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Thursday 18 October 2012

On This Day in Typewriter History: The Walrus Underwood, Coo Coo Ca-Choo

PART 149
From his hometown in Toronto, freelancer Thomas John Coo designed typewriters and typewriter components for Monarch from 1907 to 1912. He had divided loyalties, however, and shared his allegiances beyond the Union. Coo switched camps to Underwood in 1910 and assigned to the trust's major single rival half of his eight typewriter designs during the following decade.
On this day (October 18) in 1910, Coo was issued with this US patent, which he assigned to Underwood. It's  what I've dubbed the "Walrus Typewriter" - just compare the  front of the Coo typewriter with the eye of a walrus, something John Lennon would no doubt have done, coo coo ca-choo. Or goo goo g'joob, if you insist. But this man was called Coo and the walrus eye likeness is unmistakable.  So here's to you, Mrs Robinson, coo coo ca-choo.
Of course, these are pneumatic tabulation keys. They look far more impressive than normal tabulator keys, don't they? Plus they seem to make the Underwood float. Underwood in the sky with tubes?
But having failed to convince Underwood of their worthiness, Coo gave up on typewriters in 1920 and turned his attention to car door locks and to latches. Coo, who was born in Toronto on October 8, 1870, died in that same city on January 24, 1932, aged 62. 

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