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Sunday, 21 June 2015

Les machines à écrire Remington du Québec

On June 26, 1915, the Remington Typewriter Company's Montreal agent, Napoléon Martineau (1862-), was officially "crowned" in New York City as the world's leading typewriter salesman. Martineau can be seen above standing at the back of his prize, an Overland "Remington car", while event organiser and sponsor Elwood Ernest Rice looks on. 
Martineau is circled in The Evening World advertisement below:
Remington sales in Québec stayed in the hands of the Martineau family for at least two more generations after Napoléon. His son Gérald Martineau (1902-1968) took on the franchise in 1919 and retained it after Rand bought into the company in 1935. Then Napoléon's grandson Robert Martineau (1926-) acquired the rights when Gérald was appointed to Legislative Council of Québec, the unelected upper house, in August 1946.
Gérald and Robert also, incidentally, owned and ran the Québec Aces ice hockey team from 1959 until 1967, when it was taken over by the Philadelphia Flyers. The club became the Richmond Robins in 1971.
Gérald Martineau
A former treasurer of the Union Nationale PartyGérald represented  the Laurentian division in the Québec Upper House until 1959 and the Lauzon division to 1967. He died the next year, aged 65, after being found guilty in 1966 of 13 influence-peddling charges, serving a 50-day sentence under guard in hospital and paying a $49,000 fine.
In 1961 the Remington-Rand business dealings of Gérald and Robert were investigated as part of the Québec Royal Commission into Union Nationale Government purchases between 1955-60. Union Nationale was a conservative and nationalist provincial political party which identified with Québécois autonomism. It was created during the Great Depression and held power in Québec from 1936-39, 1944-60 and 1966-70. It was founded by Maurice Duplessis, who led it until his death in 1959.
Gérald's misfortunes were a far cry from the day when his father Napoléon was given one of the cars seen above, and declared the world's best typewriter salesman. Typewriter Topics reported:
Elwood Ernest Rice (1979-1958)
Rice is seen sitting beside Henry Ford (at wheel)
Elwood Ernest Rice was president of the Rice Electric Display Company and the R. R. Sign Company (the other "R" in R.R. being V.R. Rumbarger). Rice was born in Dayton, Ohio, on October 11, 1879. He started out in the plaster business, selling Rice’s Diamond Wall Plaster before making his fortune in the electric sign business. He died in obscurity on March 6, 1958.

1 comment:

shordzi said...

great post & pictures!