A-8895, JUNE 16, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 1045

A-8895: Jun 16, 1925

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PURCHASES - NOISELESS TYPEWRITERS AS THE REMINGTON NOISELESS TYPEWRITER NO. 6 IS USED FOR AND PERFORMS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME WORK AS REQUIRED OF STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINES. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 31. YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE PROVISION OF THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30. AT A PRICE IN EXCESS OF THE FOLLOWING FOR MODELS WITH CARRIAGES WHICH WILL ACCOMMODATE PAPER OF THE FOLLOWING WIDTHS. STATED: THIS NEW MACHINE IS NOT STANDARD IN ANY SENSE. AS THIS TERM IS UNIVERSALLY UNDERSTOOD AND APPLIED IN THE TYPEWRITER TRADE AND BY TYPEWRITER USERS. IT IS NONSTANDARD IN THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF ITS CONSTRUCTION.

A-8895, JUNE 16, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 1045

PURCHASES - NOISELESS TYPEWRITERS AS THE REMINGTON NOISELESS TYPEWRITER NO. 6 IS USED FOR AND PERFORMS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME WORK AS REQUIRED OF STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINES, IT MUST BE CONSIDERED A STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 22, 1925, 43 STAT. 766, AND MAY ONLY BE PURCHASED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1926 AT THE PRICES SPECIFIED IN SAID ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JUNE 16, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 31, 1925, WHEREIN YOU REQUEST DECISION RELATIVE TO THE QUESTION OF PURCHASING THE NEW MODEL REMINGTON NOISELESS TYPEWRITER DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1926, THE QUESTION BEING STATED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

IN RESPONSE TO ADVERTISEMENTS ISSUED BY THE GENERAL SUPPLY COMMITTEE THE REMINGTON TYPEWRITER COMPANY HAS SUBMITTED TO THE COMMITTEE A PROPOSAL FOR FURNISHING THE MODEL 6 NOISELESS REMINGTON TYPEWRITER AT THE SCHEDULE OF PRICES GIVEN BELOW:

TABLE ITEM 18680-A. TYPEWRITING MACHINE; WRITES A LINE 9 INCHES LONG, HOLDS

PAPER 10 3/4 INCHES WIDE, EACH -- $100.00 NET.

B. TYPEWRITING MACHINE; WRITES A LINE 11 INCHES LONG, HOLDS

PAPER 12 3/4 INCHES WIDE, EACH -- $103.33 NET.

C. TYPEWRITING MACHINE; WRITES A LINE 13 INCHES LONG, HOLDS

PAPER 14 3/4 INCHES WIDE, EACH -- $106.67 NET.

D. TYPEWRITING MACHINE; WRITES A LINE 17 INCHES LONG, HOLDS

PAPER 18 3/4 INCHES WIDE, EACH -- $110.00 NET.

YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE PROVISION OF THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1926, APPROVED JANUARY 22, 1925, WHICH LIMITS THE PRICE WHICH MAY BE PAID FOR "STANDARD" TYPEWRITING MACHINES BOUGHT BY THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE, WOULD PROHIBIT THE PURCHASE OF MODEL NO. 6 REMINGTON NOISELESS TYPEWRITER.

THE ACT OF JANUARY 22, 1925, 43 STAT. 766, PROVIDES:

NO PART OF ANY MONEY APPROPRIATED BY THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT SHALL BE USED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1926 FOR THE PURCHASE OF ANY STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINES, EXCEPT BOOKKEEPING AND BILLING MACHINES, AT A PRICE IN EXCESS OF THE FOLLOWING FOR MODELS WITH CARRIAGES WHICH WILL ACCOMMODATE PAPER OF THE FOLLOWING WIDTHS, TO WIT: TEN INCHES (CORRESPONDENCE MODELS), $70; TWELVE INCHES, $75; FOURTEEN INCHES, $77.50; SIXTEEN INCHES, $82.50; EIGHTEEN INCHES, $87.50; TWENTY INCHES, $94; TWENTY-TWO INCHES, $95; TWENTY-FOUR INCHES, $97.50; TWENTY-SIX INCHES, $103.50; TWENTY-EIGHT INCHES, $104; THIRTY INCHES, $105; THIRTY-TWO INCHES, $107.50.

IN A LETTER DATED MARCH 13, 1925, ADDRESSED TO THE GENERAL SUPPLY COMMITTEE, THE REMINGTON TYPEWRITER CO. STATED:

THIS NEW MACHINE IS NOT STANDARD IN ANY SENSE, AS THIS TERM IS UNIVERSALLY UNDERSTOOD AND APPLIED IN THE TYPEWRITER TRADE AND BY TYPEWRITER USERS. IT IS NONSTANDARD IN THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF ITS CONSTRUCTION, AND IT ALSO DIFFERS RADICALLY FROM ALL SO-CALLED STANDARD TYPEWRITERS IN THE KIND AND CHARACTER OF THE SERVICE THAT IT RENDERS.

FROM THE PRACTICAL STANDPOINT THE OUTSTANDING FEATURE WHICH DISTINGUISHES THIS MACHINE FROM ALL OTHER TYPEWRITERS IS DESCRIBED IN ITS NAME. IT IS NOISELESS. FROM THE MECHANICAL STANDPOINT THE ATTAINMENT OF THIS RESULT IN COMBINATION WITH THE FAMILIAR AND USUAL KEYBOARD HAS INVOLVED A METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION OF THE ENTIRE KEY LEVER, TYPE-BAR, AND PRINTING MECHANISM WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY AND ENTIRELY NEW AND REVOLUTIONARY (IN RESPECT TO WHICH OUR OWN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS CONCEDED US BASIC PATENTS). THIS CONSTRUCTION NOT ONLY BEARS NO RESEMBLANCE WHATEVER TO THE OPERATING PRINCIPLE USED ON ALL STANDARD TYPEWRITERS BUT IT IS AN EQUALLY RADICAL DEPARTURE FROM THE OPERATING PRINCIPLE HITHERTO EMPLOYED ON THE REMINGTON NOISELESS MACHINE. THE MANUFACTURE OF THE FORMER MODEL OF THIS MACHINE, THE NO. 5, HAS NOW BEEN DISCONTINUED, AND THE NEW MODEL NO. 6 REMINGTON NOISELESS REMAINS TO-DAY THE ONLY WRITING MACHINE OF CURRENT MANUFACTURE WHICH SUPPLIES THE MUCH DESIRED NOISELESS FEATURE.

THE TERM "STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINES" AS UNIVERSALLY UNDERSTOOD APPLIES TO MACHINES DESIGNED TO PRINT AGAINST CYLINDERS OF A YIELDING CONSISTENCY BY MEANS OF FREE SWINGING TYPE BARS, WHICH CAUSE IMPRESSIONS BY PERCUSSION BLOWS, EACH OF THESE TYPE BARS BEING ACTUATED BY A SINGLE KEY. EVER SINCE THE INVENTION OF THE WRITING MACHINE, STANDARD TYPEWRITERS HAVE USED ONLY THIS GENERAL SCHEME OR MECHANISM TO ACCOMPLISH THE ESSENTIAL RESULTS REQUIRED.

WE WOULD EMPHASIZE THE FACT THAT THROUGHOUT ALL TYPEWRITER HISTORY THESE HAVE BEEN THE DECISIVE TESTS OF A STANDARD TYPEWRITER. THERE ARE NO STANDARDS FOR DIAMETERS OF PRINTING CYLINDERS, LENGTH OF PRINTED LINE, EXACT ARRANGEMENT OF KEYBOARDS, METHOD OF RETURNING THE CARRIAGE AND LINE SPACING, RIBBON-FEEDING MECHANISM, LINE-INDICATING, CARRIAGE CONTROL MECHANISM, SCALES, OR EVEN FORMS OF TYPE. STANDARDIZATION OF TYPEWRITERS CONSISTS EXCLUSIVELY OF THE FEATURE OF FREE SWINGING TYPE BARS EACH ACTUATED BY A SINGLE KEY AND RESILIENT PRINTING CYLINDER.

THE NO. 6 REMINGTON NOISELESS TYPEWRITER IS ENTIRELY NONSTANDARD IN THESE OUTSTANDING FEATURES. THE PLATEN IS PURPOSELY NONYIELDING, BEING OF METAL, AND THE TYPE BARS DO NOT CAUSE THE TYPE TO PERCUSS AGAINST THE CYLINDER. THE PRINCIPLE USED IS THAT OF PRESSURE PRINTING, WHICH IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE STANDARD PERCUSSION BLOW.

THE ABOVE QUOTATION POINTS OUT SEVERAL FEATURES OF THE NEW NOISELESS REMINGTON TYPEWRITER, LAYING PARTICULAR STRESS ON THE FACT THAT IT IS NOISELESS AND THEREFORE NOT A STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 22, 1925, SUPRA. THE GENERAL SCHEDULE OF SUPPLIES FOR 1925 LISTS A NOISELESS TYPEWRITER ANSWERING SUBSTANTIALLY THE DESCRIPTION GIVEN IN THE ABOVE QUOTATION RELATIVE TO THE REMINGTON NOISELESS NO. 6, AND THE PRICE ON THE SCHEDULE IS $70 FOR A NOISELESS MACHINE, CORRESPONDENCE SIZE CARRIAGE.

THE USUAL CONCEPTION OF "STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINES," WHETHER THEY BE NOISY OR NOISELESS, OR WHETHER THE PRINTING IS PRODUCED BY PERCUSSION BLOWS OR BY PRESSURE, UPON A YIELDING OR NONYIELDING METAL PLATED OR HARD RUBBER CYLINDER BY FREE-SWINGING TYPE BARS, OR A SINGLE TYPE BAR SYSTEM, IS GENERALLY CONSIDERED UNDER TWO BROAD PHASES; THE MODE OF OPERATION AND THE QUALITY AND CHARACTER OF THE WORK PRODUCED, TOGETHER WITH USES FOR NEEDS COMMONLY MET BY THE TYPEWRITER. UNDER THE MODE OF OPERATION THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE SPEED WITH WHICH THE MACHINE CAN BE OPERATED, THE FACILITY OF OPERATION AS COMPARED WITH THE USUAL UNIVERSAL FOUR-BANK KEYBOARD WITH WHICH MODERN TYPEWRITERS ARE EQUIPPED. WITH REGARD TO THE FINISHED WORK THERE IS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION THE TYPE WITH WHICH THE MACHINE IS EQUIPPED, THE NUMBER OF CHARACTERS OBTAINABLE FROM THE VARIOUS SHIFTS, AND THE QUALITY OF THE RESULTS ACCOMPLISHED. IN ITS USES, IT IS IMMATERIAL SO FAR AS STANDARD IS CONCERNED, WHETHER THE OPERATION IS NOISY OR NOISELESS--- THE NEED SUPPLIED IS THE SAME; THE DOING OF WORK FOR WHICH THE TYPEWRITER IS BASICALLY MADE.

IN ALL OF THESE THE REMINGTON NOISELESS TYPEWRITER NO. 6 APPEARS TO BE SUBSTANTIALLY THAT OF A STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINE AND THERE IS, THEREFORE, NO REASON WHY IT SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THIS TERM UNLESS IT IS SO EXCLUDED IN SPECIFIC LANGUAGE BY LAW.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE REMINGTON NOISELESS TYPEWRITER NO. 6 MUST BE CONSIDERED A STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 22, 1925, AND MAY ONLY BE PURCHASED AT PRICES PRESCRIBED IN SAID ACT.