Tony Shaffstall from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, got in touch with Metal Type to give us details of the Shaffstall Transistor Mat Detector that his father (Everett G Shaffstall) invented.
Tony sent in the patent application (10 pages with some nice illustrations) dating from 1960 and a 1965 copy of the Installation Instructions and Trouble Diagnosis (72 pages).
Both these publications are available for download from Metal Type in PDF format.
Patent Application (2.6MB) Click here to download.
Instruction Manual (21.9MB) Click here to download.
Everett G Shaffstall photographed in 1972
Although the Mat Detector was Everett's best-known invention, there were several others:
Electra Spacer (1960's): This machine read unjustified paper tape, re-justified it to a given line length, and output a new "justified" TTS tape. It drove a Telex BRPE punch for output.
Justifier (1960s): This machine read in individual short TTS paper tapes encoded with individuals bank information. It then converted the multiple tapes into a single large multi-customer "batch" tape used to print re-orders of bank cheques. It was sold to the large check printers (Deluxe, Harland, etc).
Tape-EZE (1970s): Power Paper Tape feeder that assisted in feeding large reels of paper tape into tape punches thereby reducing tape tears and feed loads on the punch.
MTI (1970s): This product (Magnetic Tape Interface) used a magnetic tape cartridge drive (similar to VHS). It was used in newspapers to record AP and UPI Wire Service stories onto magnetic tape instead of the usual practice (in small newspapers) of hooking up TTS paper tape punches to the service and then having to store punched to tape. This product later evolved into the MDI (Magnetic Disc Interface) that used 8" floppy disc drives instead of the tape cassette.
Paper Wizard (1976): This was the last of Everett's inventions. This device attached to and automated the feeding of 8 1/2 X 11" paper into IBM Selectric Typewriters being run by cassette tapes for personalized mass-letter writing campaigns. It was later adapted to high-end Word Processors made by Wang and other companies long since put to death by the PC.