Fond du Lac County v. May
137 U.S. 395 (1890)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Fond du Lac County v. May, 137 U.S. 395 (1890)

Fond du Lac County v. May

No. 61

Argued November 26, 1890

Decided December 15, 1890

137 U.S. 395

ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN

Syllabus

Letters patent No. 25,662, granted to Edwin May, October 4, 1859, for an "improvement in the construction of prisons," are invalid.

The novel idea set forth in the patent was to interpose a grating between

Page 137 U. S. 396

the jailer and the prisoners at every stage of opening and shutting a door. The mechanism of the patent, except the grating, was old.

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