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SARGENT v. BURGESS.

decided: January 7, 1889.

SARGENT
v.
BURGESS.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA.

Author: Blatchford

[ 129 U.S. Page 20]

 MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the court.

This is a suit in equity, brought by the administrators of John H. Gorham, deceased, against Edwin K. Burgess, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to recover for the alleged infringement of letters patent No. 223,338, granted to John M. Gorham, January 6, 1880, for an improvement in wash-board frames.

The following is a copy of the specification and drawings of the patent: "To all whom it may concern: Be it known that, I, John M. Gorham, of Cleveland, in the county of Cuyahoga and State of Ohio, have invented certain new and useful improvements in wash-board frames; and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it pertains to make and use it, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, which form part of this specification.

"My invention relates to wash-boards, particularly to the combination, with a wash-board, of a protector constructed to bend or yield to pressure and to return to position when said pressure is removed. This protector is to shield the person of the washer from splashing water or suds.

"Protectors have been heretofore employed in connection with wash-boards, and they have been of but two general types -- one wherein the protector is rigid and rigidly attached to the wash-board frame. A protector thus constructed and attached is not capable of yielding or moving from its position, when the body of the operator presses against it; and it is on this account frequently objected to. The second type is when the protector is attached to the wash-board frame by a joint or pivot, and is allowed a swinging movement; but it

[ 129 U.S. Page 21]

     possesses no elastic or resilient quality or function, and, when moved by pressure, has no power to return again to normal position when said pressure is removed. My invention is designed to overcome the objections and defects presented in these two old types of protectors; and, as said invention broadly comprehends any wash-board protector constructed to bend or yield to pressure and to return to position when said pressure is removed, it is apparent that I am not to be confined to any specific form or mere construction of device, inasmuch as a variety of modified mechanical structures may be adopted in embodying my said invention. I will, however, illustrate and describe one or two effective forms of device according to this invention.

"In the drawings, Fig. 1 illustrates a wash-board and its protector made according to my invention. This figure is in longitudinal vertical section, and it represents the protector as laid down upon the face of the board, as packed for shipment. Fig. 2 is a similar view of the same device, only the protector is shown as freed and sprung out into operative position. Fig. 3 is a front view of the device as shown in Fig. 2. Fig. 4 represents a modified form of my device, wherein the protector, instead of being formed from a rigid piece and elastically pivoted to the frame, as shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3, is made from a piece of rubber, spring metal, or equivalent material susceptible of itself yielding and returning to position, and this is rigidly fixed to the wash-board frame, as shown. Fig. 5 shows another modified embodiment of my invention, merely illustrating a different spring-coupler, C', from that shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3.

"A is the wash-board frame, which may be of any size, description, or material. B is the rubbing-surface, which may also be of any character.

"C is the protector, and C' a spring, which may be either a coupler between the protector and wash-board frame, as shown in Fig. 5 of the drawings, or the protector may be pivoted to the frame and the spring C' act to push or pull the protector into the position illustrated in Figs. 2 and 3.

"The construction of the device shown in ...


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