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Faces Behind the Façades

Benedict Hall of Languages

Henry Harper Benedict, class of  1869, was once quoted as saying, “The machine is very crude, but there is an idea there that will revolutionize business … We must on no account let it get away.” One of the pioneers in the manufacturing and marketing of the typewriter, Benedict went to work at E. Remington and Sons in nearby Ilion, N.Y., after his Hamilton graduation. This company not only manufactured arms and agricultural implements but also did piece work for inventors who devised new machines. One such invention, in 1873, was for a typewriter designed by Christopher Latham Sholes. Although the Remington company did not make much progress with the manufacture of the new instrument, Benedict realized its potential.

Benedict and two partners bought the rights to the typewriter and organized a firm to sell the “practical writing machine.” The name Remington was retained, and in 1902 the Remington Typewriter Co. was formed with Benedict as president until his retirement in 1913. Benedict, who served as a Hamilton trustee from 1897 until his death in 1935, provided funds for the Hall of Languages, built in 1897, and for the purchase of the Chapel organ.

Benedict Hall of Languages

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