PART 219As an aid to the typist, in 1888 Ira Gardner Todd invented a carriage indicator. He was issued with the patent on this day (December 29) in 1891. "The object of my invention," he wrote, "is to provide a type-writing machine with an index conveniently placed to indicate at a glance the position of a platen-carriage that moves transversely across the machine ..." But wouldn't a glance at the carriage do?
Ira Gardner Todd was born in October 1837 in Northampton, Massachusetts. He was a machinist and worked for several years in Florence, Massachusetts. In 1881, he went to Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he continued in his trade.
In the early 1890s, Todd entered the employ of a lady who lived in New York City who was interested in perfecting a sewing machine equipped with a rotary shuttle. Todd devoted the last years of his life to this work. Todd had had some experience in the principles of sewing machine construction, as he worked for the company in Florence that manufactured the "Florence" sewing machine (below).
Todd was a veteran of the civil war. He enlisted in Company G, 37th regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia and served part of the time as a musician.
Todd died on August 22, 1894, in Bridgeport.