I truly appreciate James Dray's mini-biographies of famous people (or at least their famous inventions and/or exploits).
While nowadays kids only learn about keyboarding, in my day it was called typewriting.
Without this gentleman and his important changes, many years of my regular daily typewriting-and later keyboarding-tasks would have been much more onerous.
Lucien Stephen Crandall was born in Broome County, New York back in 1844. He enlisted in the American Civil War where he served as a private for three years. He survived twelve major battles without injury. After the war, he was a salesman for James Densmore and George W. Yost.
Soon after going to work for them he received a patent (more on that in a moment), he assigned half of his patent to Densmore and Yost. He was granted another patent in 1879 and another one in 1881. Of course, those are still utilized today, except they are on computers. He died in 1889, he was 44-45, just imagine what he could have done had he lived longer.
What you may not know about Lucien is that he invented the first practical typewriter. He also invented the first typist shifted use of the “CAPS” key. He added the feature of the period and the comma key. In 1893, he introduced the two-color ribbon, one color was black the other one was red.
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