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Manufacturers Index - S. W. Hall
Last Modified: Sep 24 2012 8:36AM by Jeff_Joslin
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Stephen W. Hall of Williamsport, PA, received an 1858 patent for a miter chopper. We have seen a couple of examples of this machine bearing S. W. Hall's name. By 1859 Ransom Crosby of Newark, NJ, was making a licensed version of the miter chopper. Crosby died in 1864 and the rights to manufacture the patent went to Hawkins & Dodge of Newark. In 1870 S. W. Hall signed an agreement with Newark makers Seymour & Whitlock, granting them exclusive rights to manufacture the miter chopper. By this time the patent was within two years of expiring, but as allowed by the agreement, Seymour & Whitlock applied for a 7-year extension to the patent, which was granted. At some point H. C. Marsh of Rockford, Illinois began making the Hall chopper, though the patent may have expired by that time. In any event, Marsh—who had an excellent product line of miter frames and clamps—was bought out by Stanley Rule & Level Co., and the Hall chopper became the Stanley No. 210 miter cutter.

In the meantime, by 1876 Stephen W. Hall had moved to Elmira, NY, and was making a tenoning machine.

Information Sources

  • Listed in Plotts' Williamsport City Directory 1870-71, "Hall, Stephen W. Machinist, h. 1 Washington."
  • The 1876 work, Draft-book of Centennial carriages, displayed in Philadelphia, at the International exhibition of 1876, has the following entry: "S. W. Hall, Elmira, N. Y., was awarded a medal] on his universal tenoning-machines."
  • The history of the Hall patent miter chopper was pieced together from patent records and a variety of web sources. Of particular interest is an 1877 lawsuit filed by George La Baw against Hawkins & Dodge. Hall's patent was an improvement on an earlier patent by La Baw. The courts found that anyone manufacturing Hall's patent design required licenses from both La Baw and Hall, and they all had obtained licenses only from Hall. Hawkins & Dodge ended up having to pay $1646.41 in damages. Presumably the other Hall licensees settled as well.