Fort Electronic Products
Fort Electronic Products, Inc. (misspelled as “Port Electronics Products” in Electronics magazine) was a seemingly very short-lived American manufacturer from Beverly, Massachusetts. According to Massachusetts state records, the company was founded on the 26th of November 1969, and on the 31st of August 1970 it was renamed to FEP Associates, Inc. The company was then dissolved on the 11th of August 1971—shortly after the advertisements below were published—at or by the Supreme Judicial Court, Suffolk County, with a note of “#71-I” (albeit unclear). This is the extent of the available records, other than that their address was 13 Wellesley Road, Danvers (Danvers and Beverly are directly adjacent towns). Syner-Data acquired Fort Electronic Products in 1970, and the patent for Fero-Snap keyboards was filed by the new parent company Syner-Data. Syner-Data was said at the time to manufacturer “computer peripheral and terminal equipment” while Fort Electronic manufactured “data entry peripheral equipment”.
At this point, there is no indication of whether any of their keyboards ever sold.
Fero-Snap™ is a type of “ferrite key switch”, with a single moving part that “opens and closes a magnetic path, generating code at the key by transformer action.” It would seem to be some variant of ferrite core switch. Details of these switches can be found in US patent 3765014 “Keyboard”, filed in October 1970. They are coding switches, with separate transformer windings for each output bit, just as with early Licon Series 550 keyboards.
FS-300 is a keyboard model or series, based on Fero-Snap switches. It was advertised as having only 50 milliamps of power consumption at 5 V for an 88-key keyboard. The complete keyboard is shown in the advertisements, but the illustrations are too small to be able to make out any useful details.