1845 - Stephen Perry, of Messers Perry and Co. Rubber Co. Manufacturers in London, received a British patent for the  rubber band.

1846 - Alonzo T. Cross founded A. T. Cross Co., in Providence, RI, to manufacture elegantly tooled gold, silver casings for wooden pencils; 1916 - acquired by employee Walter R. Boss; June 27, 1950 - A. T. Cross Pencil Company registered "Cross" trademark first used in 1868 (mechanical pencils); 1971 - went public; America's oldest manufacturer of fine writing instruments.

January 23, 1849 - Jesse K. Park and Cornelius S. Watson, of New York, NY, received a U.S. patent for an "Machine for Making Envelops" ("a new and useful machine for embossing, folding, and gumming paper for envelops for letters, papers, cards, packages or any other like use").

February 5, 1850 - Du Bois D. Parmelee, of New Platz, NY, received a patent for a "Calculating-Machine" ("apparatus for making accurate additions of long columns of figures by means of a movable index or register acted upon by the keys of a finger board"); first key-operated adding machine.

June 21, 1853 - Dr. Russell L. Hawes, of Worcester, MA, received a patent for a "Machine for Folding and Making Envelops" ("one self-feeding machine the ability, when motion is given to it, to take one sheet of paper at one time, and carry it forward to impress or form a base, and thus to retain it until it is carried onward to the finisher, whence it is discharged, a finished or folded and pasted envelop"); three workers could produce over 2,000 envelopes in an hour.

March 9, 1858 - Albert Potts, of Philadelphia, PA, received a patent for a "Letter Box" ("Mode of Attaching Metallic Letter-Boxes to Lamp-Posts).

March 30, 1858 - Hymen L. Lipman, of Philadelphia, received patent for a "Pencil & Eraser" (a "new and useful Lead-Pencil and Eraser"); pencil with eraser attached on one end.

1859 - Charles Diebold founded Diebold Safe & Lock Company, manufactures safes and vaults in Cincinnati, Ohio; 1875 - produces world's largest bank vault for Wells Fargo; 1915 - changes name to Diebold, Incorporated to better reflect the company's gradual diversification into office products.

 Carl (Charles) Diebold - founder Diebold Inc.  (

May 31, 1859 - Edson P. Clark, of Holyoke, MA, received a patent for "Improvement in Compositions for Pencils" ("new Composition for Pencils for Indelible Marking on Linen and Other Clothing and Other Articles...component parts of the composition are nitrate of silver, nitric acid, glue, lamp-black, and sugar").

April 21, 1863 - Samuel Ward Francis, of New York, NY, received a patent for a "Machine for Canceling Postage and Other Stamps" ("Improvements in Adhesive Stamp Canceling prevent postage or other adhesive stamps from being used more than once, by permanently defacing them").

July 10, 1866 - Edson P. Clark, of Northampton, MA, received a patent for an "Improved Indelible Pencil" ("Improvement in Pencils for Producing Indelible Writing on Linen and Other Fabrics...consists in the employment of gypsum and black lead incorporated connection with nitrate of silver to be made into pencil-leads which are inclosed in wood or other material").

July 24, 1866 - George W. McGill, of Washington, DC, received a patent for an "Improvement in Metallic Paper Fasteners"; small, bendable brass paper fastener, precursor to modern staple; August 13, 1867 - received patent for a "Press for Attaching Paper Fasteners"; press to insert fastener into paper; February 12, 1879 - received patent for a "Device for Inserting Metallic-Staples in Paper, etc."; McGill Single-Stroke Staple Press (2 1/2 pounds, able to load single 1/2 inch wide wire staple at a time, drive it through several sheets of paper).

September 3, 1867 - M. Klein and Henry W. Wynne, of Keokuk, IA, received a patent for a "Fountain-Pen"; ink chamber and delivery system in the handle of the fountain pen.

March 5, 1868 - Charles H. Gould, of Birmingham, England, received a British patent for a stapler; invented wire stitcher for use in binding magazines; uncut wire, then cut, inserted in folds of magazine as well as folding wire ends over; considered the predecessor of modern stapler.

June 23, 1868 - Christopher Latham Sholes (former editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel), Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soule, all of Milwaukee, WI, received a patent for a "Type Writing Machine"; had only capital letters, fit in a box about 2 feet square and 6" high, paper inside the machine (typist couldn't tell if making mistakes); 1873 - sold rights for $12,000 to investor James Densmore (invented a tank car during Pennsylvania oil boom); 1874-1878 - manufactured by E. Remington & Sons in Ilion, NY; 1886 - five thousand Remington typewriters sold.

July 14, 1868 - Alvin J. Fellows of New Haven, Connecticut received a patent for an "Improvement in Tape Measures" (a "new and useful Improvement in Spring Measuring Tapes").

1871 - Louis Faber, Adolf Schleicher founded "Association for Production of Automatic Lithographic Presses"; 1875 - exported first Albatros press to St. Petersburg, Russia; 1900 - name changed to Faber & Schleicher AG; 1911 - introduced first offset press with name 'Roland'; 1922 - new single-colour offset press Klein-Roland 00 produced of up to 5,000 sheets per hour; 1967 - sales exceeded 200 million Deutschmarks, 3,000 emp;oyees; 1972 - ROLAND 800, integrated with first ink control system in sheet-fed offset, boosted printing capacity to 10,000 sheets per hour; June 5, 1973 - ROLAND Offsetmaschinenfabrik Faber & Schleicher AG registered "Roland matic" trademark (printing presses); 1977 - launched Roland-CCI - world's first computer-controlled ink control system; 1979 - Roland Offsetmaschinenfabrik Faber & Schleicher, Offenbach, printing press division of Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg merged; formed MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG, Offenbach/Main; 1985 - introduced ROLAND 200; small-format press series with maximum speed of 12,000 sheets per hour; 1990 - medium-size ROLAND 700 printed 15,000 sheets per hour; 2000 - ROLAND 500 printed 18,000 sheets per hour; 2006 - MAN Roland beame independent; 2008 - renamed manroland AG; entered Pico format class with ROLAND 50.

1874 - R. G. Dun of Dun & Bradstreet  was first to recognize the potential of the typewriter for business use - ordered 100 machines, at $55 apiece.

July 13, 1875 - David Brown, of Lebanon, NJ, received a patent for an "Apparatus for Transmission of Goods, Packages, etc." ("to provide for a simple, effective and cheap apparatus for transmission of goods, packages, money, etc. in general, but more particularly, as an expedient and cheap method of transmitting packages, bills and money in stores and salesrooms from the salesmen to the cashier, and vice versa, without the aid of now-employed cash-boys").

April 11, 1876 - John C. Zachos of New York City received a patent for "Type Writers and Phonotypic Notation"; stenotype (first patent for device for printing legible text in English alphabet at high reporting speed0; called new system of shorthand "stenophonotypy.

August 8, 1876 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for "Autographic Printing" ("method of preparing autographic stencils for printing"); mimeograph.

1878 - John Dempsey, accomplished engraver, George D. Carroll, businessman, opened Dempsey & Carroll at 46 East 14th Street in New York City; became social tastemaker, provided best in engraved product to city’s Gilded Age elite; hand-engraved steel dies, copper plates made to specification, finest inks, most luxurious cotton-fiber papers; spring 2004 - closed retail stores in New York City, Washington, DC, printing facility in Baltimore, MD; banks foreclosed on company; September 2004 - assets of company acquired by Lauren Marrus (President and CEO of The Chelsea Paper Company), head of 1878 Stationery Company (founded to maintain, improve quality of personalized correspondence with elegant papers, inks, expert craftsmanship); September 15, 2008 - moved to first brick-and-mortar storefront (1049 Lexington Avenue between 74th and 75th Streets).

March 28, 1880 - Alonzo T. Cross, of Providence, RI, received a patent for a "Stylographic Fountain-Pen" ("supporting the writing-spindle, with its holder or guide, upon a slender spring-rod secured to the upper end of the ink reservoir...thus presenting a larger opening for the insertion of the point of the tiller, and also serving to prevent the accidental forcing of ink into the air-duct made in the wall of the ink-reservoir"); May 11, 1880 - received a patent for a "Stylographic Fountain-Pen" (in which a tubular point and central spindle are used...consists, essentially, of the combination of a needle tipped with some hard substance, such as iridium, and a tubular point of ordinary soft metal, when the needle is so adjusted in relation to the point that it shall, in writing, always project sufficiently through the tubular point to bear upon the paper"); June 29, 1880 - received a patent for "Improvement in Fountain-Pens" ("provides convenient means for clearing the fine-tube at the lower end of the ink-chamber, or at the point of the pen, from interfering sediment or ink deposit, without the necessity, as heretofore, of either opening or partially opening the ink-chamber, with consequent liability of of soiling the fingers with ink"); October 5, 1880 - received a patent for a "Improvements in Stylographic Fountain-Pens" ("point-tube is simply held by slight friction so that it may be readily withdrawn and a new one inserted when necessary, thus avoiding the waste of the hard-rubber point-section"); earliest 'ball pen' which carried its own ink supply and had a retractable tip.

September 11, 1883 - James G. Cutler, of Rochester, NY, received a patent for a "Letter-Box Connection" ("to enable persons upon the different floors of a building to deliver letters and other matter to be mailed into a letter-box other receptacle on the lower floor without the necessity of descending thereto"); mail chute.

February 12, 1884 - Lewis E. Waterman, an insurance salesman from Brooklyn, NY, received patent for a "Fountain-Pen" ("in which the nib of the ordinary writing-pen is supplied with fluid ink from a barrel or reservoir, which may conveniently form the handle or holder of the pen");  relatively leak-proof fountain pen; revolutionized writing; previously, pen tips had to be tipped into ink after every few words; put an ink reservoir in the pen above the pen's metal nib (point); used capillary action to replace the ink in the rubber sac with air so that the ink flowed smoothly but did not flow all at once.

1886 - Lyman, Wilbert, Monroe, Hurlburt Smith founded Smith-Premier Typewriter Company in Syracuse, NY; created first typewriter that wrote upper, lower case letters; 1893 - merged with six manufacturers, formed Union Typewriter Company of America; produced most popular of "blind" writing machines (had to lift carriage to see what had been typed); January 27, 1903 - Smith brothers formed L.C. (Lyman) Smith & Bros. Typewriter Company in Syracuse, NY to manufacture "visible" typewriters (see what was typed without lifting carriage); 1906 - Frank Rose's Rose Typewriter Company introduced world´s first successful portable typewriter; 1909 - Rose acquired, name changed to Standard Typewriter Company; 1912 - introduced Corona model; 1914 - Standard renamed Corona; January 1926 - L.C. Smith & Bros. merged with Corona Typewriter; formed L.C. Smith & Corona Typewriter Company (Smith produced office typewriters, Corona manufactured portables); November 8, 1949 - L. C. Smith & Corona Typewriters, Inc. registered "Smith-Corona" trademark first used February 6, 1931 (typewriting machines and parts therof).

September 14, 1886 - George Kerr Anderson, of Memphis, TN, received first U.S. patent for an "Inking-Ribbon for a Type-Writing Machine"; typewriter ribbon; provided portions near the ends of a ribbon with a color contrasting from that of the body of the ribbon to notify the operator of the machine to manually change the direction of the ribbon feed.

January 20, 1886 - William Seward Burroughs incorporated business as American Arithmometer Corporation of St. Louis with three partners; sold adding and listing machine for $475.00; August 21, 1888 - received four patents for a "Calculating-Machine" ("new and useful Improvements in Mechanical Accountants"; adding machine; first practical adding and listing machine, incorporated an oil-filled 'dashpot,' a hydraulic governor; enabled machine to operate properly regardless of manner with which handle might be pulled; September 12, 1893 - received a patent for "Recording Device for Calculators"' assigned to American Arithmometer Corporation; January 1905 - company renamed Burroughs Adding Machine Co.; 1953 - name changed to Burroughs Corporation; 1986 - merged with Sperry Corporation to form Unisys Corporation.

William Seward Burroughs - Burroughs Corp.  (

October 30,1888 - John J. Loud, of Weymouth, MA, received first U.S. patent for a "Pen" ("an improved reservoir or fountain pen, especially useful...for marking on rough surfaces-wooden coarse wrapping paper, or other surfaces-where an ordinary pen could not be used"); nib of a fountain pen could not be used because it would split, splatter or catch.

November 20, 1888 - Willard LeGrand Bundy, a jeweler from Auburn, NY, received a patent for a "Time-Recorder" ("to compel employees of factories and shops to record at their place of business the time of their entering the said place"); 1989 - formed Bundy Manufacturing Company with his brother; 1902 - consolidated into one of IBM's forerunners.  

December 10, 1889 - George S. Parker, teacher of telegraphy in Janesville, WI, received his first patent for a "Fountain-Pen" ("of prompt action entitling a steady, reliable, and constant flow of ink"); March 8, 1892 - Parker  and partner William E. Palmer, an insurance broker (initially invested $1,000), incorporated Parker Pen Company; December 12, 1893 - Parker received another patent for a "Fountain-Pen" ("the novel construction in the nozzle and feed bar of the fountain pen; and in the adaptation of the pen nib for use therein"); January 9, 1894 - received third  patent for a "Fountain-Pen" ("a novel construction of the feed piece and contiguous parts which secures and maintains an equipoise between the columns of ink and air in their several passages and compels them to harmony of action"); intended to obviate defects: starting flow of ink, irregular flow of ink, dripping of ink, overflowing of ink; self-feeding" fountain pen design (mechanically filled "lever" filler), Lucky Curve Ink Feed System; used capillary attraction to completely drain ink from feed tube; became the Parker Pen Company's first major success (phased out in 1928); March 20, 1923 - Parker Pen Co. registered "Parker" trademark first used in 1891 (Fountain Pens and Mechanical Pencils); 1974 - sales topped $100 million;  1993 - acquired by the Gillette Company.

George Safford Parker - Parker Pen (

July 14, 1891 - John T. Smith of Brooklyn, NY; received first US patent for a "Process of Treating Cork" ("subjecting cork in a more or less fine state in a closed vessel to heat, so as to melt and volatilize the resinous matter contained in it, permitting some of the vapor to escape from the vessel and cementing the cork particles together by the condensation of the remaining vaporized resinous matter"); pure corkboard.

October 27, 1891 - Philip B. Downing, of Boston, MA, received a patent for a "Letter-Box" ("to improve the construction of the lid or that portion through which mail-matter is introduced into the box"); covering, opening of outdoor street letter (mail) boxes; protected mail from intruders, weather.

April 12, 1892 - George C. Blickensderfer, of Stamford, CT,  received first U.S. patent for a "Type Writing Machine"; portable typewriter, the Blickensderfer.

September 11, 1893 - James G. Cutler,. of Rochester, NY, received a patent for a "Letter Box Connection" ("to enable persons upon the different floors of a building to deliver letters and other matter to be mailed into a letter-box or other receptacle on the lower floor without the necessity of descending thereto"); mail chute.

October 9, 1894 - Edward G. Watkins, of Gardner, MA, employee in engineering department of Heywood Brothers & Co., received a patent for a "Workman's Time-Recorder" for use in furniture manufacturer's plants ("...such as are used to record the time of employees in factories, shops, stores, offices, etc....machine of the greatest simplicity, which may be cheaply made and is extremely durable, which is operated by the individual employees when they begin and leave off work, which keeps an accurate record of time during which the individuals are at work, and which has a time sheet adapted to be detached after being passed through the machine and which shows a complete record of the time of the several employees, and may therefore be filed away for future reference"); one-half of patent assigned to Heywood Bros. & Co.; featured bell which rang when button pushed, clock face so workers could check time, clock's movement relied on 100-beat Seth-Thomas marine movement clock (vs. traditional 60-beat clock); Heywood Brothers & Co. established Time Recorder Division, began manufacturing devices under Simplex name; January 15, 1902 - Watkins incorporated Simplex Time Recorder Co. to manufacture time recorders; acquired old patents, machinery; 1912 - introduced card-model time recorder (individual "time-cards" inserted into recorders, stored in adjacent card rack); 1916 - acquired WH. Bundy Time Recorder Company (Binghamton, NY0, Syracuse Time Card (Syracuse, NY); produced complete line of time clocks and cards (card recorders, watchman's clocks, payroll recorders); December 1942 - Curtis Watkins (son) took over; 1958 - acquired IBM Time Recorder Division; 1963 - wholly owned subsidiaries opened in Canada, Australia; 1967 - E.G. Watkins II (grandson) took over; January 2001 - acquired by Tyco International Ltd.; April 2001 - merged with Grinnell Fire Protection division, largest fire protection company in world; name changed to SimplexGrinnell.

October 30, 1894 - Daniel M. Cooper, of Rochester, NY received a patent for a "Workman's Time-Recorder" ("has as its object to produce a form of apparatus by means of which a workman personally records upon his individual card or time check the time when he enters or leaves the factory"); manufactured by Willard and Frick Manufacturing Company; timecards were inserted into the machine, lever was pressed, time was recorded on specially printed cards divided by horizontal lines into seven equal spaces for days of the week.

November 19, 1895 - Fredrick E. Blaisdell, of Philadelphia, PA, received first U.S. patent for a "Pencil"; paper pencil ("non-lubric-covered crayons or marking leads"); received second patent for a "Machine for Manufacturing Pencils, etc."

April 28, 1896 - Joseph S. Duncan, of Sioux City, IA, received a patent for an "Addressing-Machine"; the Addressograph; patent assigned to Addressograph Company (Chicago, IL).

November 3, 1896 - John W. Hunter, of Tabor, IA, received patent for a "Portable Weighing-Scale" ('for retail dealers").

November 23, 1897 - Black American inventor, John Lee Love, of Fall River, MA, received a U.S. patent for a "Pencil Sharpener"; pencil is put into the opening of the sharpener and rotated by hand, shavings stay inside the sharpener; by rotating the outer case, internal gears turn a pencil sharpener blade around the inserted pencil.

February 8, 1898 - John A. Sherman, of Worcester, MA, received a patent for a "Mechanism for Folding and Sealing Envelops"; first envelope folding and gumming machine; reduced manufacturing cost per thousand enveloped from 60 cents to 8 cents.

1899 - Johann Vaaler, of Christiania, Norway, received a German patent for the paper clip; June 4, 1901 - received U. S. patent for a "Paper Clip or Holder" ("forming same of a spring material, such a piece of wire, that is bent to a rectangular, triangular of otherwise shaped hoop, the end parts of which wire piece form members of tongues lying side by side in contrary directions");  November 7, 1899 - William D. Middlebrook, of Waterbury, CT, received a patent for a "Machine for Making Wire Paper-Clips") for ("binding or securing papers in lieu of pins"); paper clips of the Gem design (double oval shape) designed by GEM Manufacturing Ltd. (England).

March 14, 1899 - Allen De Vilbiss, Jr., of Toledo, OH, received a patent for a "Scale" ("a scale of this character [employing pendulums] whose hand or index swings i n irregular steps as weight is added to the pan or platform over a straight-line table whose graduations or marks are equidistant"); May 22, 1900 - received a patent for a "Scale" ("relates to...price scales, which employ a pendulum and are adapted to compute the total selling price"); first automatic computing scale; assigned to De Vibliss Computing Scale Company (predecessor of the Toledo Scale Co.).

March 21, 1899 - George C. Blickensderfer, of Stamford, CT, recdeived a patent for a "Type-Writing Machine" (had invented new kind of typewriter 1892 in small workshop at rear of home; founded The Blickensderfer Manufacturing Company in 1889); revolving type, became world's best seller, company became one of world's largest typewriter manufacturers; Blick Typewriter - one of first, said to be best portable typewriter invented; could be outfitted with different type styles, for foreign languages; August 14,  1900 - received a patent for a "Type-Writer" ("...simple, compact, and efficient power mechanism by which the type-bars may be operated, the impression thus effected by the power-actuated mechanism and not by the force of blow given by operator"); electric typewriter; 1920 - company acquired by L.R. Roberts Typewriter Company.

October 14, 1902 - Arthur H. Pitney received a patent for a "Postage Stamp Device"; 1908 - Walter H. Bowes incorporated Universal Stamping Machine Company, provided canceling machines to Post Office; 1910 - Pitney incorporated American Postage Meter Company; April 23, 1920 - merged, formed Pitney-Bowes Postage Meter Company; December 10, 1920 - posted first meter mail; 1940 - over 1,200 employees, net income of $4 million; 1950 - listed on NYSE; 1957 - introduced first mail sorting machine; 1962 - listed on Fortune 500; 1968 - acquired Monarch Marking System Company (produced first bar code equipment for retail trade use); 1970 - introduced new logo (intersection of paper-based, electronic communication); 1979 - sales exceeded $1 billion;  2004 - sales exceeded $5 billion.

Arthur H. Pitney - Pitney Bowes (

Walter H. Bowes Walter H. Bowes - Pitnet Bowes (

June 10, 1902 - Americus F. Callahan, of Chicago, IL, received a patent for an "Envelop" ("whereby labor and expense in addressing envelopes and placing other insignia thereupon may be avoided"); first U.S. patent for a window envelope, called the outlook envelope; leased patent to  Envelope Company of Springfield, MA; July 1902 - began manufacturing; saved expense of printing, labor of addressing, time of preparing the message for dispatch when the customary addresses were already on the letter paper itself.

1903 - Fred J. Kline established Clipper Manufacturing Company in Long Island, New York, for manufacture of paper clips; 1910 - name changed to American Clip Company ("ACCO"); 1912 - ACCO Fastener introduced; 1922 - incorporated as ACCO, Inc.; 1956 - acquired by Gary Industries; 1971 - acquired by team of key ACCO executives in leveraged buy-out; 1987 - acquired by American Brands (now Fortune Brands); December 31, 1997 - ACCO USA, Inc. changed name to ACCO Brands, Inc.

March 10, 1903 - Harry C. Gammeter, a typewriter salesman of Cleveland, Ohio, received patent for a "Duplicating-Machine"; multigraph duplicating machine; first successful machine in the U.S. to simplify the printing processes, layman could print from type; enabled businesses to reproduce circular letters in large quantities, yet have the appearance of having been written on a typewriter; December 12, 1903 - American Multigraph Sales Company of Cleveland, OH began commercial manufacture.

1905 - Monroe George West established business to provide quality contract office furniture throughout Northern California.

1905 - Star Furniture Company opened in Zeeland, MI; 1909 - renamed Michigan Star Furniture Company; D.J. De Pree hired as clerk (named President in 1919); 1923 - De Pree convinced his father-in-law, Herman Miller, to purchase majority ownership; renamed Herman Miller Furniture Company.

1906 - Alfred Nehemias (Hamburg, Germany banker), August Eberstein (Berlin engineer) began making simplicissimus pens; Wilhelm Dziambor, Christian Lausen took over business; Claus Johannes Voss joined company; 1908 - incorporated in Hamburg, Germany as Simplo Filler Pen Co. ('manufacturers of high-class gold and fountasin pens'); 1910 - introduced Montblanc fountain pen; 1913 - introduced 'star emblem' logo; 1934 - renamed Montblanc Simplo GmbH; September 1, 1964 - Montblanc-Simplo G.m.b.H. LTD registered "Montblanc" trademark first used 1913 (fountain pens, cases for fountain pens, ball point pens, ball point cartridges, ball point paste, mechanical pencils, lead for mechanical pencils); 1977 - majority interest of Montblanc acquired by Dunhill Holdings (51% of Alfred Dunhill Limited had been acquired in 1967 by Carreras Rothmans Limited, formed in 1958 in acquisition by Rembrandt Tobacco Corporation S.A. Limited); 1985 - Dunhill acquired full control; 1990 - opened first Montblanc boutique store in Hong Kong; October 1993 - Dunhill Holdings PLC absorbed into Vendome Luxury Group S.A. (luxury brands group formed in restructuring by Compagnie Financier Richemont, holding company formed by Rembrandt Group restructuring in 1988); 1998 - Vendôme minority shareholders bought out by Compagnie Financiere Richemont S. A.; 2010 - more than 350 Montblanc boutiques in 70 countries.

Claus Johannes Voss, Alfred Nehemias, August Eberstein - Montblanc (

April 18, 1906  - Haloid Company, maker of photographic paper, founded in Rochester, NY; January 1, 1947 - Joe Wilson, son of Haloid founder, bought license to develop Chester Carlson's  xerographic machine from Battelle Memorial Institute (had bought rights to create an electrostatic image on photoconductive surface); May 30, 1950 - Haloid Corporation registered "Xerox" trademark first used September 3, 1948 (copies of typewritten or printed matter, drawings, maps, or any other records, sold as such, made by an electrophtographic process); April 16, 1958 - name changed to Haloid Xerox Inc.; 1959 - introduced Xerox 914, first automatic, plain-paper office copier; April 18, 1961 - name changed to Xerox Corporation.

September 4, 1906 - Robert E. Turner, of Norfolk, VA, received a patent for a "Type-Writing Machine" ("one of the primary objects is to increase the mechanical control of the paper-carriage with a resultant increase in speed"); automatic typewriter return carriage.

February 17, 1907 - Donald J. Bell, projectionist, Albert Summers Howell, inventor, incorporated Bell and Howell Company in Chicago to manufacture, job, lease, repair motion picture equipment; August 6, 1907 - Howell received a patent for a "Picture-Exhibiting Machine"; 35-millimetre film projector; assigned to Donald J. Bell; September 17, 1912 - received a patent for a "Motion-Picture Machine" ("simple, and effective mechanism for feeding the film intermittently or step by step which shall have a high degree of accuracy so that the film will be moved exactly at the required distance each time"); assigned to Bell & Howell Co.; 1916 - Bell's interest in company acquired by Howell, Joseph McNabb (general manager) for $183,895; 1919 - manufactured nearly all equipment used to make movies in Hollywood; 1945 - sales of $21.9 million, 2,500 employees; March 10, 1959 - registered "Bell & Howell" trademark first used November 27, 1935 (photographic cameras and carrying cases,  motion and still picture projectors and carrying cases, slide changers for still picture projectors and slide trays, camera and projection lenses); 1988 - acquired in leveraged buyout by management and Texas financier Robert M. Bass (assumed control), for $678.4 million; 1989 - sold textbook publishing division for $260 million; transformed into information management business; May 1995 - went public; three business segments: Mail and Messaging Technologies (45% of sales), Information Access (36% of sales - Bell and Howell Information and Learning, Bell and Howell Publishing Services), Imaging; 2001 - imaging business acquired by Kodak for $135 million; June 5, 2001 - international mail, messaging technologies acquired by Pitney Bowes for $51 million; June 6, 2001 - Information Access renamed ProQuest Company; September 28, 2001 - Mail and Messaging Technologies, Scanners, and Financial Services businesses acquired from ProQuest by Glencoe Capital for $145 million (operated under Bell & Howell name); January 9, 2003 – merged with Böwe Systec AG; combined BÖWE's North American operations with Bell & Howell Company; formed BÖWE Bell & Howell.

Albert Summers Howell - Bell & Howell  (

January 7, 1908 - Columbia Phonograph Company registered "Dictaphone" trademark first used September 3, 1907 (graphophones); 1923 - spun off, became an independent under C.K. Woodridge, president of the International Advertisers Agency and co-founder of National Secretary’s Day; 1947 - replaced wax cylinders plastic carving Dictabelt (replaced by magnetic tape, later by hard drive dictation machines); 1970s - acquired by Pitney-Bowes; 2000 - acquired by Lernout & Hauspie for $1 billion, incorporated voice recognition software into Dictaphone hardware for first time; 2001 - Lernout & Hauspie entered Chapter 11, re-emerged; 2006 - acquired by Nuance (entry into healthcare market).

February 18, 1908 - U.S. postage stamps in rolls issued.

October 29, 1908 - Camillo Olivetti founded Ing. C. Olivetti & C., S.p.A., "first Italian typewriter factory", in Ivrea, Italy; 20 employees, weekly output of 20 machines; 1911 - presented first typewriter, M1, at Universal Fair in Turin; 1933 - Adriano Olivetti (son) , appointed to post of director general; 1950s - undisputed leader in mechanical office product technology; 1967 - millionth Divisumma 24 calculator producted; 1959 - acquired Underwood, leading US typewriter manufacturer; 1959 - introduced Elea 9003, Italy's first electronic computer; 1978 - acquired by Carlo De Benedetti; 1983 - formed strategic alliance with AT&T; moved into information technology, introduced succession of systems lines, expanded into IT services business; 1995 - established Omnitel, mobile communications provider; obtained operating license, began commercial service; formed Infostrada, fixed-line provider; September 1996 - strengthened focus on telecommunications, rationalized operations in information technology; 1998 - 8% of company acquired by Bell SA (Luxembourg) for $608 million (subsequently raised to 12% controlling stake);February 1999 - launched tender offer for Telecom Italia; June 1999 -acquired more than 52% for 31.5 billion euros; Omnitel, Infostrada acquired by Mannesmann (to comply with antitrust regulation); Italy's largest telecommunications group, revenues of approximately 148,000 billion lire, 132,000 employees; July 2001 - 23% interest acquired by consortium, including Pirelli SpA, Benetton groups, for $6.5 billion; 2003 - absorbed into Telecom Italia as Olivetti Tecnost.

1910 - Philadelphia engineer J. C. Parker invented Lefax, loose-leaf personal organizer; October 5, 1926 - registered "Lefax" trademark first used October 29, 1910 (loose-leaf binders, loose-leaf blank books and parts thereof, sheets ruled for data, blank sheets, filing boxes, guide cards, indexes, paper punches, filing and mailing envelopes, celluloid leaves tracing cloth, rubber stamps, picture mounts, and re-enforcing tabs); 1992 - acquired by Filofax.

May 11, 1912 - John Q. Sherman, four others obtained charter for The Standard Register Company in Dayton, OH (Theodore Schirmer as President, Sherman as member of Board of Directors); based business on pinfeed autographic register (paper-feeding invention) of Theodore F. Schirmer (had received first of four patents on February 16, 1897 for an "Autographic Register"; fed continuous forms through autographic register vs. friction rollers; wooden cylinder built in head with roll of small studs or pins encircling cylinder near each end arranged to engage holes punched in paper); simplified business transactions, became the "standard" business forms production method - one moving part, no rollers, springs, gears, ratchets necessary as with operation of ordinary registers; made as many as eight copies at one writing (vs. two or three copies), all copies positively fed through register; all copies could be printed with lines, check blocks, imprinted items, other things;  applied to sales slips, bills of lading, express receipts, purchase orders, thousands of other applications for which friction-feed registers were impractical; 1913 - Dayton flood threatened company's existence; majority interest acquired by John Q. and Willam C. Sherman; reorganized company; receivership removed in seven months; developed REGISTRATOR Platen, made it possible to feed marginally punched forms through typing machines with precision, minimum handling costs; 1920 - sales of about $1 million;  1940 - sales of about $5 million; 1944 - Milferd A. Spayd named president (had joined company in 1933); original invention of pinwheel, origination of marginally punched forms, process improvement - most important contributions company has made to American business.

John Q. Sherman, Founder of Standard Register John Q. Sherman - The Standard Register Company (

December 24, 1912 - Irving Fisher, of New Haven, CT, received a patent for an "Index or File", archiving system with index cards; July 1, 1925 - Fisher's firm, the Index Visible Company, merged with principal competitor to form Kardex Rand Co. (later Remington Rand, later Sperry Rand).

May 18, 1920 - Underwood Typewriter Company (New York, NY) registered "Underwood" trademark first used in 1897 (Typewriting-Machines); March 1, 1921 - Burnham C. Stickney, of Elizabeth, NJ, received a patent for a "Typewriting-Machine"; assigned to Underwood Typewriter Company.

November 16, 1920 - First Pitney-Bowes postage meter introduced metered mail in Stamford, CT.

June 6, 1921 - William Rounce, printer, and Posseen Hill, stationer, founded Norman & Hill, Ltd. (Norman was Rounce's son) in London; began importing organizers, called LeFaxes; 1925 - created Filofax (shortened version of 'file of facts', by Grace Scurr, secretary) time planner ring book; November 27, 1930 - registered "Filofax" trademark in Britain; 1980 - majority control acquired by David and Lesley Collischon, husband-and-wife entrepreneurial team; renamed company, Filofax; introduced the new company logo (lower case ‘f’), expanded into stationery, department stores; 1987 - went public; 1990 - acquired by investment group; new management team brought in, headed by Robin Field, former management consultant with LEK Partnership; 1996 - Filofax Group plc went public; 1998 - acquired by Day Runner, Inc. for $85.8 million.

March 28, 1922 - Bradley A. Fiske, of Washington, DC, received a patent for a "Reading Machine" ("machine employing reading matter, the words and the character of which are microscopic, adapted to be brought successively the eye or eyes of the observer so as to be read"); microfilm reading device.

February 10, 1923 - Standard Ink Company manufactured ink paste for first time.

January 1, 1924 - Frank Buckley Cooney of Minneapolis, MN, received first U. S. patent for "Ink Paste" ("the compounding of an ink which may be vended in paste form and rendered fluid for use by the addition of water so that "a very satisfactory writing fluid is provided free of suspended matter and other imperfections"); could be packaged in collapsible lead vending tube in highly concentrated form (reduced shipping costs); four fluid ounces of paste would produce one gallon of ink after dilution.

1925 - Jack Linsky established Parrot Speed Fastener Company; July, 19, 1938 - registered "Swingline" trademark (stapling machines, tackers, and pliers); 1939 - changed name to Speed Products; 1956 - name changed to Swingline; 1987 - acquired by ACCO Brands (division of Fortune Brands).

October 20, 1925 - Inventor Clifton Chisholm, of Cleveland, OH, received patent for an "Embossing Machine" ("method of and apparatus for producing embossed printing strips"); compotype; patent was assigned to the American Multigraph Company Co.

May 27, 1930 - Richard G. Drew, of St. Paul, MN, a 3M Company engineer, received a patent for "Adhesive Tape" ("pressure energizable adhesives adhesive sheets or coatings, preferably water insoluble and normally non-drying"); cellulose adhesive tape,  originally designed to be an attractive, moisture-proof way to seal cellophane wrap for grocers and bakers); September 8, 1930 - 3M Company marketed the tape under the trademark "Scotch"; July 14, 1931 - Drew received a patent for a "Process for Preparing Adhesive Tape" (a division of 1930 patent); assigned to Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co., St. Paul, MN; 1932 - 3M introduced first heavy duty, countertop tape dispenser (7 pounds); November 9, 1948 - registered "Scotch" trademark first used in May 1931 (tape dispenser).

Richard Drew Richard G. Drew - scotch tape (

June 1935 - Ray Stanton Avery invented machine to make self-adhesive labels in loft above flower shop in downtown Los Angeles; Dorothy Durfee, schoolteacher and his future wife, invested $100; used motor from washing machine, parts from sewing machine, saber saw; world's first self-adhesive label, label-making machine; established Kum-Kleen Adhesive Products Company; first six months sales (removable price stickers sold to gift shops, other retailers) of $1,391; 1936 - renamed Avery Adhesives; November 5, 1940 - received a patent (18 total) for "A Method and Apparatus for Making Label Units" (" provide labels which can readily be affixed to all kinds of surfaces, and yet be easily removed without leaving marks or otherwise damaging said surfaces...pressure sensitive adhesive surface on the not require moistening prior to their application, but are affixed to a surface by slight application of pressure, and are readily removable by peeling from engagement with the surface to which they are adhesively affixed"); 1976 - renamed Avery International; 1990 - merged with Dennison Manufacturing, office-products company; renamed Avery Dennison; developed synthetic adhesives, quick-release coating for label backing sheet (easier to peel off individual labels); developed production process for printing entire label run in one production line (vs. two or three stages); 2010 - $6 billion global leader in labeling and packaging solutions, retail branding and information solutions, organization and identification solutions for work and home. Ray Stanton Avery - Avery Dennison (

March 3, 1936 - William G. Pankonin, of Chicago, IL, received a patent  for a "Tool for Removing Staples"; December 28, 1971 - Joseph A. Foitle, of Overland Park, KS, received a patent for a "Broken Staple Remover" ("device for removing broken portions of wire staples").

May 12, 1936 - August Dvorak and William Dealey, of Seattle, WA, received a patent for a "Typewriter Keyboard" ("special arrangement of the keys in a typewrite keyboard ...1) which will decrease the possibility of typewriting errors; 2) facilitating the increase of operating speed by eliminating awkward sequences; 3) assisting increase in speed because of fewer errors; 4) lessening the fatigue of the typist"); designed keyboard to maximize efficiency, placed common letters on home row, made stronger fingers of hands do most of work; original QWERTY layout designed for earlier, less efficient typewriters.

July 7, 1936 - Ethel Scholfield and Cecil H. Scholfield, of Yonkers, NY, received a patent for a "Filing Apparatus" ("in which cards or the like are mounted for convenient access upon the periphery of a rotatable drum"); assigned to Scholfield Service, Inc.; February 11, 1941 - Richard P. Scholfield, of Waterford, CT, received a patent for a "Filing Apparatus" ("rortatable filing apparatus...specific improvements in drum structures [rotatable filing drums] which can be used in such apparatus"); assigned to Scholfield Service, Inc.

1938 - Arnold Neustadter founded Zephyr American Corporation; June 18, 1940 - Zephyr American Corporation (Arnold Neustadter) registered "Rolodex" trademark first used January 2, 1940 (paper dispensing device for desks).

1938 - Hungarian journalist, Lajos Biro, produced first practical ball-point pen.

June 28, 1938 - Reuben H. Chambers, of Washington, DC, received a design patent for a "Sorting Device"; address book with a triggering device.

October 22, 1938 - Chester F. Carlson demonstrates xerography; used sulphur coating on zinc plate, vigorously rubbed with handkerchief to apply electrostatic charge; glass slide used India ink to write "10-22-38 ASTORIA," laid on sulphur surface in darkened room; illuminated with bright incandescent lamp for few seconds; lycopodium powder sprinkled on sulphur surface, blown off - near-perfect image of writing remained; permanent copies made by transferring powder images to wax paper, heating sheets to melt wax.

January 17, 1939 - László Jozsef Bíró, of Budapest, Hungary, received a British patent for an "Improved Fountain Pen" ("employing a rotatably-mounted ball as the marking element and a soft pulpy dye as a marking-material, the dye being pressed against the ball by a piston").

1941 - IBM introduced Electromatic Model 04 electric typewriter; featured revolutionary concept of proportional spacing; assigned varied, rather than uniform, spacing to different sized characters; recreated appearance of a printed page; produced clearer, sharper words on page; became staple of IBM Executive series typewriters.

July 28, 1942 - Linden A. Thatcher of Stamford, CT received patent for a "Coin Operated Mailing Machine" (a "coin operated value stamp printing machine"); money inserted, meter stamped envelope; patent assigned to Pitney-Bowes Postage Meter Company.

October 6, 1942 - Chester F. Carlson, of Jackson Heights, NY, received a patent for "Electrophotography"; xerography, electric recording and transmission of pictures.

September 15, 1944 - László Jozsef Bíró, of Budapest, Hungary,  received a British patent for a "Writing Instrument" ("fountain pen of the kind having a marking-element in the form of a free ball, the ink conduit"); first practical ball-point pen; 1938 - invented a ball-point pen with a pressurized ink cartridge; 1945 - Eversharp Co. and Eberhard-Faber acquired the exclusive rights to Biro Pens of Argentina; November 22, 1946 - Biro ball point pens went on sale.

1945 - Marcel Bich, Edouard Buffard, raised $1,000, bought empty factory shell in rundown Paris suburb of Clichy; produced parts for fountain pens,, mechanical lead pencils; began manufacturing ink refills for ball-point pens (vs. traditional "inkwell" models); became convinced that new pen could claim bigger share of market if price reduced, quality improved; December 1950 - introduced Bic® Cristal® ballpoint pen; simple stick-shaped writing instrument, rugged, dependable, consisted only of thin plastic ink tube, tiny metal ball-point, rigid plastic outer tube; made, sold very inexpensively; April 14, 1953 - Marcel Louis Michel Antoine Bich registered "Bic" trademark (writing instruments, namely fountain pens, ball-point fountain pens, and parts thereof); 1958 - entered the U.S. market, acquired Waterman Pen Company; November 26, 1968 - Waterman-Bic Pen Corporation registered "Bic" trademark first used in August 1963 (ball point pens, both retractable and non-retractable, special ink cartridges and all replaceable parts for such pens); 1973 - introduced disposable lighter to America with "Flick My Bic" advertising slogan; January 30, 1973 - Bic Pen Corporation registered "Bic" trademark first used October 5, 1971 (cigarette lighters and refills therefor); 1976 - introduced Bic razor (disposable); 1977 - lighter passed Gillette's Cricket lighter in sales.

October 29, 1945 - First ball point pen in U.S. went on sale at Gimbels Department Stores for $12.95; June, 1945 - Chicago businessman Milton Reynolds, in Buenos Aires on unrelated business, saw the Biro pen in a store, recognized pen’s sales potential, bought a few as samples, returned to America, copied the product in four months (ignored patent rights of the Argentine manufacturer, Eversharp Company), started manufacturing the Reynolds Ball Point Pen; first day sales = $100,000; became a fad but leaked, skipped and was unreliable; 1948 - price dropped to less than 50 cents; 1951 - Reynolds' company failed.

1947 - Borden introduced "Cascorez Glue", first consumer white glue (packaged in glass bottles with "ice cream pop" type wooden sticks attached with rubber band); repositioned under name "Elmer's Glue-All" (Elmer the Bull, spouse of Borden's corporate symbol, Elsie the cow); November 18, 1952 - registered "Elmer's" trademark first used April 3, 1951 (glue).

1949 - Patrick J. Frawley acquired ballpoint pen parts manufacturer that defaulted on its loan; renamed Frawley Pen Company, developed new ink, dried instantly; pen that delivered ink called Paper Mate; August 7, 1951 - Frawley Corporation (San Francisco, CA) registered 'Paper Mate' trademark first used July 6. 1949 (ball point pen inks [and fountain pen inks]).

September 27, 1949 - Hywel Murrell, head of Naval Motion Study Unit of Admiralty Research Laboratory, small group of like-minded human factors researchers, met at Queen Anne Mansions, Admiralty, London, established Ergonomics Research Society to study human capabilities in relationship to work demands (later known as Ergonomics Society, today Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, today Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors; Wojciech Jastrzebowski, Polish biologist, created word 'ergonomics' in 1857 in philosophical narrative, "based upon the truths drawn from the Science of Nature"; derived from Greek words: "ergon", meaning work and "nomoi", meaning natural laws).

1951 - Bessie Nesmith invented 'Mistake Out', quick-drying, paper-colored (white) liquid painted onto paper to correct printed material; based on white tempera paint; founded Liquid Paper company to sell product; June 10, 1969 - Mistake Out Company registered "Liquid Paper" trademark first used May 18, 1967 (liquid correction fluid); 1979 - acquired by Gillette Corporation for $47.5 million plus royalties.

November 17, 1951 - J. Lyons & Company, chain of British tea shops, introduced world's first computer for business purposes; Lyons Electronic Office (LEO) performed first calculation - ran program to evaluate costs, prices, margins on that week's baked goods; first business machine in world to operate on 'stored program principle' (new programs permitted machine to perform different tasks); computer code, based on flow chart of how company's different job requirements related, developed by Maurice V. Wilkes, Director of the Mathematical Laboratory (Cambridge University); systems-oriented approach to programming devised by David Caminer; less than 100,000th power of modern PC; January 9, 1965 - LEO turned off.

David Caminer - LEO  (

1952 - Arnold Neustadter introduced "Rolomatic" ('rolling index'), alphabetized rotating card file with ball-bearing clutch; invented in 1940s with help of Hildaur Neilson, engineer who developed cylindrical housing; Neustadter also invented Swivodex, spill-proof inkwell, Clipodex, knee-top dictation tool..

1952 - Sidney N. Rosenthal, of Speedry Chemical Products of Richmond Hill, NY, began manufacturing Magic Marker felt-tip pens; February 19, 1957 - Speedry Products, Inc. registered "Magic Marker" trademark first used March 1, 1953 (felt nib marking pens comprising small containers for such ink, equipped with caps and having felt nibs at their ends for marking); 1966 - Speedry name changed to Magic Marker Corporation; 1980 - filed for bankruptcy; 1989 - rights to Magic Marker name acquired by Binney & Smith (subsidiary of the Hallmark Corporation).

Sidney N. Rosenthal - Magic Marker  (

October 14,1952 - Lin Yutang received a patent for the Chinese typewriter.

November 18, 1952 - Borden Company, New York, NY, registered "Elmer's" (glue) trademark.

January 24, 1956 - Hiwaur L. Neilsen, of Metuchen, NJ, received a patent for a "Rotary Card-Filing Device" ("an improved card-carrying rotor and improved means in supporting said rotor in a card-filing device"); rolodex; assigned to Zephyr American Corporation; 1958- began selling 'Rolodex'' 1961 - acquired by Insilco Corporation.

February 4, 1957 - Smith-Corona began selling portable electric typewriters.

July 24, 1962 - Tensor Electric Development Company, Inc. registered "Tensor" trademark first used in March 1950 (lamps); February 12, 1963 - Jay Monroe, of Flushing, NY, received a design patent for a "Portable Lamp"; March 12, 1963 - received a design patent for a "Portable Work Lamp"; May 19, 1964 - received a patent for a Desk Lamp Structure" ("telephone jack and telephone mating plug connector structure adapted to serve as an electrical conductor swivel connection and structural support"); tensor lamp; all patents assigned to Tensor Electric Development Co., Inc.

1968 - Dr. Spencer Silver, employee of 3M Company, discovered adhesive which formed itself into tiny spheres, did not melt or dissolve, sticky but not strongly adhesive when coated onto tape backing; discovery forgotten; 1974 - resurrected by Art Fry, 3M new product development researcher; August 17, 1976 - 3M registered "Post-It" trademark first used September 25, 1974 (paper and cardboard sheet material having adhesive coating on both sides therof for attachment to walls or other vertical surfaces to hold displays or other messages in place); April 6, 1980 - Post It Notes introduced.

Art Fry - Post-It Notes (

June 27, 1978 - Frank Andrew Muller and Henry Peper, Jr. received a patent for "Ball-point instruments writing with improved transitorially erasable trace and ink compositions therefor" (erasable ink); assigned patent to Gillette Company which introduced "Eraser Mate".

August 16, 1978 - Federal Trade Commission imposed $25.6 million fine on  Xerox for using its patents to lock-up its technical knowledge to block Smith-Corona's entry into lucrative photocopier market; ordered Xerox to share its technology with competitors - broke Xerox's trust; 1989 - had lost half  market share, still held top spot in high-end and mid-range machines (annual revenue of $10 billion in U.S., $16 million worldwide).

September 21, 1994 - Museum of Modern Art chose Aeron economic office chair, created for Herman Miller by designer by Bill Stumpf, for permanent design collection of Museum of Modern Art, month before its introduction; December 26, 1995 - Herman Miller, Inc. registered "Aeron" trademark first used in October 1994 (office furniture, namely chairs).

December 16, 2007 - Dec. 17 is heaviest mailing day of year:


April 6, 2008 - Price of first-class postage: $.42 (1971 - postal service office became quasi-governmental; 1983 - stopped public subsidization).


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Baron Marcel Bich ( Bich_Marcel/BichMarcelThm.jpg)

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Thomas Oliver - Oliver Typewriter Company (

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Camillo Olivetti - ng. C. Olivetti & C., S.p.A. (

Adriano Olivetti ( numero6/istituzioni/istituzioni/ adriano.gif)

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(Typewriter), Darren Wershler-Henry (2007). The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 331 p.). Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies Department (Wilfrid Laurier University). Typewriting--History; Typewriters--History. History of writing culture, technology; various attempts over years to change keyboard configuration; role played in writer's life.

(Windows NT), G. Pascal Zachary (1994). Show-Stopper!: The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft. (New York, NY: Free Press, 312 p.). Microsoft Corporation; Microsoft Windows NT; Operating systems (Computers); Computer software--Development--History.

(Woodbury and Company), Edited by Kent P. Ljungquist, James P. Hanlan, and Rodney G. Obien (2007). The History of Woodbury and Company. (New York, NY: Peter Lang, 240 p.). Professor of English (Worcester Polytechnic Institute); Professor of History (WPI); Curator of Special Collections and Archives at Gordon Library (WPI). Woodbury and Company--History. Founded 1879; largest commercial engraver in central New England in 1890s; 2002 - closed after 123 years.

(Xerox), John H. Dessauer (1971). My Years with Xerox; The Billions Nobody Wanted. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 239 p.). Director of Research at Xerox for 3 Decades (retired 1970); Dessauer, John H.; Xerox Corporation.

Chester Carlson ( NT/ Xerox_ccarlson3.jpg)

Joe Wilson - Xerox ( theymadeamerica/ whomade/ images/who_wilson_image.jpg)

(Xerox), Gary Jacobson, John Hillkirk (1986). Xerox: American Samurai. (New York, NY: Macmillan, 338 p.). Xerox Corporation; Copying machine industry--United States; Competition, International.

(Xerox), Douglas K. Smith and Robert C. Alexander (1988). Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer. (New York, NY: Morrow, 274 p.). Xerox Corporation; Microcomputers.

(Xerox), David T. Kearns, David A. Nadler (1992). Prophets in the Dark: How Xerox Reinvented Itself and Beat Back the Japanese. (New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 334 p.). Xerox Corporation--Management; Corporate turnarounds--United States--Case studies; Copying machine industry--United States--Management; Copying machine industry--Japan--Management.

(Xerox), David Dorsey (1994). The Force. (New York, NY: Random House, 315 p.). Xerox Corporation, Sales Executives, Office Equipment Industry. 

(Xerox), David Owen (2004). Copies in Seconds: How a Lone Inventor and an Unknown Company Created the Biggest Communication Breakthrough Since Gutenberg: Chester Carlson and the Birth of the Xerox Machine. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 320 p.). Writer (New Yorker magazine). Carlson, Chester Floyd, 1906-1968; Inventors; Xerography--History.

(Xerox), Charles D. Ellis (2006). Joe Wilson and the Creation of Xerox. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 396 p.). Former Managing Partner of Greenwich Associates, Leading Worldwide Strategy Consultant to the Financial Services Industry. Wilson, Joseph C. (Joseph Chamberlain), 1909-1971; Xerox Corporation--History; Copying machine industry--United States--History.  Took incredible risk backing completely untested technology; paid off only after decades of tireless work; how honest, compassionate leadership can create profits, benefit the community. ( 21xerox_graphic/21xerox_graphic-popup.jpg

Thomas A. Russo (2000). Office Collectibles: 100 Years of Business Technology (Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub., 224 p.). Atglen, PA. Office equipment and supplies; Office equipment and supplies--Pictorial works. 

Carol Willlis (1995). Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago. (New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 217 p.). Founding Director of the Skyscraper Museum in New York City. Office buildings--New York (State)--New York; Office buildings--New York (State)--New York--Economic aspects; Office buildings--Illinois--Chicago; Office buildings--Illinois--Chicago--Economic aspects. 


Business History Links

British Postal Museum & Archive                                                                                              

British postal services helped to shape the modern world. The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) works to make this human story of communication, industry, and innovation accessible to everyone. We care for the visual, written and physical records of over 400 years of postal development.

Cumberland Pencil Museum                                                                                

History of pencils and pencil making.

Early Office Museum                                                                                        

Engages in research on the history and evolution of offices, antique office machines and equipment, and business technology based on original documents, artifacts, and photographs The Museum is a web site and does not have a collection of office machines, other artifacts, or a building.

George S. Parker Exhibit                                                                                                                            

George S. Parker was a teacher of telegraphy who sold and repaired pens in 1888. In that year, he discovered a way to make a better product. "With my scroll saw, file and other tools, I made up a feeder, eventually fitted it into a holder, and lo and behold, it worked. What's more, it worked well." Parker wrote. The "simple fish hook shaped device" was patented the following year. In 1892 Parker and William F. Palmer incorporated the Parker Pen Company in Janesville, Wisconsin. Their successful products - the Lucky Curve pen that ended ink blobs, the first jointless pen, the Trench pen for WWI soldiers, the mechanical pencil, the Duofold pen, the Vacumatic pen and Quink, the quick drying ink that eliminated the need for blotters - can be viewed in the newly designed exhibit. An oversized Parker pen replica names the women, known as "Penettes", who provided company tours. Also featured are an artist's rendering of a headquarter building, advertising items and awards. Almost everyone has a Parker Pen memory or connection. Come and share yours!

Lyons Electronic Office (LEO)                                                                                              

November 17 1951 - J. Lyons company began weekly operation of a bakery valuations job on a computer called LEO (Lyons Electronic Office); first business application to go live on a stored program computer anywhere in the world.

The Virtual Typewriter Museum                                                                                  

The typewriter is one of the great inventions of 19th Century communications technology. Between the 1860s and 1920s engineers, inventors and even carpenters invested all their creativity in the development of the ultimate writing machine. This virtual museum, that is based on private collections of antique typewriters from around the world, is a tribute to their ingenuity.


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