UNHERALDED GENIUSES, REALLY SMART THINKERS, MISGUIDED IDEALISTS, CRAZY OPPORTUNISTS, OR JUST PLAIN SILLY PEOPLE WHO WASTED EVERYONE ELSE'S TIME?
This a monthly series devoted to typewriter-related ideas which finished up going absolutely nowhere (or at least they didn't go anywhere to the best of my knowledge. If anyone knows better, please enlighten me.)
No. 2 - THIS MONTH'S PRIZE WINNER IS:
JOHN D. CUCCIO
JOHN D. CUCCIO
TYPEWRITER IN A LUNCH BOXJohn D.Cuccio, of John Cuccio Design Inc, Westport, Connecticut, designed an awful lot of things, including at least 12 bubble-blowing gadgets, from a wand to a toy gun.
He might well have been blowing bubbles himself when, on December 7, 1965, he was issued with a patent for a “portable typewriter”.
It would have been a portable all right. It folded up into something about the size of a lunchbox, or a small toolbox.
It’s uncertain whether he was aware of Frank S.Rose’s 1900 invention of the folding typewriter, but Cuccio cited a number of references, including George I.Mills’ 1947 American variation on the Rooy theme, Wellington Parker Kidder’s 1921 “collapsible typewriter”, one of Laird Fortune Covey’s Royal designs (see yesterday’s post) and Joseph M.Bruening’s 1959 “Combination storage and display container for retaining rings or the like”. Is this image below a Mills prototype, I wonder?
Using a straight upward sweeping style much like Covey’s for the Royal Futura, and more than 20 years ahead of Mario Bellini’s fantastic Olivetti ETP55 (below, perhaps Bellini’s best typewriter design), Cuccio came up with the idea of a machine which folded into itself.
No mere folding carriage for him, Cuccio wanted the whole thing to collapse so it could be tucked away into a rectangular box with a handle.
Now that’s portable! (Buyt what connected the keyps to the typebars, I wonder?)
Cuccio, by the way, had more success in 1970, when he designed for Olivetti the very stylish housing and distinctive case for the Montgomery Ward Escort 55 (mostly bright yellow, sometimes orange).
He also designed the case for the 1963 Olivetti-Underwood 18