MAY 22On this day in 1979, 32 years ago, inveterate inventor Arthur M.Maroth (born Germany, February 25, 1900; died New York, October 1982) patented his transparent typewriter bail. Maroth, a former chief engineer of Carnegie Hall, New York, ran the Maroth Engineering Company in Wilton, Connecticut. In his patent application for the transparent bail, Maroth cited references in US patents dating back to such great typewriter inventors as Alfred Kurowski, Edward B. Hess, George Gould Going and William Ferdinand Helmond. Maroth first started working on his bail in Germany in 1926, then after World War II in Switzerland, before moving to the US.
Maroth is perhaps best known in US inventing history for inserting a speedometer in baseball bats, golf clubs and tennis racquets. His Maroth baseball bat was tested by Yankee and Dodger players and six Major League clubs bought the equipment. Yankees first baseman Bill “Moose” Skowron once reached 116mph, followed by Bob Cerv (115mph) and Mickey Mantle (114mph right-handed and 112mph left-handed). Mantle hit the ball 450ft into the Yankee Stadium bleachers and the bat registered a "mere" 95mph.
American journalist, social critic and author Vance Packard was born in Granville Summit, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1914. This photo is from Life magazine and is of Packard typing at a desk in his home in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, in 1977. Packard, a former reporter for the Associated Press and writer for Collier's, in 1957 wrote The Hidden Persuaders. The book, about media manipulation in the 1950s, sold more than a million copies. Packard died on December 12, 1996, aged 82, at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital.