Arthur Bott Pateman (1886-1972)
When Arthur Pateman designed the Imperial Model 50 standard-size typewriter in 1926, he managed to incorporate in it Hidalgo Moya's concept of interchangeable keyboards and typebaskets - used on the downstrike Imperial portables, Models A through to D (1908-1919). As a 24-year-old mechanical engineer, Pateman had in 1910 been promoted from Imperial's tool room to its experimental department to work with Moya in developing the early Imperial portables.
Pateman's success in including the same interchangeable keyboard-typebasket feature in frontstrike typewriters was continued on through all his subsequent Imperial standards - the Models 55, 59, 60, 65 and 66 (1937-1954), as well as the "Doppelgänger" double keyboard machine Pateman developed with Claude Brumhill in 1957.
With the flick of switches on either side of the keyboard, the whole keyboard-typebasket section pulls out from the body of the Imperial standard typewriter. This is as well as the carriage being detachable, making the Imperial standards so easy to dismantle to change carriage widths or fonts and languages, or for maintenance, repairs and a simple service (with the need to remove only two screws, the ones holding the ribbon spools cover in place).
In 1951, a technician at the Imperial factory in Leicester, in England's East Midlands, works on the interchangeable section of the Imperial standard. The machine shown on the factory workbench below is a Model 60.
The Model 60 was succeeded in 1952 by the Model 65, which I am using here to illustrate Pateman's design. Imperial typewriters were not so much the machines of choice as Imperial was the brand backed by governments (especially for use in the public service) and given tariff relief in countries throughout the British Empire (as it still was until the late 1950s). The demand for differing keyboards in many Commonwealth countries was met with this Pateman design.
I call Pateman "eccentric", by the way, not so much because of his typewriter designs, but because of his "hobby" when he was at home, away from typewriters and the Imperial factory. But not all that far away, as Pateman's first home was on East Park Road, North Evington, very near the typewriter factory.
Pateman used much of his wages to buy cars and, immediately upon taking delivery of them, taking them completely apart, chroming all the engine's moving parts (and whatever else he could strip off that wasn't already chromed) and re-designing the bodywork. Pateman called chrome "the sign of an enthusiast".
He started this crazy, destructive past-time in 1913 with his first car purchase, a Belgian-made Métallurgique (below).
After Pateman had built a new, streamlined body for this car in his attic at home, he realised it was too big to get down the stairs. So he simply removed the attic and front doors and the banisters to get it out of the house. If that hadn't worked, his next planned step was to remove the stairs. Did I say "eccentric"?
Eventually Pateman could afford to build a magnificently-fitted garage at his country estate house in Rothley, a village in the Charnwood borough in Leicestershire. There he made what he called "improvements" to the manufacturers' original designs of his cars.
A Standard Swallow
Pateman went on to "re-design" six Alvises, four Standard Swallows, three Jaguars, four Rovers and a Bentley - 19 cars altogether. They became known as "Patemanised" models.
In May 1958, Arthur Pateman and his then 20-year-old undergraduate daughter Christine use a chain block and tackle to haul an engine part on to a work bench in Pateman's Rothley garage.
Richard Polt (no, that's not Richard above) has often persuasively pressed the point that nothing has yet been invented to beat the printed word. That is, the word indelibly printed in ink on paper, the way it has been since the Han Dynasty and which will, hopefully, last for people to read it until the end of time. Not the word that is floating around untethered in the ethereal, unattached to anything with any as yet real permanency.
In researching typewriter history, I was reminded of this when trying to access documents relating to the life of Arthur Bott Pateman, the man who, for 56 years, from 1904 to 1960, was the brain behind the Imperial Typewriter Company of England.
Yes, it was through the Internet that I was made aware of the existence of these documents, but that is as far as I could go. Eventually the Leicestershire County Council agreed to come to my assistance, and it photocopied the documents so that I was finally able to read the full story of this fascinating typewriter man's life. The stories of countless other Great Typewriter men and women have doubtless been recorded in the printed word but are not yet accessible online - notably with so many issues of Typewriter Topics still to be scanned and made available.
The Leicestershire County Council staff found many items about Pateman from newspapers, magazines and company records, none of which have not yet found their way online - and may never do so. Better still, scrawled beside an Imperial company announcement of Pateman's retirement in 1960, in Pateman's own wavering handwriting, are the scathing words, "Not once consulted after retirement". The notation appears beside this paragraph of unfulfilled promises:
Not so beloved?
It was a relief to at last get images of Pateman, to see what the man looked like - and so soon, too, after finding an image from a 1915 US passport application of Imperial founder Hidalgo Moya:
Here is a brief rundown of Pateman's life:
1886: Born St Mark, Tollington Park, Islington, London, August 7.
Studied engineering at the East London Technical College, then at the College of Technology, Leicester.
1900: Served apprenticeship with British United Shoe Machinery Company, Belgrave Road, Leicester.
1904-06: Started work in the assembly department of the Moya Typewriter Company on Garton Street, Leicester.
The Garton Street factory in 1902, with Moya standing, back of room.
1908: Worked for Alfred Herbert Ltd, Britain's largest machine tool maker, in Coventry.
1909: Returned to Leicester to what had become the Imperial Typewriter Company, working in the tool room at Wharf Street.
1910: Joined Hidalgo Moya in the Imperial Typewriter Company's experimental department, working on the further development of the Imperial Model A.
1911: Made Imperial works manager under general manager Eric Julius Pilblad at East Park Road, North Evington. Pilblad succeeded Moya in this position. This was the year that investors Joseph Wallis Goddard and his brother-in-law William Arthur Evans took control of the company from John Gordon Chattaway and Moya.
1923: Appointed Imperial general manager, succeeding Pilblad.
1925: Appointed an Imperial company director.
1926: Invented Imperial's first standard-size typewriter, the Model 50. This typewriter was, mechanically, to remain virtually unchanged until Litton Industries took over Imperial 40 years later. It turned into the Imperial 55 (1937), Imperial 58 (1948), Imperial 60 (1949), Imperial 65 (1952), Imperial 66 (1954), "Doppelgänger" (1957) and Imperial 70 (1962). Under Litton, it became the Imperial 80 (Series I 1968, Series II 1970).
(Designed by Pateman with Claude Wellington Robert Brumhill)
(This model ended the line of detachable keyboards and typebaskets.
The detachable carriage continued.)
1939: Appointed Imperial managing director.
1956: Appointed Imperial chairman.
1972: Died, St Bernards, Bradfield, Swafield, Norfolk, on August 28, aged 86.
I have posted previously on the Model 50 (my Imperial 50 is now owned by John Lavery, who worked on these machines as a young technician) and the "Doppelgänger". So I will here give as prime examples of Bateman's work my remaining Imperial standard, the Model 65:
Workers in the Imperial factory, Leicester, in 1951: