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.
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…)