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Manufacturers Index - Enos G. Allen
Last Modified: Jan 19 2017 10:56AM by Jeff_Joslin
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In 1849, Enos G. Allen patented a planer that used a graduated series of fixed knives; the innovation was in the feeding system. A short article in a 1849 issue of Scientific American expresses astonishment at the quality of a sample supplied to them by Mr. Allen. A correction in a subsequent issue says that the sample was actually planed on one of Joseph P. Woodbury's machines, which had been patented just a month before Allen's. An 1850 Scientific American article gives an illustration of the machine, along with a letter attesting to its performance. In 1851, Allen was one of four defendants in a lawsuit brought by the holders of the Woodworth patents (the other defendants were Hervey Law, George W. Beardslee, and Nelson Barlow). It appears that Allen settled out of court, although this is uncertain.

Years later, in 1873, Mr. Allen became involved on the shady side of the Woodbury Patent Planing Machine scandal, where a patent of dubious merit—granted to the same Joseph P. Woodbury mentioned above—was used to extort money from planing mill operators. Allen was arrested but we have not been able to find out what ensued. In any event the Woodbury Patent Planing Machine Company was soundly defeated in its extortion attempts.

Information Sources

  • December 1873 Manufacturer & Builder.

    Latest News About The Planing-mill Patent Law Suit.—It appears that in Athol, Mass., a victory has been obtained by the parties opposing the Woodbury patent on wood-planing machines. The operations of Mr. E. G. Allen received a sudden check when he was arrested by Deputy Sheriff Lord, for collecting royalties by false pretences under the Woodbury patent law. It is asserted by some of the opponents of the Woodbury Company that Allen has not only attempted to raise money on Woodbury machines and others not liable to royalty under the patent, but has also issued injunctions of doubtful authority in pursuance of his ends. To one of these curious documents the name of Mr. H. M. Burleigh, who has been missing from Athol for some time, appears to be affixed as a witness, and of course there is much speculation in regard to the possible connection between Burleigh and Allen in the recent attempts to obtain royalties. Mr. Allen's statement is yet to be made public.

    The opposition to the Woodbury Patent Planing Machine Company and its claims is spreading all over the country. A large meeting of manufacturers in Chicago was recently held, and decisive action taken. The friends of the Woodbury patent however maintain their ground, and express themselves to the effect that their case is good, and will be so adjudged in a court of law. The contest has certainly fairly begun. The arrest of Allen is an earnest of the intentions of the opposition to the Woodbury Company's "pressure bar" claims, and there is every indication of a sharp fight, in the issue of which all wood-workers and lumbermen are deeply interested.

  • The 2011 book, American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume III, by George D. Moller, notes that "A partnership of Enos G. Allen and Andrew J. Morse, of Boston, proposed to alter the rifles to the Lindner breechloading system. Enos Allen was superindent of the National Steam Gauge Company. He also was a colonel in the Massachusetts militia and a gunsmith in Boston. Andrew Morse owned a brass foundry." Later, "In 1862, Enos G. Allen was paid $1,125 for 'Altering 100 W.[indsor] Rifles to Breechloader.'"