Remington Rand was an early American business machine manufacturer, originally a typewriter manufacturer and in a later incarnation the manufacturer of the UNIVAC line of mainframe computers. Formed in 1927 following a merger, Remington Rand was a diversified conglomerate making other office equipment, electric shavers, etc. The Remington Rand Building at 315 Park Avenue South in New York City is a 20-floor skyscraper completed in 1911. After 1955, Remington Rand had a long series of mergers and acquisitions that eventually resulted in the formation of Unisys.
Remington Rand was formed in 1927 by the merger of the Remington Typewriter Company and Rand Kardex Corporation. One of its earliest factories, the former Herschell–Spillman Motor Company Complex, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. Within the first year, Remington Rand acquired the Dalton Adding Machine Company, the Powers Accounting Machine Company, the Baker-Vawter Company, and the Kalamazoo Loose Leaf Binder Company. From 1936 to 1937 Remington Rand went on strike, which resulted in violence and the loss of jobs.
From 1942 to 1945, Remington Rand was a contract manufacturer of the M1911A1 .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol used by the United States Armed Forces during World War II. Remington Rand produced more M1911A1 pistols than any other wartime manufacturer. Remington Rand ranked 66th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts.
In 1950, Remington Rand acquired the Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation, founded by the makers of the ENIAC, and in 1952, they acquired Engineering Research Associates (ERA), both of which were pioneers in electronic computing. At that time, Remington Rand was one of the biggest computer companies in the United States.
On June 14, 1951, the company's first computer was introduced, the Univac I (Universal Automatic Computer). Many branches of the U.S. military, including the Air Force and the Army, were among the first to use the computers. When companies started to buy the computers, they would leave the computers at the Remington Rand facility since they were so big and bulky. The Univac I was about the size of a one-car garage, and 46 of them were built and sold for $1 million each.
Remington Rand was acquired by Sperry Corporation in 1955 to form Sperry Rand (later shortened to Sperry). However, the brand "Remington Rand" continued as a subdivision for many years. Sperry merged in 1986 with Burroughs to form Unisys.
Strike of 1936–37
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Remington Rand had a strike from 1936 to 1937. Remington Rand bought the Noiseless Typewriter Company in 1924, and the Noiseless Typewriter Company kept their company name and their workers were getting paid by Remington Rand. Also in summer 1936, James Rand Jr. tried to break up the strike by firing union workers and hiring new workers to take their places. Rand Jr. also threatened to close the plant. The strike got so out of hand that the state and local police had to help keep the strikers from throwing stones at workers and vehicles.
The strike started out by the Federal Union, which was affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (AFL). James Rand Jr. used the idea of the Mohawk Valley Formula to try to break up the strike. The Mohawk Valley Formula was used to spread propaganda about the union strikes. The propaganda was done by spreading out rumors and bashing the union strikers for hurting their families, by having no income coming to their households since they are out of work. The propaganda was also often used to call the union strikers communist or anarchist, to make the public hate the union strikers.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which has a professional strikebreaker system, came in and tried to help the strikers and Remington Rand to reach a deal. The NLRB had strikebreakers come in and the strikebreakers had many different tactics to help the strikers return to work and work out a deal. The strikebreakers brought techniques that involved propaganda, which would spread demoralizing rumors among striking employees. The strikebreakers would also use missionaries to go to the employees' homes and would persuade them to go back to work. The missionaries would dress up as Remington Rand's personnel department in order to help persuade the employees.
In 1937, the NLRB decided in favor of the workers, and the board ordered Rand to stop interfering with employees' unions and the right to organize. After the strike was broken in summer 1940, the Middletown plant had closed permanently, leaving 1,200 employees without jobs. There were still legal battles being fought for the employees that were in the strike while the plant was closing. The Middletown plant was run by strikebreakers until the closing of the plant in 1940. Today the building is the home of Stubborn Beauty Brewery.
Initially produced by E. Remington and Sons, Remington typewriters were the first to use the QWERTY keyboard layout. Remington had bought the design from its inventor, Christopher Sholes. The Remington No.1 was the first model released. All keys were uppercase. Remington spun off Remington Typewriter Company in 1886, and after the 1927 merger, the Remington Rand Corp. continued to manufacture and sell typewriters.
During World War II, Remington Rand produced 958,764 licensed copies of the M1911 for the war effort between 1943–1945. These were shipped to the Springfield Armory as each contract was fulfilled. Colt Manufacturing Company was unable to fulfill the demand and was assisted by Remington Rand, Singer Corporation, Union Switch & Signal, Remington Arms and the Ithaca Gun Company. After the war all contracts for the 1911A1 were cancelled.
The UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer I) was the second commercial computer made in the United States. It was designed principally by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, the inventors of the ENIAC. Design work was begun by their company, Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation, and was completed after the company had been acquired by Remington Rand. (In the years before successor models of the UNIVAC I appeared, the machine was simply known as "the UNIVAC".)
The first UNIVAC was delivered to the United States Census Bureau on March 31, 1951, and was dedicated on June 14 that year. The fifth machine (built for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission) was used by CBS to predict the result of the 1952 U.S. presidential election. With a sample of 1% of the voting population it predicted Eisenhower's win.
In 1949, Remington Rand designed the Remington Rand 409, a control panel programmed punched card calculator (but not introduced as a product until 1952 as the UNIVAC 60 then in 1953 as the UNIVAC 120 with double the memory).
Remington Rand also made electric razors. The Remington brand of razor was originally produced by a division of Remington Rand, starting in 1937. Sperry Corporation sold the division in 1979 to Victor Kiam, who became the company spokesman of the new Remington Products Company. His line, "I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company" became one of the more memorable advertising slogans of the early 1980s.
Remington Products to Rayovac
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