National Hat Pouncing Machine Co. v. Hedden
Annotate this Case
148 U.S. 482 (1893)
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U.S. Supreme Court
National Hat Pouncing Machine Co. v. Hedden, 148 U.S. 482 (1893)
National Hat Pouncing Machine Co. v. Hedden
Argued March 13-14, 1893
Decided April 3, 1893
148 U.S. 482
The fifth claim in letters patent No. 220,889, issued to Edmund B. Taylor, October 21, 1879, for improvements in machines for pouncing hats, viz.:
"5. The combination of the support for the hat and the self-feeding pouncing cylinder, whereby the hat is drawn over the support B in the direction of the motion of the pouncing cylinder,"
was anticipated by the second claim in letters patent No. 97,178, issued November 23, 1869, to Rudolph Eickemeyer.
This was a bill in equity to recover damages for the infringement of two letters patent for improvements in machines for pouncing hats, viz.: patent No. 97, 178, issued November 23, 1869, to Rudolph Eickemeyer, and patent No. 220,889, issued October 21, 1879, to Edmund B. Taylor.
In his specification Taylor states:
"The object of my invention is to dispense with feed rolls and hat blocks in machines for pouncing hats, to make the cutting or pouncing cylinder self-feeding, to enable the operator to control the speed and direction in which the hats to be pounced pass over the cutting or pouncing surface by the hand with the assistance of a guard and presser pin, and to cause the material to be pounced to move in the same direction as the surface of the self-feeding cutter in contact with it, thereby avoiding the injurious strain to which it is subjected in ordinary hatpouncing machines with feed rolls or their equivalents."
"With my machine, not only can hats be pounced without any stretching or straining of the material to be pounced, but hats of different styles can be pounced, or different parts of the same hats can be pounced more or less, as may be desired, without any change in the adjustment of the machine. . . . "
"My machine consists of a table or supporting frame, X, which carries the bearings, F, for the shaft, upon which is fixed the driving pulley, E, and the self-feeding pouncing cylinder, A, which can be revolved at any desirable speed. This self-feeding cylinder is covered with the pouncing or cutting material."
"A block, B, supports the hat or material to be pounced, and presses it against the self-feeding pouncing cylinder, A. This block is adjustable upon its middle point by means of a bolt tapped into it, which passes through the bracket, D, and is fastened by a nut, M. It is supported by the bracket, D, which turns on a pivot, and is operated by a treadle and lever, P, and connecting rod, O. . . ."
"A guard, C, is placed directly over the supporting block to protect the hands of the operator from contact with the self-feeding pouncing cylinder, and is adjustable upon the bracket, D, by the means of the nut, R, which works in a stirrup in the guard. . . ."
"The mode of operating my machine is as follows: the hat to be pounced is placed over the supporting block and pressed against the self-feeding pouncing cylinder by means of the treadle operating the swinging bracket. The self-feeding pouncing cylinder, revolving at great speed, draws the hat through the space between the supporting block and the self-feeding pouncing cylinder. The hand of the operator, assisted when necessary by the presser pin, L, retards the hat in its passage, and controls its direction, by which means the pouncing surface can be caused to move over the material to be pounced at any rate of speed or in any direction that may be desired."
The only claim alleged to be infringed was the fifth, which reads as follows:
"5 The combination of the support for the hat and the self-feeding pouncing cylinder, whereby the hat is drawn over the support, B, in the direction of the motion of the pouncing cylinder."
The following represent Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings:
Upon a hearing upon pleadings and proofs in the circuit court, the court found in favor of the plaintiff upon the second claim of the Eickemeyer patent, but also found the fifth claim of the Taylor patent to be invalid for want of novelty, and dismissed the bill as to this patent. 36 F. 317. Defendants did not appeal from the decree against them as to the Eickemeyer patent, but plaintiff appealed from so much of the decree as related to the patent to Taylor.