The Sheboygan Press from Sheboygan, Wisconsin on October 24, 1979 · Page 47
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The Sheboygan Press from Sheboygan, Wisconsin · Page 47

Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 24, 1979
Page 47
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Ancestor Of Local Man Invented :::::S:?:::!S':!:!::: World's First Writing Machine By GARY PETERS V Press Staff Writer ' Typewriters: an Invention that clicked - but not for William Austin Burt, who patented the first writing machine 150 years ago this summer. The inventor, great-great-great-great-grandfather of William ("Jack") Austin ' Burt V of Sheboygan, achieved considerable fame during the 1800s, but little financial reward, his descendant recalled during a recent interview. ' c The elder Burt had gone to Michigan Territory from New York just before the Erie Canal was completed, hoping for a better life for his family and a new career with the Surveyor General's Office. His popularity grew with his election to the Michigan Territorial Legislature, but the heavy burden of paperwork sent him totis workshop to devise an easier way of writing. With type supplied by a friend, John Sheldon, editor of the Detroit Gazette, Burt constructed the first known writing machine. The instrument, made largely of wood, ' WILLIAM AUSTIN KWT Amtrwcn Mvtmorinyer 1782-ItM X : A PROUD DESCENDANT, William ("Jack") Austin Burt V, 75, of Sheboygan, is shown alongside his great-great-great-great grandfather and namesake, who patented the world's first typewriter in 1829. THE FIRST typewriter, invented by William Austin Burt in 1829, .attracted the attention of President Andrew Jackson, but little other interest. . was housed In a rectangular box. "It will be ranked with the most novel, useful and pleasing inventions of the age," Sheldon typed as he composed the first letter ever written on Burt's "typographer." - The letter was received by Martin Van Buren,, then Secretary of State, and within two months, on July 23, 1829, the U.S. Patent Office issued Burt the first patent for a writing machine. A much earlier patent was issued in England, by Queen Anne in 1714, to Henry Mills for "An Artificial Machine or Method of Impressing or Transcribing Letters ...(which) may be of great use in (legal) settlements and Publik Records..." But if Mills built a type writer, it left no imprint on history. Burt's machine, on the other hand, left a letter to his wife, Phoebe (which began "Dear Companion"), that probably is the oldest typewritten sample, according to the Smithsonian National Museum of History and Technology in Washington, D.C. , In March of 1830, Burt completed a second model with aesthetic and mechanical improvements, including four tapered legs that gave it the appearance of a pinball machine. ' But the device was slow and cumbersome and failed to attract interest, despite support by no less than the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson. Unfortunately, considerable time and expense had gone into the machine, and without any facilities to adequately manufacture parts or significant interest by investors, Burt allowed the patent to expire while he turned his attention to other inventions. His exploits during 18 years of public land surveys brought him fame as one of the most respected American pioneers. ' While exploring the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula ' of Michigan in 1844, Burt and his surveying party discovered the first of the Great Lakes iron ranges hear Marquette (that to this day yield more than 80 percent of the nation's ore production) when they investigated the erratic antics of their compasses. Shortly after the first iron was found' in the roots of a fallen pine tree, Burt and the others discovered a "mountain" of almost pure ore some 50 feet in height. Burt continued his surveys, and, in 1846, located 14 beds of iron ore in northern Michigan and Wisconsin. The fields played a very significant role in subsequent war efforts. To assist in these explorations, Burt relied upon a solar compass, which he had invented in 1836. The instrument, which determined the true meridian by a single observation, was exhibited by the inventor at the Franklin Institute in 1840, for which he received a medal and $20 in gold. The solar compass allowed Burt to survey the iron ore : fields. It was used extensively for three quarters of a ten-tury in public land surveys. After exhibiting the device at the Crystal Palace Exposition in London' in 1851, Burt was returning home on a sailing vessel, upon which he had booked six weeks passage, when he noticed the inaccurate courses laid by the' ship's compass. That observation led to his third invention - the equatorial sextant.. The instrument was designed to find the position of ships at sea. It showed, without computation, the latitude, hour angle and azimuth at any time of day. White William Austin Burt left no great financial legacy, he was a success by his own standards and an inspiration to his descendants. In his unfinished autobiography, written about four years before his death, the famous inventor recalled the priorities he had established for himself at an early age: "1 resolved not to engage in any calling such as would be useful to mankind while It afforded me a living," he wrote. "Neither would I engage in any calling merely for the sake of ease and idleness, though it afforded me a living profit, if my abilities rendered me incapable of something profitable to the world or mankind." Creature Feature Set Saturday At Plaza 8 Plaza 8 Association will sponsor a Halloween "Creature FeatureVan Show" on Saturday. Vans from Sin City Van Club will be stationed at the plaza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Club members will get in the spirit of the day by arriving in costume. The first 50 children who meet at the water feature at noon will receive a free pass to the Jaycee Haunted- House, located at Plaza 8, compliments of the association. The pass is good for a Saturday matinee, with toned-down terror for younger children. The Haunted House will be open between 1 and 4 p.m., and will feature special $1 tickets for youngsters in costume. Dracula will arrive at Plaza 8 at 12:30 p.m., with monster pallbears carrying his coffin. After he rises, he will select the most beautifully costumed ghoul to receive the 1979 Plaza 8 trophy. He also will select four other creepy crea tures to receive free passes to the Haunted House. The Jaycee's will present the winners with a Haunted House T-shirt award. SENIORS LEARN AGAIN It's back to school for 40,000 senior citizens at 32 French Universities as a means of solving the elders unwanted isolation from meaningful activity; The successful program is known as the University of the Third Age (the French equivalent of "golden years"). The movement began six years ago with 40 students on one campus. They pay $7 a year to enroll, and have their choice of subjects. The idea has since spread to Switzerland, Poland, Bel-glum and Canada. The oldsters attend established classes at regular hours, right along with the young students. Some are planning to earn degrees; all are enriching their lives. Probably not. Today, the prices of energy are going up, not down. So you've never seen a sale on kilowatts or therms of gas. The reasons why are pretty simple. First, you've probably never heard of sale prices on the construction of new plants either. Or a special discount on the cost of coal. Or reduced Interest rates for financing new facilities. We haven't And these are some of the primary costs we have for providing service. , .. But it doesn't stop there. You haven't heard anything about less spending for environmental cleanup or taxes or the cost of meeting government regulations, because our expen- ' dltures for all of these Items continue ' to Increase. There Isn't a bargain basement where WP&L can shop for lower prices. We do our best to keep costs under control. Like investing In a new centralized computerized system for controlling the generation of electricity at all of our plants. This will mean substantial annual savings In HS c&fifl 23: fuel costs, our single largest expense. And we are constantly reviewing how we operate to make sure our service is provided as efficiently as possible. ;; Despite our efforts to control costs, our expenses will continue to rise. And there Is no question that higher prices for electrical energy are a fact of life. In the past five years, . residential electric rates have Increased about 1 0 percent annually. ' Of course, during that same period, Inflation has boosted the cost of all other goods and services, as well. With the increasing costs we face, we expect that electric costs will continue to rise; moderately faster than overall Inflation. Even with these Increases, however, the average customer's bill In 1 985 for the same amount of usage, would represent about 2.5 of family Income. . Secondly, Wisconsin Power and Light Company doesn't have an Inventory of kHowatt hours of electricity or therms of gas. They can't be stored , so we must provide them when and where people need them. At WP&L we don't find ourselves overstocked on an Item or with outdated merchandise. So we don't have clearance sales. What can you do to meet Increasing energy prices? Make sure that you use your energy resources wisely and conserve wherever you can. An Investment In insulation, weather-stripping and other "weatherizlng" protects can pay for Itself In reduced energy use winter and summer. Wisconsin Power and Light Company . has taken the lead In providing customers with Ideas' and recommendations for helping you cut down on your use of electric energy. That helps you hold down the impact of rising energy prices. It's one way you can cope with higher rates. So contact your local Wisconsin Power and Light office lor specific suggestion on how you can conserve energy and save money too. ELECTRICITY ICperKWH it-; .(. GAS mfc rwTHFRM my i iniiim iinmnn n- " '.';' , "V "',''.' V1. r-,vvj3Conr:ni-Trwci' DUQnt ucmpany Yh cnst o) Silt td K not blng ohrgd to our Otnlomcrt. a enfl paid o t tr witrownft.o( Wieonim Powr and USJfrl Company. ' Jii9 The Top Row Spells T-Y-P-E- W.R-LT-E-R In 1873, Christopher Scholes of Milwaukee designed the first practical typewriter. He redesigned the keyboard to disperse the most frequently used letters, but k was an Irrational arrangement. On Scholes' machine, the top row contains all the letters of the word "typewriter," plus Q, U and O. Perhaps it was deliberate, a researcher specu-lated, so that salesmen could demonstrate it easily by typing out the name. ' i A University of Washington professor came up with a far superior keyboard in 1932 that would have increased typing efficiency by 74 percent, but to no avail. "You'd have to turn the world Inside out to change the, keyboard," sighed a public relations representative for Smith-Corona. Sholes was the 52nd person to "invent" the typewriter, according to "The Wonderful Writing Machine" by Bruce Bliven. It was manufactured by Remington, which called on its arms-making experience for improved production design. One of the earliest Remingtons was bought by Mark Twain, who became, It is believed, the first author to submit a manuscript in typewritten form. In succeeding years, other inventors tinkered with improvements. j: Even Thomas A. Edison got into the act with a i typewriter run by electricity. It was invented in 1872, $ a year before Scholes' instrument, and became the Sj "ticker" machine used later to speed news by tel- - egraph. The electric typewriter as an office machine, :i however, did not arrive until the 1920s, and its size and cost kept it from widespread use for years. $ The invention eventually transformed the busi- : ness world and helped emancipate women, enabling 5 them to enter office work without losing their good $ moral standing. On the horizon as the 21st century approaches: a $ voice-recognition device to replace the old typewrit- ten keyboard. Machines already exist that can recognize as many as 100 words with 98 percent accuracy. Some are being used to guard secret installations. For the past two years, an instrument has been j: available from Kurzwell Computer Products that can read a book and then speak it, as an aid to the blind, -v. But the acoustics are exceedingly complex, and $ enthusiasm must be tempered by realism. "I think voice-recognition typewriters are a wild -f. dream," stated Charles Sass, a representative of $ Smith-Corona. "But then, I come from a generation $ that didn't believe in rocket ships..." $: SEC. IV Sheboygon, Wis., Wednesdoy, October 24, 1979 47 Charmers .V I 0 (jyfis -1 6 - Practice a little sharing every day. Band Selects Steinhaus Orders Up WASHINGTON (AP) - The latest government figures show factory orders for new durable goods rose 5.9 percent in September, the largest increase in more than a year. The Commerce Department report released Tuesday said last month's increase was the largest since a 7.1 percent rise in August 1978. "It's a good sign that businesses are optimistic about (future) sales," said department analyst Adren Cooper. Factory orders had increased 2.6 percent in August after falling 4.4 percent in July. The first commencement exercises were held at Harvard University in 1642. Allen Steinhaus, 1419 Washington Ave., was re-elected to his 10th term as president of the Sheboygan Municipal Band during the band's annual meeting Tuesday night. John Resch was re-elected vice president, Dorothy Boll-wahn was elected secretary, and Gloria M. Witte, longtime secretary-treasurer, was elected to the office of treasurer. Michael Brendzej was re-elected librarian. Board members elected were Janice Binder, Marvin Boll and Randall Gartman. Harland Nonhof of Camp-bellsport was elected assistant director. William Haack will begin his 36th year as director of the 46-piece band. The band, which made 14 appearances in the past year, will open its new season with a concert at 3 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Horace Mann Junior High School auditorium. Skylinder, the "big swinR band," led by Donn Reed, will be the intermission entertainment. The Municipal Band was organized in 1936. Charter members still active are Haack, Brendzej, Frank Parisi and Nick Schuttey. Library Plans Three Films . For Thursday Thursday's "Films Sand-wiched-In," 12:10 p.m. at Mead Public Library, will include three films. "Follow the Wind to Cousin" is a Sierra Club nature film about this island bird sanctuary off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. A tour of the Apostle Islands and Copper Falls, along with fall leaves and flowers, will be the subject of "Fall in Northern Wisconsin," "A Sports Suite" will conclude this 43 minute program. With synchronization of four sports vignettes to the rhythm of classical music. Children accompanied by adults are welcome. All are invited to bring lunches. Coffee will be available. FREE FIPPER BULB COLLECWN FROM il I KsnnaaiL Create Spring this Fall with this Spectacular Collection. I Su35UrgeBulbs.55SumptuousBIcK)rns J !-flJ-w Ti.lin HvarinrhanH HaffnHiU i jn, -i j-, 3? jr. jv. Tulips, Hyacinths and Daffodils "in"' ft a I I 1 n -s r 3! f! r r i Just Save $500 and get the Entire Collection Free 1 That one deposit also entitles you to buy additional bulb collections for only $6.49 per box of 35. Hurry! This exclusive Mutual offer la limited to as long as our supply of bulbs lasts. Bring your savings to Mutual today. Dont miss out , btrectl 1 From Th. Growf In Holland! m .UREAL SWINGS , METRO MILWAUKEE t lu wm mii i KmtustmttMQ ohi mu mn wmetuw mtntil i Menu inDtmmiM tmmim MwwunioiM twmunnu UHSKSt UIM Mll NumtiMtMU MOHftlHtf MTfMWU imt MTMI KtltUJI l02MIIOMlMl: 10 OTHER OFFICES JJ WWfllMI MMVmitlUU una ww NMNlM FMIMt Monu MntMI mmtiniiiTiBHiiifffmi'i i

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