NEW PRODUCTS: Mechanical Office

The drafty halls of Manhattan's Grand Central Palace echoed last week with the whir of a thousand mechanical monsters, infernally clever and incredibly dexterous. It was the 40th National Business Show, where the booming U.S. business-machine industry proudly exhibited its newest laborsaving, cost-cutting gizmos.

The industry had reason to be proud. It had boosted its prewar sales rate of $270 million to $900 million last year, in 1948 expects to gross $1 billion for the first time in its history. The soaring wages of office help, plus the growing complexity of keeping...

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