Keep TOTUS in your prayers.

(WaPo) — Hubert J. “Hub” Schlafly Jr., a television engineer who aided countless politicians and performers when he helped invent the scrolling public-speaking crutch known as a teleprompter, died April 20 of undisclosed causes at a hospital in Stamford, Conn. He was 91.

Inspiration for the teleprompter came in the late 1940s from a Broadway actor, Fred Barton, who dreamed up a device that would help him remember his lines. He pitched his idea to Irving Kahn, then vice president for radio and television at 20th Century Fox.

Kahn turned to Mr. Schlafly, director of television research at Fox.

“I said it was a piece of cake,” Mr. Schlafly told the Stamford Advocate newspaper in 2008.

He installed a motorized scroll of paper inside half a suitcase. Actors’ lines were printed on the paper in half-inch letters, and the suitcase was set up next to studio cameras. The scrolling speed was controlled by a stagehand.

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