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Wednesday 17 October 2012

On This Day in Typewriter History: Austrian Improvements to the Hammond

PART 147
In the early 1900s, Josef Franz Forkarth. of No 9 Haspingerstrasse, Innsbruck, Austria, took out four US typewriter patents, one of them assigned to Lee Spear Burridge in New York. This and one other Forkarth patent related to Hammond typewriters.
Two of Forkarth’s patents were assigned to Berlin Hammond agent Ferdinand Schrey, including one which was issued on this day (October 15) in 1907.
Schrey (above, born July 19, 1850, Elberfeld. now Wuppertal; died October 2, 1938. Berlin) was one of the founders of stenography. Schrey did an apprenticeship in banking but also studied languages. He took a job as a correspondent for French and German newspapers and took part in the Franco-German War of 1870-71. He then became a clerk back in his hometown of Barmen-Elberfeld. In 1874 Schrey learned the shorthand system of Franz Xaver Gabelsberger but developed his own significantly simpler system.
In 1885 Schrey took over the Germany agency for the Hammond typewriter, becoming its sole distributor. In 1891 he founded his own large typewriter shop in Berlin and established the first German school for stenographers. In 1897 the Schrey stenography method was merged with that of Heinrich August Wilhelm Stolze and became the leading system in Germany and Switzerland.
The patent issued to Forkarth on this day in 1907 was to improve the Hammond’s “visibility”.  
Forkarth’s 1909 patent assigned to Burridge (above) related to Hammonds writing “certain characters or symbols at regular distances above or below the general line of impression when required, as is sometimes the case, for instance, when writing fractions or certain characters of reference, such, as ‘m3’ or ‘2h’ (where the numeral 3 and the letter h require to be written somewhat raised), or when writing atomic symbols, such as ‘C’ (where the numeral 2 requires to be written farther below).”

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