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Saturday, 26 July 2014

This Kid Could Type!

"A child can use it - fast!!!"
This Royal Bar-Lock 15 is in the Te Papa Museum in Wellington
Throughout 1905 and 1906, the New Zealand Free Lance ran this display advertisement for the Royal Bar-Lock typewriter. The eight-year-old subject was Ernest Edwin LeGrove, son of the New Zealand agent for W.J.Richardson's Royal Bar-Lock and New Zealand's fastest typist at the turn of the century.
The father, Edwin James LeGrove, was born on March 27, 1851, in Bethnall Green, London, and immigrated to Dunedin in New Zealand in 1874. It was in Dunedin that he entered the printing trade.
Edwin LeGrove travelled to the United States Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, saw the Sholes & Glidden typewriter exhibited there, and returned to New Zeaand convinced that the typewriter held his future.
He moved to Wellington in 1883, joined the New Zealand Times as a proof reader and became a stenographer and shorthand typist. LeGrove later gained a New Zealand Government appointment at £150 a year as an official parliamentary committee reporter. He won speed typing competitions, averaging 130 words a minute over 12 minutes.
He subsequently became a typewriter importer. He committed suicide, shooting himself with a revolver, aged 62, in July 1913.

His son, Ernest, born in 1897, could type at 94 words a minute on a Royal Bar-Lock in 1905, aged eight. He went on to become a public servant and company director. He died in 1966, aged 69.

1 comment:

Richard P said...

He certainly COULD type. I can't imagine anyone reaching that speed on a Bar-Lock!