“I replied, ‘That machine is very crude, but there is an idea there that will revolutionize business.’ Mr. Remington asked, 'Do you think we ought to take it up?' I said, ‘We must on no account let it get away. It isn't necessary to tell these people that we are crazy over the invention, but I'm afraid I am pretty nearly so.’”
Before word processing, there was the typewriter. Before Mr. Sholes's invention, handwriting was the only method of transcribing thoughts or activities of individuals. Sure, there was the printing press, but what if you only needed one copy? Millions of typewriters were sold in the ensuing years, until they were displaced by the personal computer. American ingenuity and production capability made it all possible.
While American soldiers were fighting the British at Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, and Monmouth, this brave young Philadelphian was striking hard blows, all alone, at the same powerful enemy off their own coasts. During this period his fame, in the line of his service, was exceeded by that of no one, not even by that of John Paul Jones.
Through one of those unknown processes by which certain men seem to be raised up for certain emergencies, such a man appeared in Gustavus Conyngham. Feared by the British. Adored by the French. Celebrated by the Americans. He soared to the pinnicle of fame during his prime, then, like so many heroes of the Revolution, without whom we would still be subjects, he faded from memory. He deserves our sincere gratitude.