Tag Archives: New York

QWERTY Comes to Life

In the summer of 1868 Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called the “Type-Writer.” The first row was made of ivory and the second of ebony, the rest of the framework was wooden. It was in this form that Sholes, Glidden and Soule were granted patents for their invention on June 23, 1868 and July 14. The first document to be produced on a typewriter was a contract that Sholes had written, in his capacity as the Comptroller for the city of Milwaukee. Machines similar to Sholes’s had been previously used by the blind for embossing, but by Sholes’s time the inked ribbon had been invented, which made typewriting in its current form possible.

Sholes’ invention revolutionized the way offices operated. It was mentioned in the profile of Remington Rand, Inc. in History of Northwestern New York Erie, Niagara, Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans Counties Persons and Family History (Volume III) in our American County Histories collection.

Sholes Type-Writer

Sholes Type-Writer

From the Book

In 1914 Mr. Rand invented the world’s first visible record, a development of the visible index which eliminated costly and time-consuming fumbling through blind files and was destined to revolutionize the record keeping methods of modern business.

It was about this time that James H. Rand, Jr., eldest son of the senior Mr. Rand, organized the American Kardex Company in direct competition with his father’s business and established his plant and offices on Main Street, in Tonawanda, where the present Main Street Plant of Remington Rand, Inc., now stands. For ten years it was touch-and-go between father and son. But both businesses prospered and in 1925 were merged as the Rand Kardex Corporation. James H. Rand, Sr., became chairman of the board. James H. Rand, Jr., was made president and the interests and inventions of both companies were pooled in the new company.

It was the beginning of a period of growth and progress which has brought the company from the humblest of origins to the position of preeminence it now occupies in its field—the largest manufacturer of office equipment and supplies in the world.

In 1925, the Index Visible Company was purchased and the company merged with Library Bureautoform Rand Kardex Bureau. In 1927 the Remington Typewriter Company, Baker Vawter Company, Dalton Adding Machine Company, Powers Tabulating Machines Corp., Kalamazoo Loose Leaf Binder Company, Safe-Cabinet Company, and others were brought together to form Remington Rand, Inc., with twenty-four plants, offices in every principal city of the United States, and, before the war, in most foreign countries. (more…)


The Founding of the Colonial Radio Corporation

In 1924 a meeting was held in an office on Madison Avenue, New York City, to organize the Colonial Radio Corporation. The entire then personnel of the new corporation was there—the president, treasurer, production manager, two engineers, two draftsmen and a few inspectors and salesmen. The principal assets were drawings of a new table model radio receiver.

The selection of a trade mark proved to be quite a problem, until one of the draftsmen suggested the familiar Colonial pine tree. The name “Colonial” was adopted immediately, along with the emblem.


Sullivan Expedition Commemorative Plaque

The Battle of Chemung or Newtown of August 1779

Sunday, August 29, 1779, is the date of the battle of Chemung, or of Newtown as it has been indifferently called since. Its scene was at the foot of the eminence now known as “Sullivan Hill,” about half way between the little hamlet of “Lowman’s,” on the line of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad, and the mouth of Seeley Creek. The surface of the hillside is very irregular, being cut up by those peculiar ridges, to which I have heretofore referred, called the “Hogbacks.” At its foot flows Baldwin Creek. Our troops began their march on that hot August Sunday morning with extreme care and watchfulness. Their path was through a forest of pines and a thick growth of scrub oak.

The fortifications of the enemy were discovered after a march of about four miles, and about 11 o’clock in the morning. They were very artfully constructed, being built in most places breast high or more, in others lower, and pits or holes were dug where the defenders could be protected. The whole work was masked by the slope of the ridge, being thickly set with scrub oaks cut the night before from the hillside. Somewhat in front of the fortifications were one or two log houses, which served as bastions.

Map of The Battlefield of Newtown

Map of The Battlefield of Newtown
1. Position of the brigades of Generals Clinton and Poorbefore the advance. 2. Position of Proctor’s artillery. Maxwell’s reserve, anclColonel Ogden’s command. 3. Position of Colonel Ogden’s troops and GeneralHand’s brigade in the advance. 4. The forces of Generals Clinton and Poor inaction after the advance as shown by the dotted lines and arrow; also the positionof the enemy. 5. Direction taken by the enemy in retreating. 6. Site ofthe monument 7. The monument.

It would seem that the enemy, considering that their fortifications were perfectly concealed, expected our forces to follow the Indian trail, which was at the right of their defenses. They would open upon them on our flank a sudden and severe fire, which would create confusion at first and result in disaster to our troops. But the reckoning was not wise. General Sullivan did not fall into the well-laid trap. When the advance guard had discovered the enemy’s position a council of officers was called, the ground was well looked over, and a plan of attack was agreed upon. It was most successful in its execution.

During this time the riflemen who were in the advance guard had kept the enemy busy. They formed within 300 yards of the fortifications, and were ordered to hold their position until the remainder of the brigade should come up. This order was hardly given when some 400 of the enemy advanced from the entrenchments, delivered their fire, and quickly retreated to their works. This sortie was repeated several times, evidently for the purpose of enticing our men into their lines. But it failed of its purpose, the riflemen simply holding their position as they were ordered to do. The battle was won by a flank movement.

General John Sullivan and General James Clinton Plaque

General John Sullivan and General James Clinton Plaque


Our County and its People, A History Of The Valley And County Of Chemung from the Closing Years of the Eighteenth Century by Ausburn Towner in the New York County Histories section of American County Histories.

Dr. James H. Salisbury

A Look Inside the History of Cortland County, New York

Cortland County New York is named for Pierre Van Cortlandt, president of the convention at Kingston that wrote the first New York State Constitution in 1777, and first lieutenant governor of the state. The county seat is Cortland. The famed Cortland apple is named for the county. Located in the glaciated Appalachian Plateau area of Central New York State, midway between Syracuse and Binghamton, this predominantly rural county is the southeastern gateway to the Finger Lakes Region. Scattered archaeological evidence indicates three different aboriginal cultures hunted the area beginning about 1500 AD.

Our American County Histories collection contains a detailed history of the area in the form of History Of Cortland County With Illustrations And Biographical Sketches Of Some Of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers by H.P. Smith of Syracuse, New York. This book, and its illustrations, is viewable as page images and as fully searchable text. (more…)


A Look Inside: History of the Valley and County of Chemung, NY

This title can be found in our American County Histories: Mid-Atlantic States collection. Chemung County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. It is part of the ‘Elmira, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area’ which encompasses all of Chemung County. As of the 2010 census, the population was 88,830. Its name is derived from the name of a Delaware Indian village (meaning “big horn”). Its county seat is Elmira. Many signs posted along roads in Chemung County refer to the area as “Mark Twain Country” because of the many years the author lived and wrote in Elmira.

Chemung County was created from the partitioning of Tioga County, New York. Chemung County was formed from a partition of 520 square miles of Tioga County in 1836. In 1854, Chemung County was partitioned so that 110 square miles of land could be used to create Schuyler County, reducing Chemung its current size of 410 square miles.

Our County and its People, A History of the Valley and County of Chemung. From the Closing Years of the Eighteenth Century.

Table of Contents


CHAPTER I. — Why the Valley remained so long Unknown • Some previous Occupants • The Spaniards Joseph Smith • Fort Hill • The “Hogbacks” • The Aborigines of the Valley • Red Jacket “Cornplanter” • The Indian Villages of the Valley • “Canaweola” • Its Legend • Its Location Its Cultivated Fields • The Peculiar and Favorable location of the Valley • Meaning of the name “Chemung” • Its Application to other Matter