1906 - 1916
Secor Typewriter Company
Derby, Connecticut, US
Jerome Burgess Secor (1839 - 1923), a thoroughly inventive inventor, began working for the Williams Typewriter Company in 1899 as its superintendent. As early as 1902, J.B. Secor began filing typewriter patents (patent no.798,929) assigned to the Williams Typewriter Company. The patents, which there were several of over the next few years, had been for frontsrike typewriters ant not for the Williams-like machines with grasshopper typebars. Eventually, as legal problems mounted for the Williams company, J.B. Secor assumed ownership of it on June 4, 1910, which included the factory. The Williams Typewriter Company became the Secor Typewriter Company.
It is interesting to note that the Secor No.1 model was first introduced around 1906. Apparently Secor typewriters were manufactured concurrently with the Williams machines out of the same factory. In fact, the two brands were often marketed together, too. It is reasonable to speculate that the traditionally styled Secor was intended to replace the unconventional Williams. However, given Williams' legal issues, it may have been decided to keep the Secor brand separate.
Secor writing machines offer very few innovations. Their crux seems to have been "permanent alignment.," though it was so for every other typewriter, too. A removable, interchangeable escapement was also a much hyped feature. Secors had frontstrike typebar arrangements with a single-shift, four-row keyboard. Models produced included a 76-character No.1, ca.1906, an 84-character No.2, ca.1908 and a wide-carriage No.3. An estimated total of about 7,000 machines were been produced between the three models. These rather traditional typewriters were a major departure from the captivating designs of the Williams machines that once shipped from the same loading docks. The looming war, pressure from more established competition and reported labor issues numbered Secor's days. In 1916, Secor typewriter production ceased permanently. The factory in Derby, CT was sold to Maxim Munitions Corporation.
So do we feel sorry for Jerome B. Secor and his seemingly failed typewriter company? No.This venture was one of the last Secor had undertaken in his life and it does not tarnish his legacy, that legacy being in toys. Google his name and you will most likely find countless pages and images on his contribution to the sewing machine industry while in Bridgeport, CT. Even more search results will direct you to the mechanical toys and mechanical singing birds he produced. Those toys have a much larger following of collectors who are more willing to spend exponentially more money for the little play things than are typewriter collectors on writing machine.
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