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Manufacturers Index - American Steam Gauge Co.
Patents
This page contains information on patents issued to this manufacturer.

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USPTO = U.S. Patent Office . Images of the actual patent can be viewed on the U.S. Patent Office web site but a special TIFF viewer must be installed with your browser in order properly work. More information on how to configure your computer to view these patents can be found at TIFF image Viewers for Patent Images.
DATAMP = Directory of American Tool And Machinery Patents . A sister site to VintageMachinery.org with information on patents related to machinery and tools. A much easier user interface than the USPTO's for finding information on machinery patents.

Patent Number Date Title Name City Description
9,163 Aug. 03, 1852 Pressure-gage Eugene Bourdon , France Patented in France on 1849-06-18.
"I have discovered that if a thin metallic tube be flattened and then bent or distorted from a straight line, it has the property of changing its form considerably when exposed to variations of internal or external pressure. An increase of internal pressure tends to bring the tube to a straight cylindrical form and the degree of pressure is indicated by the amount of alteration in the form of the tube."
18,526 Oct. 27, 1857 Steam-pressure gage Enos G. Allen Boston, MA First in a trio of interesting steam-gauge patents granted to Enos G. Allen, who was superintendent of the National Steam Gauge Co. This patent was subject to litigation from one Henry W. Farley (see patent 26,900), whose patent application was denied due to this Enos G. Allen patent. Farley won in the circuit court but the decision was appealed: "Farley v. National Steam-Gauge Co." in the DC Circuit Court. The brief describes this invention as "an improvement upon steam-gauges, consisting of the application of a volute spring, as set forth, which increases both in width and thickness from its centre to its circumference, in combination with a disc of rubber or other elastic material". Farley later applied for a virtually identical patent but was turned down. "...it is incontestable that Farley was the first to make a completed machine including double-tapered spring, elastic diaphragm, coupling box, and indicator, and that this was effected about the 4th of March 1857... Although the testimony on the part of Allen is in many parts obscure, and its weight greatly impaired by his declarations and conduct subsequent to Farley's invention, yet the credibility of his witnesses must not be overthrown by his mysterious declarations and conduct, however unenviable a light these may reflect upon himself. From the testimony of these witnesses, I have become satisfied that Allen had in 1855 and 1856 prepared double-tapered coiled springs, elastic diaphragms, and coupling boxes... for the purpose of applying them to steam-gauges, and had so declared his intention and explained his purpose to these witnesses." The judge pointed out, however, that it is not necessary for an inventor to produce a complete realization of his invention, but rather if he has "manifested it before the world in any form which evidences the completeness of the idea, and which is sufficient, when communicated to others, to enable those skilled in the particular art to reproduce his invention, he has done enough to entitle himself to a patent".
The 1860-02-02 Scientific American carried an announcement that the National and American Steam Gage (sic.) Companies were consolidating, and that henceforth the National gauges made under the patents of E. G. Allen would be made by American Steam Gage Company.
23,032 Feb. 22, 1859 Steam-pressure gage Thomas W. Lane Meredith, NH This is an improvement to the Bourdon steam gauge of patent 9,163. We know that this patent was used by American Steam Gauge Co. of Boston because "T. W. Lane's improvement" to the Bourdon gauge in mentioned in an 1860 announcement that American Steam Gauge Co. was merging with National Steam Gauge Co. (in fact, American was buying out National).
26,152 Nov. 22, 1859 Combination steam-gage Enos G. Allen Boston, MA "In the use of large steam engines especially marine engines, have heretofore been employed pressure gages, for indicating the pressure of steam in the boiler, vacuum gages by which the amount of condensing power applied to the cylinder is regulated, a counter for registering the number of revolutions of the propelling wheel or wheels and a clock for indicating the exact time, these all being inserted in separate cases independent of each other, supported by separate standards and each furnished its its own set of cocks, couplings, pipe, &c. ... The present invention consists in combining in one instrument, having but one case and one dial plate, so as to constitute a new article of manufacture, a pressure gage, one or more vacuum gages, a counter for registering the number of revolutions of the propelling wheel and a clock for indicating the exact time. By this arrangement but one case and one set of couplings, standards &c. are required, thereby diminishing the cost of manufacture nearly fifty per cent..."
See the inventor's subsequent patent 26,871 for a discussion of the shortcomings of this design.
26,871 Jan. 17, 1860 Steam-gage Enos G. Allen Boston, MA Last in a trio of interesting steam-gauge patents by Enos G. Allen. "In the construction of steam gages, the spacing or graduating of the dial plate constitutes a very expensive part of the manufacture, as each dial has to be marked differently from the others. This difficulty arises from the fact, that it has been found impossible to manufacture any number of the springs which communicate the pressure of the steam to the index hand exactly alike, and so that they shall all possess the same amount of tensile power. The nearest approach to accuracy has heretofore been attained by the use of a volute spring tapering both in width and thickness as described in the schedule of Letters Patent of the United States, granted to me (patent 26,152). But I have found in practice, that it is impossible to so make these springs that they shall be all exactly alike, owing partly to their form, they being too thin to permit their being planed down from the bar of steel of which they are made, to the required shape or so as to taper two ways and consequently are constructed entirely by forging, which is not only an expensive operation but one which precludes the possibility of obtaining perfect accuracy in the spring, as the steel so forged cannot be uniform throughout... The present invention consists in constructing the volute spring of a bar of steel of uniform thickness throughout and tapering in wide on one side only, which form of spring I have found by repeated tests to produce the most accurate results, as the bar of steel, which when coiled, constitutes the spring, can as it is of uniform thickness, be reduced the to the required shape by planing, thereby avoiding the imperfections and great expense of forging. Moreover this form of spring enables me, without difficulty or great cost, to manufacture all the springs so exactly alike that instead of being obliged to mark each dial plate by accurate and actual experiments, so as to correspond with its spring, as has heretofore been necessary, I am enabled to prepare the dial plate by electrotyping, as any spring will answer for any dial..."
26,900 Jan. 24, 1860 Pressure-gage Henry W. Farley Hannibal, MO Improvement on the well-known Bourdon pressure gage, patented in France by Eugene Bourdon on 1849-06-18 and in the US in 1852 as patent 9,163. "There is an imperfection in the action of the Bourdon gage caused by the vibration of the tube or spring S, when the gage is in motion by being carried upon a locomotive or otherwise, thereby producing a like vibration or unsteadiness in the indicator of the gage. The purpose of my invention is to remedy this imperfection." The improvement was to add a lever and weight that counterbalance the action of the spring under vibration.
The inventor had, three years earlier, attempted to patent the use of a doubly-tapered volute spring but this idea had already been patented by Enos G. Allen, patent 18,526. Farley sued to invalidate Allen's patent, won in the circuit court but lost on appeal. In July of 1860, it was announced that National Steam Gauge Co. was being merged into American Steam Gage Co., and that American's Bourdon gages would continue in production. We therefore suspect that this patent was used by American.
RE5,320 Mar. 11, 1873 Improvement in steam-gages Thomas Wilson Lane Meredith, NH
167,364 Aug. 31, 1875 Indicator for Steam Engines Joseph W. Thompson Salem, Columbiana County, OH
244,094 Jul. 12, 1881 Cylinder for steam-engine indicators Joseph W. Thompson Salem, OH
280,256 Jun. 26, 1883 Steam-engine indicator Ladislav Stanek , Bohemia, Austria-Hungary This patent uses a swivel pulley to allow the cord to enter the indicator from almost any angle, which simplified the setting up of an engine and allowed greater adjustability of the engine without having to also adjust the indicator. According to a catalog of the American Steam Gauge Co., "We are the sole owners of the swivel pully, having purchased the United States patent from the patentee..."