Groundbreaking!!! So many interesting details, for example: - contracting party is Mr. Mawle himself, and not a company he Workshop for. - it is a contract for the Hermes Baby only; i wonder if an analogue Pierce was concluded for the Hermes 2000 i.e. Junior Empire. - wonderfully simple document; these days it would probably be 50 pages plus the fine print. And it worked then! - it is 3000 pound Sterling in point 3.
PS i hate auto imposed spelling correction!! It is "worked for" and "piece".
The figures in detail: According to http://www.portal-stat.admin.ch/lik_rechner/d/lik_rechner.htm, 10'000 Swiss Francs of 1935 correspond to 81'000 Swiss Francs in 2013, i.e. 90'000 US dollars today. According to http://safalra.com/other/historical-uk-inflation-price-conversion/, 3'000 pounds Sterling in 1935 correspond to 290'000 pounds of 2013, which is half a million US dollars.
Thanks for pointing that out, Georg. I've corrected it. I wasn't sure and took a punt.None of the many documents I have seen so far refer to any other models but the Baby Empire (Hermes Baby) and the Empire Aristocrat. Except, of course, there is also that 2000 prototype, which is unnamed on the photo.Half a million US $ still sounds like a pretty reasonable deal to me.
PS: Mawle was working for Imperial when he signed this deal.It was a big gamble on his part. He then had to find the finance to make the machine, and somewhere to make it. British Typewriters was founded after the deal was struck.Mawle discussed the project with Sidney Bache at Salter first. AFTER that, he approached W & J Avery Ltd of the Soho Foundry in Birmingham, hoping they would invest in the "typewriter proposition". They turned it down (probably regretted it later). Avery did say it had a "good chance of success". To add salt to the wound, Avery asked if it could keep the typewriter (Hermes?) which Mawle had showed them.
PPS: Please bear in mind we are still piecing the story of this whole episode together bit by bit, as documents come to light. We still need precise dates. We do know Mawle was with Imperial until 1936 and formed British Typewriters later that same year. He was sill looking for investors in late 1937.
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