Yesterday, Judge Lake gave the Enron jurors are brief description of "Bates numbers" after lawyers in the case referred to various documents. According to Enron: TrialWatch, Judge Lake explained:
"Years ago they gave you a stamp, like a checker uses to stamp a can of peas with. I guess the original stamp was named for a Mr. Bates.... Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about this.
Actually, I was curious to know more. I found this nifty image of Bates automatic numbering machine:
The Bates Manufacturing Company was located in Orange, New Jersey, and here is a very brief history:
This company was incorporated in New York on September 13, 1890, to manufacture and sell automatic hand-held numbering machines. During the period 1892-1897 the Edison Phonograph Works absorbed its manufacturing operations and acquired nearly all of the company's stock. The Bates Manufacturing Company continued as the sales agent for numbering machines, line-dating machines, and other office products. The corporation was dissolved in January 1922.
Finally, here is a photo of the manufacturing facility:
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