Gwatkin, Leland W

     Leland W. Gwatkin, secretary and manager of the White Adding Machine Company of New Haven, was born in Berlin, Connecticut, December 13, 1882, a son of Walter and Jennie (Norton) Gwatkin. The father was born at New Britain, Connecticut, while the mother’s birth occurred in Berlin, this state. The father engaged in the retail business in Berlin for a number of years and was quite successful in that undertaking, gaining thereby a competence that enabled him at length to put aside business cares and live retired, so that he is now enjoying the fruits of his former toil in well earned rest. He has reached the age of sixty years, while his wife is fifty-six years of age.

     Leland W. Gwatkin was an only child. In early life he attended the schools of Berlin and New Britain, pursuing his studies up to the time of entrance to the high school. He then determined to learn the hardware business and entered the employ of the Stanley Hardware Company of New Britain, with which he remained for nine years, working in various capacities. He advanced from one position to another of greater importance, but at the end of the time indicated he decided to make a change and look for something which he thought would give him still broader opportunities. He then came to New Haven and entered the sales department of the White Adding Machine Company in 1915. He was at first assistant to Colonel Jarvis, then vice president and manager of the company, and when the latter resigned he was made purchasing agent by Hon. Rollin S. Woodruff, president. The progress made by the White Adding Machine Company is very substantial. The business was established on a small scale, but as the worth of the manufactured product became recognized the trade has steadily grown until today the company employs sixty high grade workmen in the manufacture of its machines. The plant is thoroughly equipped with modern machinery for the manufacture of the product and Mr. Gwatkin is now acting as manager and has also been elected secretary of the company. The machines are thoroughly accurate, having been put through the most severe tests, which have proven both their accuracy and wearing qualities. In their building every possible care is taken to select the best materials regardless of cost and to fully inspect parts, sections and completed machines. The machine has a Universal key board, which may be made either a lock key board or a flexible key board at the will of the operator. There is also an automatic aligning device and the machine is placed in an indestructible white case with an indestructible aluminum base. There is a self-contained motor, a seal control cylinder, and in operating the machine the total is secured without extra stroke. Another feature is that the total and the sub-totals are printed in red. There is also an interchangeable key board, so that at any time the operator may change from the decimal to the numeral system, or vice versa. There are also interchangeable type bars which are removable at the will of the operator, and an interchangeable carriage for different styles of work. Moreover, the work is visible, the key board, items and totals being always visible. The machine represents the perfection of building in that line and has found ready sale on the market because of its many excellent qualities.

    On the 25th of July, 1906, Mr. Gwatkin was united in marriage to Miss Hettie Webster, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Webster and a representative of one of the oldest New England families. Three children have been born of this marriage: Natalie Webster, born in Connecticut, August 4, 1908, and now attending school; Elliot Noble, born in Berlin, July 31, 1912; and Wesley Irving, born in Berlin, September 22, 1913.

     That Mr. Gwatkin has important interests outside of his business is indicated in the fact that he is now secretary of the Connecticut State Agricultural Society and is interested in all those well defined plans which promise to promote the agricultural development of Connecticut. He studies closely the questions of the day relating to farming and is able to speak with authority upon many subjects relative thereto. His political allegiance is given to the republican party, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Second Congregational church.

Modern History of New Haven
Eastern New Haven County


Volume II

New York – Chicago
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 

pgs 791 - 792

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pages / text are copyrighted by
Elaine Kidd O'Leary &
Anne Taylor-Czaplewski
May 2002