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ter hairs,” are separated from the fur, and close to the skin when the same is drawn clipped or plucked from the pelt. Up to over the stretcher bar. about the year of 1881 the removal of such “My invention is further designed to dishairs was effected by hand, the pelt being pense with a blast fan or other air-forcing stretched over the finger, by blowing down devices, and produce the removing of the waon the fur a part was made, and the hairs ter hairs entirely by mechanical means, were clipped out by means of scissors. This which are operated by power, so that a was necessarily a slow and laborious process. quick and uniform plucking of the skin An improvement was made in this art by takes place. the Cimiottis, predecessors of the petitioner,
“The invention consists of a machine for by the introduction of an air blast for the plucking seal and other skins, which compurpose of separating the fur, which inven- prises a fixed stretcher bar, means for tion was the subject of a patent to them, stretching and intermittently feeding the number 240,007, under date of April 12, skin over said stretcher bar, a fixed card 1881. In 1888 the Sutton patent in suit was above the stretcher bar near the edge of the issued, in which was introduced a rotating same, a rotary separating brush that is brush apparatus for the purpose of separat- intermittently moved up in front of the ing the fur, as will be hereinafter more stretcher bar, an oscillating guard below the particularly shown. Of his invention, Sut- stretcher bar, a rotary cutting knife and a ton said in the specifications;
vertically-reciprocating cutting knife work“This invention relates to an improved ing in conjunction with the rotary knife for
cutting off the stiff projecting hairs, said machine for plucking sealskins and other furs, so as to remove the stiff water hair card supported back of the knife, all of
rotary cutting knife being provided with a therefrom without injuring the soft hair or which parts are operated from a common wool of the same.
driving shaft, so as to produce for each ro“The machine is more especially designed tation of the same the cutting off or pluckwith a view to overcome some of the de-ing of the hairs projecting from that part fects and insufficiencies of the plucking ma- of the skin in front of the stretcher bar." chines heretofore in use, and produce the The invention was illustrated by certain plucking of the skins at the lower parts of drawings, some of which are here given, the neck and shoulders, where the hairs which, together with the description, illuspoint outwardly and backwardly and are trate the operation of the machine, so far as. the most difficult to pluck, as they lie down' necessary for the purposes of this case.
Referring to the drawings, the inventor is arranged a stationary card, E, which is says (in part):
attached to the ends of the stretcher bar B “A represents the supporting frame of by means of thumb screws. (Not shown in my improved machine for plucking seal and drawings.) The points of the teeth of the other skins. On the frame A is supported card E are close to but do not touch the a fixed transverse stretcher bar, B, which is surface of the skin, so that the hair and tapered to a narrow edge, over which the fur are both straightened as the skin is fed skin to be plucked is stretched. The skin forward. The teeth of the card E hold down is applied by tapes to the rollers B' B' | the fine fur, but permit the stiff hairs to which are intermittently actuated by gear stand up between the teeth, owing to the wheels operated by a pawl-and-ratchet-wheel slow forward movement of the skin, which mechanism from the driving shaft S, as cus- gives the hairs sufficient time to adjust tomary in plucking machines of this class. themselves. By the gear wheels and the pawl-and-ratchet “Below the stretcher bar B is arranged a mechanism the skin is fed intermittently for rotary separating brush, F, which is supa small portion of its length over the front ported in oscillating arms F', that edge of the stretcher bar, it being unwound guided by pins f, in arc-shape slots f of from the upper and wound up on the lower fixed guide plates f, as shown clearly in feed roller. Below the edge of the stretcher Figs. 1, 2, and 3, the oscillating arms F bar is arranged a vertically-reciprocating being pivoted to horizontally-reciprocating knife C, which moves in slots or ways of connecting rods F?, which are provided with fixed guide plates C', and which is operated yokes f, having anti-friction rollers at their by fulcrumed levers C?, the rear ends of rear ends, and acted upon by cams F on the which are engaged by cams 0 on a cam cam shaft S', the cams being so shaped and shaft, S', that is supported above the driv- timed that the forward and upward motion ing shaft S in suitable bearings of the frame of the brush F takes place at the proper A.
time. “In front of and at some distance from “The brush F receives rotary motion from the stretcher bar B is supported a shaft, D', two belts, f*, which pass over pulleys fo on in bearings of the frame A, said shaft be the shaft S and the brush shaft, and which ing provided with radial arms d d, to which are kept taut by weighted idlers fø, as shown the rotary knife D is attached, which, in clearly in Fig. 1. conjunction with the vertically-reciprocat- “The brush F is made of soft bristles and ing knife C, serves to cut off the water hairs is rotated at a speed of one hundred and projecting from that part of the skin in fifty revolutions per minute. The soft front of the edge of the stretcher bar B. bristles allow the stiff hairs to stand, while To the arms of the rotary knife D, and at the quick motion of the brush bends the some distance back of the latter, is applied soft hair in downward direction and brushes a carding brush, D’, which acts on that part it below the stretcher bar, so that it can be of the skin that is fed forward over the edge taken up and held in position by the softof the stretcher bar immediately after the rubber wipers g of an oscillating guard bar, hairs of the next preceding section of the G, which moves in arc-shaped slots gof skin have been cut off. The shaft D' of the the guide plates C'.” cutting knife D is rotated from the cam The operation of the machine is thus deshaft S', by means of an intermediate longi- scribed. tudinal shaft, S, and two sets of miter “The skin is placed in the machine by wheels, D', D.
being attached to the feed rollers and drawn "Immediately above the stretcher bar Bl tightly over the edge of the stretcher bar, so as to lie close to the upper and lower carry with it the separated fur, which is surface of the same. The skin is put in in then held in position by the oscillating guard such a manner that the head end is fore- that follows the brush and carries the fur most. The stiff hairs in seal skins point still farther back and holds it in position, toward the tail, except at the lower part while the vertical knife is raised and shears of the neck and shoulders. These parts are off, in conjunction with the rotary knife, the at the sides of the head end of the skin, as forward-projecting hairs, as shown in Fig. the skin is split open at the under side. At 1. The separating brush, after it has acthese parts of the skin the hairs point out complished its work, is lowered sufficiently wardly and backwardly and are the most so as not to touch the skin at all, except troublesome to cut or pluck, as they lie when it is in front of the working-edge of down close to the skin when it is drawn over the stretcher bar. The next section of the the stretcher bar. A sharp and quick rub skin is now moved by the feed rollers over ever these parts of the skin from the edge the edge of the stretcher bar, and the same toward the center of the skin is therefore operation of the parts produced by the next necessary, so as to straighten up the hairs rotation of the driving shaft, and so on unand present them to the action of the cut- til the skin is finished." ting knives. When the skin is in place, the The great merit of this invention is said stationary card E is drawn backward a few to consist in the use of the brush, applied times over that part of the skin that is up- by means of the mechanism shown, so as to on the stretcher bar B, so as to card back brush down the fur, and permit the long the fur and hair and produce thereby a hairs, which should be removed, and which parting of the fur at that part of the skin rise at the edge of the stretcher bar, when then covering the edge of the stretcher bar. the pelt is drawn over it, to be acted upon One half of the fur upon that section of by the knives when the fur is brushed away, skin will, by the parting, be kept above and so as not to be injured. the other half below the edge of the stretcher In determining the construction to be givbar. This permits the hair upon that sec-en to the claim in suit, which is alleged to tion of the skin in front of the edge of the be infringed, it is necessary to have in mind stretcher bar to rise through the fur and the nature of this patent, its character as keep its place with less trouble than when a pioneer invention or otherwise, and the more fur is acted upon. When the fur and state of the art at the time when the inhair have been carded back by the card E, vention was made. It is well settled that the same is fastened to the stretcher bar by a greater degree of liberality and a wider thumb screws.
The card is set back from range of equivalents are permitted where the edge of the stretcher bar to a distance a the patent is of a pioneer character than little more than one half of the length of the when the invention is simply an improvefur for the purpose of holding the fur and ment, may be the last and successful step, preventing it from moving forward until in the art theretofore partially developed by the forward motion of the skin takes place. other inventors in the same field. Upon The card at the back of the rotary knife this subject it was said by this court (Wespasses then over the skin in front of the tinghouse v. Boyden Power Brake Co. 170 edge of the stretcher bar and draws out all U. S. 537, 42 L. ed. 1136, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. the fur and hair on that section, so that the 707, quoted with approval in Singer Mfg. fur and hairs so drawn out assume their Co. v. Cramer, 192 U. S. 265, 48 L. ed. 437, natural positions,—that is, the positions 24 Sup. Ct. Rep. 291): which they would have if the skin were "To what liberality of construction these drawn over the edge of the stretcher bar claims are entitled depends to a certain exwithout anything for holding back the fur tent upon the character of the invention, and hair. As soon as the card at the back and whether it is what is termed in ordiof the rotary knife has passed over the sec- nary parlance a 'pioneer.' This word, altion of the skin in front of the stretcher bar though used somewhat loosely, is commonthe rubbers are quickly moved over the ly understood to denote a patent covering a same toward the center, whereby the hairs function never before performed, a wholly that lie down sidewise are raised and point- novel device, or one of such novelty and imed outwardly, causing them to stand up- portance as to mark a distinct step in the right. The rotary separating brush is then progress of the art, as distinguished from a quickly moved upward and forward and re- mere improvement or perfection of what volved in front of the skin at the edge of had gone before. Most conspicuous examthe stretcher bar, so as to separate the fur ples of such patents are: The one to Howe from the hairs, brushing down the former of the sewing machine; to Morse of the elecand leaving the stiff hair standing out. The tric telegraph; and to Bell of the telephone. rotary. separating brush is then quickly The record in this case would indicate that moved backward and downward, so as to 'the same honorable appellation might safely be bestowed upon the original air-brake ton patent a prodigious advance upon thật of Westinghouse, and perhaps also upon his of the prior Covert patent, and I think a automatic brake. In view of the fact that higher degree of merit has been attributed the invention in this case was never put into to it than it deserves; but it was enough successful operation, and was, to a limited of an advance to be patentable, and to deextent, anticipated by the Boyden patent of serve protection against an infringing ma1883, it is perhaps an unwarrantable exten-chine which appropriates it.” sion of the term to speak of it as a 'pio- Furthermore, it appears that while the neer,' although the principle involved subse-Cimiottis acquired an exclusive license unquently and through improvements upon der the Sutton patent in 1888, the same was this invention became one of great value to not put into commercial use until the inthe public."
troduction of coney skins as a substitute While it may be admitted that the Sut- for sealskins, about the year 1890. During ton patent was a distinct step in the art, this time the Cimiottis were unhairing a and is entitled to protection as a valuable large number of skins, and preferred to coninvention, nevertheless it cannot be said to tinue to use the air-blast machine of their be a pioneer patent in any just sense. In the own invention while paying tribute to SutEnglish Lake patent of 1881, of which more ton. It was the introduction of the coney will be said hereafter, there is doubtless a industry, in 1890, that gave stimulus to suggestion of the use of brushes for the pur- the use of such mechanisms as those used pose of separating the fur from the long by the Cimiottis and the respondent in this hair to be removed. And so in the Covert case. We think it fair to say that this recpatent of 1884, which was the subject of ord discloses an invention of merit, entitled consideration by Judge Wheeler in the case to some range of equivalents in determining of Cimiotti Unhairing Co. v. Mischke, 98 the question of infringement, but it is not Fed. 297. In that case it was said that Co-one of those broad, initiative inventions vert's patent had been mechanically, but where original thought has been embodied not commercially, successful, and that in in a practical mechanism, which the courts lieu of a rotating separating brush, shown have been ever zealous to protect, and to in Sutton's patent, Covert used a revolving which a wide range of equivalents has been cloth-covered cylinder, and it was held that accorded. this was not equivalent to the separating Due weight is given to the Sutton patent brush, and Sutton's invention was an ad- when it is given credit for dispensing with vance upon anything theretofore shown. Of the plate which Covert had in addition to the Covert patent Judge Coxe, in the course the brush, and which he supposed would of an able opinion sustaining the Sutton carry down the fur away from the cutting patent (Cimiotti Unhairing Co. v. American mechanism, but which Sutton has accomUnhairing Mach. Co. 53 C. C. A. 230, 234, plished in giving, in a measure, at least, 115 Fed. 498, 502), said:
this added function to the brush of not only “Covert came nearer than any one else parting the fur, but carrying it down and to a successful machine. He had but one away in preparation for the clipping by the more step to take, and here he became be- knives. Anyone who accomplishes the wildered and went astray. He missed the same purpose by substantially the same apparently simple arrangement of the ro- mechanism, using the elements claimed in tary brush, which alone was necessary. Sutton's patent, may be held to be an inIt will not do to say 'hat the prior art fringer. showed such a brush. Every element of Sutton has taken the step which marks the combination in controversy was unques- the difference between a successfully operattionably old, but there was nothing in the ing machine and one which stops short of prior art to suggest a rotary brush working that point, and that advance entitles him to in the environment shown in the Sutton pat- the protection of a patent. ent. There was nowhere a rotary brush The argument here is confined, as to the making a 'part' on a keen-edged stretcher alleged infringement, to the eighth claim of bar and brushing the fur down and out of the Sutton patent, which is as follows: the reach of the cutting knives during the “8. The combination of a fixed stretcher moment necessary to the removal of the bar, means for intermittingly feeding the stiff hairs. It is the presence of this ele- skin over the same, a stationary card above ment in the combination which produces a the stretcher bar, a rotary separating brush new result and entitles its originator to pro- below the same, and mechanism, substantection."
tially as described, whereby the rotary In the same case, Judge Wallace (p. 237, brush is moved upward and forward into a Fed. p. 508), in his concurring opinion, position in front of the stretcher bar, subsays:
stantially as set forth.” “I do not think the machine of the Sut- The elements of this claim are five in
number: 1, a fixed stretcher bar; 2, means tion here is, Does the machine of the refor intermittently feeding the skin over the spondents infringe the eighth claim of the same; 3, a stationary card above the Sutton patent? One of the respondents' stretcher bar; 4, a rotary separating brush machines is in evidence, and we have carebelow the same; 5, mechanism whereby the fully examined it. Its general outline may rotary brush is moved upward and forward be seen in the annexed copy of the photointo a position in front of the stretcher graph in evidence: (see opposite page.) bar, “substantially as set forth.”
The operation of the alleged infringing In making his claim the inventor is at machine is such that when the power is apliberty to choose his own form of expression, plied for moving the stretcher bar, it is car. and while the courts may construe the same ried forward to the revolving brush, and in view of the specifications and the state after the brush has separated the fur from of the art, they may not add to or detract the hair, carried upwardly, to be acted upfrom the claim. And it is equally true on by the cutting knives. The reciprocating that, as the inventor is required to enume- motion of the stretcher bar from the brush rate the elements of his claim, no one is an to the knives is produced by the action of infringer of a combination claim unless he the crank (operating with the cam) on the uses all the elements thereof. Shepard v. main shaft, as shown in the photograph. Carrigan, 116 U. S. 593–597, 29 L. ed. 723, At the same time the mechanism for feed724, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 493; Sutler v. Robin- ing the machine is in operation, actuated by son, 119 U. S. 530-541, 30 L. ed. 492–495, 7 the same application of power. This mechSup. Ct. Rep. 376; McClain v. Ortmayer, anism (shown in the photograph at the 141 U. S. 419-425, 35 L. ed. 800-802, 12 side of the respondents' machine) consists Sup. Ct. Rep. 76; Wright v. Yuengling, 155 of the pawl (attached to the main frame) U. S. 47, 39 L. ed. 64, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1; and the ratchet wheel (attached to the movBlack Diamond Coal Min. Co. v. Excelsior ing frame), turning when the pawl engages Coal Co. 156 U. S. 611-617, 39 L. ed. 553- | therein, and acting with the worm gearing 555, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 482; Walker, Patents, shown, to turn the roll which is part of the § 349. This principle is particularly im- feeding mechanism. The operation is such portant when we come to consider the "sta- that when the stretcher bar is carried from tionary card above the stretcher bar,”-an the knives to the brush in the return moelement of the eighth claim.
tion, the action of the pawl upon the ratchet The anticipating mechanism set up in this wheel, with the worm gearing, causes the case is the so-called English Lake patent of roll to turn and the pelt to be carried forOctober, 1881. This patent has been the ward, the extent of the feed being regulated subject of much adverse comment in the by the adjustment of the pawl. By this cases involving a consideration of it. And means the necessity of an independently actit appears to have lapsed for nonpayment ing mechanism for the feeding apparatus is of taxes in June, 1885, and not to have been avoided and the operation simplified. a successful machine. It may be the fact The Sutton device, as we have seen, has that the patent is not distinctly worded, a stationary stretcher bar; the respondents' and that the drawing and specifications are mechanism has a movable stretcher bar. somewhat confused. It does appear, how- The fixed stretcher bar, about which the ever, without contradiction in the record, other mechanism acts, is made a distinct that the machine now used by the respond- feature of the eighth claim. It is not presents was made in a large measure from the ent in the respondents' mechanism, unless it drawings of the Lake patent. Mischke, one is true, as argued, that the one is substanof the respondents, was put upon the stand tially the equivalent of the other. It is by the petitioners, and testified that he said to make no difference whether the knife made the changes in a short time from the and brush are carried to the stretcher bar Lake patent, which resulted in the alleged or the stretcher bar is carried to the knife infringing machine. The Lake patent and brush. This might be true if the meshowed two brushes, whereas the respond-chanisms were substantially the same, and ents’ machine has dispensed with one and there was a mere transposition or substituchanged the position of the other. He also tion of parts. Such changes would amount admits to have changed the position of the to an infringement. But in determining incam and shortened the crank arm as shown fringement we are entitled to look at the in the Lake machine. It seems to be the practical operation of the machines. The position of the petitioners' expert that other elements of the eighth claim are to be Mischke made the changes in the Lake pat- used in connection with the apparatus ent cessary to convert it into an operative shown in the Sutton patent, substantially machine by adopting the controlling fea- described. If the device of the respondents tures of the Sutton patent. But whatever shows a substantially different mode of are the defects of the Lake patent, the ques-operation, even though the result of the