This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

SCM Kleinschmidt: The Army's Teletype During The Vietnam War

You will read this out of sequence. WWll and Korea and the teletypes should, and did, come first. 

However, because the old posts get buried, much of the previous  post will be repeated. Just play along like it's new.

Before The Second World War, Teletype Corporation was purchased by  AT and T, which made TTC a subsidiary of Western Electric.

During WWII and the Korean War, the machinery used for teletype communications was supplied by Western Electric's Teletype Corporation.

In 1931, however, E.E. Kleinschmidt established Kleinschmidt Laboratories Inc., which soon began competing with Western Electric for military teletype business.

This is where the Army, during the Vietnam War, was using machines made by Kleinschmidt Labs which looked completely different than those from before.

It's taken 5 years for me to figure out who and what, but this should be pretty accurate.

Photo from  

It didn't take long for KLI to disassociate itself from Teletype Corporation. First came a switch from the rough black exteriors to the smooth gray machines.

Next came a sales pitch in 1944 to the Signal Corps of a new printer. In 1949, a 100 wpm printer was proclaimed the standard printer for the military.

Card from phulamer   

This card says a lot about machines we used.  The Baudot Code was uniform on the teletypes we used at Signal School in Ft. Gordon, GA.  

In 1956, Smith-Corona-Marchant bought out KLI and it became an autonomous subdivision of Smith-Corona.  The SCM badge was affixed to the outside of the Kleinschmidt machines.  

KLI began its civilian business shorty after the Korean War and was also developing a new family of teletype machinery for the Army.  

The Navy was contracting with Teletype Corporation from around 1956 on. The Army and Navy machinery was made by 2 different companies, but these machines could "communicate."  

Photo from    

This page and the following several pages will show KLI's move into the civilian as well as military markets.  You might want to enlarge these.  

Photo from     

Notice how radically the model numbers have changed from the Model 15 and others used in WWII and Korea. 

Photo from    

This reperforator has no cover, but the tape and punched paper printer are all part of the machine. 

 Photo from     

This is a free standing transmitter-distributor which was convenient for civilian use, but became an attachment for the military.  

 Photo from    

Here they present a typing reperforator with an integrated transmitter attached to the left side.  This is getting near what we used except we never saw a typing reperforator.  

Inside the cover is a roll of paper tape which would be punched and printed then torn off and fed into the transmitter (reader).   

Maybe this machine was used somewhere in the Army during the Vietnam War, but the problem I see is errors and how to correct them. 

  Photo from  

A free standing teleprinter is shown in this picture.  KLI was making sure that the machines were lighter yet durable.  

This machine would be attached to a reperforator, transmitter, and printer (read only).

Photo from    

On one page are the machines shown above and their prices. 

  Photo from     

Check the prices (retail) in 1953.  KLI was not too successful in selling its civilian line, but the machines you have seen above were fortified and toughened to serve the Army during Vietnam. 

Photo from  

After Korea, and before Vietnam, KLI was back into military equipment.  

Appearing in military magazines, KLI showed it could furnish portable machinery to the Army for land and air.

Photo from  

This, obviously, is a reassurance that KLI had its own tape relay system.

Photo from  

KLI mostly said it was a division of Smith Corona Marchant. 

However, on one of these, it claims it is KLI, practically unaffiliated with any other company.

Photo from  

Here, in the very small print is S-C-M mentioned. KLI, .......oh yes......incidentally...

Photo from  

Airborne teletype!

Photo from  

All of these ads appeared in 1958 and 1959. In case of need, KLI was there to help.

Photo from  

This picture has been around the block a few times.  

Because it not only shows the teletypes we used during the Vietnam War, but also indicates the military I.D. numbers. 

So, KLI Model 155 is now TT-119/FG.

Photo courtesy of Steve and Sherry Guttery   

There isn't any other picture of the teletypewriters we used better than this one. This one shows the SCM badge, although the machinery was build by KLI.

The torn tape printing reporforator-transmitter (TT-179/FG) is shown on the left, and the teletypewriter (TT-119/FG) is on the left.

These machines were lighter and more portable than the Model 15.  They were also smooth gray in finish and cleaned up easily.

Pictures from several sources including

These four pictures show multiple teletypes that we used during the Vietnam War.  

At the Taipei Terminal (RUAGST) we had one teletypewriter (KSR-keyboard-send-receive), two reperforators, and two printers with no keys (RO-receive-only).

One of the printers was connected to a reperforator and the other had a transmitter for use with mimeograph rolls.

Photo from  

This picture has been around for five years and it is plainly shown as a Smith-Corona on the reperforator which has the transmitter-distributor attached to it. It was somewhere in Alaska.

The teletypewriter has toggle keys which allowed the machine to compose messages and receive them, depending on which switch was flipped.  Easier done than explained.

Photos from   

During the Vietnam War, thousands of soldiers were stationed in Germany and Korea.  

These pictures show the versatility and compatibility of the Kleinschmidt and Teletype Corporation teletype machinery.

Picture from eBay  

For the TTY repairmen, this is one of the many manuals for parts and repair.

Photo from 

From Teletype Corporation, this is a photo of the next generation of teletype machinery.  The Navy may have been using the ASR-28 during the Vietnam  War. 

Regardless, KLI stopped making teletype equipment by 1979. It is still in business.  Teletype Corporation continued in the field of teletypes. 

Then, it became part of the AT and T breakup beginning in 1984. Western Electric became Lucent Technologies, Inc., and Teletype Corporation and teletype manufacturing ceased to exist.

 Photo from   

This is the basic KSR Model 28 from Teletype Corporation.It may look more familiar to the Navy men than Army. As for the Air Force, I don't know.

Photo from  

Since the teletypewriters have been obsolete for so many decades, seeing them requires visiting a museum in person or online.

No comments:

Post a Comment