Chad (paper chip[s]) 1930-1932, 1938-1940

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Dec 29 06:35:38 UTC 2006

Now that Google Patents is available, I can find earlier instances of
"chad", a word which was of ephemeral popular interest a few years back. My
previous earliest was 1939-1942.

These both deal with telegraphy tape.

This is the earliest.


US Pat. #1,884,755: "Coupon Printer", filed 16 Oct. 1930, patented 25 Oct.
1932: p. 7:

<<There is also provided a receptacle or chad box 175 (Fig. 1) adapted to
be removably inserted between the vertical arms of bracket 68 (Fig. 6) and
disposed below die 72 to receive the chips cut from the edge of the tape.>>


This one is one of three filed at about the same time which contain nearly
identical text in this section:


US Pat. #2,213,475: "Telegraph Transmitter", filed 18 July 1938, patented 3
Sep. 1940: p. 3:

<<Positioned above the code punches 13 is a chaff or chad chute 101.>>


IMHO, one cannot determine with certainty whether "chad" was considered
countable or not in these items. In the second instance, "chaff chute" is
apparently equated to "chad chute", implying that "chad[s]" was considered
interchangeable or synonymous with "chaff", I think, FWIW.

Etymology still uncertain, IMHO.

-- Doug Wilson

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