Robertson v. Gerdan, 132 U.S. 454 (1889)
U.S. Supreme CourtRobertson v. Gerdan, 132 U.S. 454 (1889)
Robertson v. Gerdan
Argued December 4, 1889
Decided December 16, 1889
132 U.S. 454
Pieces of ivory for the keys of pianos and organs, matched to certain octaves, sold to manufacturers, who scrape them to make them adhere to wood, and then glue them to wood, were charged with duty as manufactures of ivory, under Schedule M of section 2504 of the Revised Statutes of 1874, 2d ed. p. 474, and under Schedule N of section 2502 of the Revised Statutes, as enacted by the Act of March 3, 1883, 22 Stat. 511. The importer claimed that they were liable to a less duty as musical instruments under Schedule M of section 2004 of the Revised Statutes of 1874,2d ed. p. 478, and under Schedule N of section 2502 of the Revised Statutes as enacted by said Act of March 3, 1883, 22 Stat. 513. In a suit by him against the collector to recover the alleged excess of duty paid, the court charged the jury that if the articles were made on purpose to be used in pianos and organs and were used exclusively in them, they were dutiable as musical instruments and not as manufactures of ivory. Held that this was error, and that the articles, as imported, were manufactures of ivory.
The case is stated in the opinion.