PART 222The dapper little fellow in the front of this photograph is Harry Bates. At the time the photo was taken, at an Underwood Typewriter Company convention in 1916, Bates was in the midst of a 10-year stint as advertising manager for Underwood, with his duties including publicity for the company.
Bates had first attempted to design a typewriter in 1904, but didn't really come to the notice of the typewriter industry until 1908. He was the Albany, New York, manager for Smith Premier - in the days when Smith Premier was still part of the Union trust. During this time Bates invented a coin-operated typewriter, an idea he eventually sold to Underwood. He was with Underwood from 1912-1922, then left to work with Wellington Parker Kidder on a "midget typewriter" project in Rochester.
Born in New York City in October 1868, Bates worked as a newspaper journalist before becoming manager of a typewriter store. The peak of his career in the typewriter industry came during his Underwood days. He is not to be confused with another typewriter company manager, Harry A.Bates.
When the "midget typewriter" project collapsed, soon after Kidder's death in 1924,
Bates moved on to other ventures and established the Bates Laboratory of New York.
From this emerged a number of typewriter patents, culminating in, of all things, a toy typewriter.
On this day in 1935, Bates was issued with this patent, for a machine he described as relating "to typewriters in general".
"Among the objects of the present invention, it is aimed to provide an improved educational or practice typewriter suitable for use as a toy to familiarise the child and to educate the uninitiated with a universal keyboard-equipped typewriter. It is still another object of the present invention to provide an improved one-finger operated-typewriter equipped with a universal keyboard suitable for use as a toy or practice machine to familiarise and to educate the uninitiated with the universal keyboard equipped-typewriter and suitable for use by the uninitiated one-finger operator.
"It is still another object of the present invention to provide an improved universal keyboard equipped-typewriter which can be manufactured at low cost and the keyboard of which can with facility be replaced by a different language keyboard, a code type selecting keyboard, a de-code type selecting keyboard, a raised type equipped keyboard adapted for use by the blind or persons afflicted with poor sight and the like. It is still another object of the present invention to provide an improved typewriter in which the type carrying mechanism can with facility be replaced by a different language, code, de-code and the like type carrying mechanism. It is still another object of the present invention to provide an improved typewriter which can be manufactured at a comparatively low cost and in which the type carrying mechanism as well as the type selecting key indicating mechanism can with facility be replaced by different language, code, de-code and the like type carrying and type selecting key indicating mechanisms." So there!