II'N18R V. EVERSON.
But it seems very clear to me that the defendant cannot be held to have taken any step to secure his discharge from this liability. He did not include it in his statement of debt.s, and therefore the resolution of the creditors and action of the court did not prejudice the rights of the creditors of the bank to have this assessment made and collected. Issue for plaintiff.
McNIsR, Administratrix, v.
PATENT-PmOR USE OF INVENTION.
w: D. Pennsylvania.
June ti, 1880.,
Wm. A. Stone and D. F. Pa-turBon, for complainant. Bakewell et Kerr, for defendants. McKENNAN, C. J. The defendants do not deny infringement of the patent on which this suit is founded, but they allege prior use by others of the invention claimed, and that, therefore, the plaintiff's intestate is not the :first inventor thereof. The invention is a very simple one, and its nature and scope are very clearly defined in the claim. It is there stated to be "a bottom for annealing boxes having ribs or bars of wrought iron, or other metal of a similar fibrous elastic nature, extending through it, substantially as described." The method of forming these ribs is by placing wrought-iron rods in the moulds for casting the annealing boxes, and extending throughout their whole length, so that the molten metal, when poured into the moulds, will completely surround the rods, and thus they will be incorporated with it. The object of the invention is to give these boxes additional strength in the line of the 'strain upon them, and so prevent their transverse fracture. The patent is dated April 21, 1874, upon an application filed March 17, 1874, and the question is, was the invention described and claimed practiced by others than the patentee before the date of the application? The answer to this quee-
tion is decisively furnished by the testimony of Robert C. Totten. He was a machinist and founder, and testifies that he made annealing carriages for the defendants or their predecessors early as July 13, 1866, which had iron rods em· bedded in them, and that he subsequently made several others of the same kind for the same persons. To use his own words: "The general shape of the boxes was like the drawing in exhibit' McNish's Patent,' and the bars of iron were cast in the sides of the box, as shown in this drawing. The bars were placed in the space in the moulds before cast. ing, and then the iron was cast on them." The object of the introduction of the bars was stated to him by Mr. Everson, and is thus explained by him: "The ordinary boxes were found to break crosswise, and it was proposed to obviate this by the use of these wrought-iron bars." This is an exact statement of the nature, object and mode of construction of the invention described and claimed in the patent, and leaves no room for doubt that the device made by Mr. Totten and that covered by the patent are the same. And there is just as little room for doubt that the boxes made by Mr. Totten were used by the firm of Everson, Preston & Co., and that the advantage expected from their peculiar construction was realized in their use. After some time Everson, & Co. ceased to use annealing boxes, as· described by Mr. Totten, and it is argued that such use is to be regarded as an unsuccessful experiment. We cannot concede this. The device used was complete in its constrnction, and it was used sufficiently to demonstrate its practicability. Indeed, in view of the proofs of the completeness and utility of the device described in the patent, the conclusion is irrresistible that a prior device, exactly similar to it and used in the same way, must have been alike successful in practice. It was clearly a complete and useful invention, and the abandonment of its use by Everson, Preston & Co. furnishes no warrant to the pa.tentee to claim it as the first invenior. The bill is dismissed, with costs.
KNEELAND and others
(Oircuit Oourt, W. D. Pennsylvania.
PATENT-INCEPTIO!i 0'" INVElil'I'ION.-"
Geo. H. Ch1'isty, for complainanb. Bakewell cf: Kerr, for defendants. McKENNAN, C. J. The only defence set up and relied upon in this case is that the complainant E. G. Kneeland is not the nrst and original inventor of the device described and elaimed .in his patent. This defence rests entirely upon alleged prior invention by one Robert M. Davis. The decisive question, then, in the ease is one of dates. It would not be profitable to collate the proofs on this point. That Kneeland conceived the idea of his invention in 1863 ; that he described it partially to different persons afterwards; that he made sketches, and had a drawing of it made in the summer of 1864; and that he was diligent in reducing it to a practical form, and in obtaining a patent for it, is all satisfactorily shown. The precise date of the occurrence of these facts does not appear, but it is evident that the statements of the witnesses on this point are approximately correct, because, from the nature of the transactions stated, they must have occurred, if the witnesses are to be believed at all, sometime anteri?f to the date of the application for the patent, which wa.s February 27, 1865. It is not satisfactorily proved that before the date of Kneeland's invention, thus established, the device or Davis was made and used. There is at least plausible reason for the inference that the conception of Davis' valve was not matured in his own mind earlier than the latter part of 1864, and was not constructed and used until sometime during the