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US Patent: 4,629X
Mode of Rolling Iron
Abraham S. Valentine - Bellefonte, PA

USPTO Classifications:

Tool Categories:
trade specific : steel maker


Valentines & Thomas - Benner Township, Centre County, PA

William Elliot
William P. Elliot

Patent Dates:
Granted: Jan. 03, 1827

Patent Pictures: [ 1 | 2 ]
Image courtesy of Gary F. Coppock
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Valentines & Thomas
Most of the patents prior to 1836 were lost in the Dec. 1836 fire. Only about 2,000 of the almost 10,000 documents were recovered. Little is known about this patent. There are no patent drawings available. This patent is in the database for reference only.

The original patent document is in the Pattee and Paterno Library, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania


By the late eighteenth century iron manufacture was making its way into the central Pennsylvania, a region that would become known as the Juniata Iron District. It was also at this time, on February 25, 1795, to be precise, that Abraham Sharpless (A.S.) Valentine was born to Quaker parents in Chester County. Throughout the next century and into the twentieth, A.S. and his family would play a prominent role in the development of Centre County. Among his accomplishments, A.S. helped establish the Centre Meeting Orthodox, in Bellefonte; was a supporter of the underground railroad; a successful iron master; an important inventor; and a scholar who had an influence on the establishment of Penn State University. To this day, one of A.S. Valentine’s inventions, an ore cleanser known as the log washer, remains an important tool of miners throughout the world. The information presented results from archaeological and historical investigations conducted at the Valentine Iron Ore Washing Plant prior to its destruction to make way for a new industrial park.

The above information is courtesy and copyright of Gary F. Coppock.


Abraham S. Valentine, another of the original brothers locating in Centre county, died August 29, 1862, aged sixty-eight years; married Clarissa Miles, who died March 3, 1857, aged forty-nine years; was a member of the original firm and the inventor of the ore-washing machine since in general use, the adoption of which effected a revolution in the ore mining of this region. He was possessed of great business ability and foresight (being " a man far ahead of his time"), and it was due largely to his inventions and improvements that the Valentine charcoal iron achieved its wide-spread reputation. At the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion he was one of the liberal contributors to a subscription for the support of the soldiers’ families. Two of his sons, Abram and Bond, were in the service for a time. Clarissa Miles, wife of Abram S., was a daughter of Evan Miles, who died May 10, 1838. in his sixty-ninth year, and of Rebecca George (of the family of George's Hill, Philadelphia), who died July 28, 1845, in her seventy sixth year; both are buried in the graveyard at Milesburg. Evan Miles was the son of Richard Miles, and the nephew of Col. Samuel Miles, of Revolutionary fame. The latter served as a lieutenant in the expedition to Fort Duquesne; was wounded at Ligonia in an attack made by the French and Indians; commanded a regiment in 1760, and at the end of the campaign was left in command of the forces at Presque Isle (now Erie), Penn. He commanded a regiment in the Revolutionary war under Gen. Washington.

While leading his regiment at the battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776, he was captured, and while a prisoner was made a brigadier-general for distinguished service. He was no less distinguished in civil life after the war, holding many responsible positions, among them that of mayor of Philadelphia. Richard Miles married Mary Pugh. who was a member of the Society of Friends, and in 1792 they located at Milesburg, Centre county, where both are buried. He was a captain of militia in the Revolution. His death occurred December 16, 1823, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, and that of his wife, December 20, 1794, aged forty-four years. Richard Miles was the grandson of Richard, one of the brothers who came from South Wales in 1682 or 1683, and settled at Radnor, Pennsylvania.

The children of Abraham S. Valentine and Clarissa (Miles) were: (1) Anna married S. Stewart Lyon, and their issue are—John; Anna; Clara, the wife of William Jasper Nicholas; Mary, the wife of Ellis L. Orvis; and Rebecca. (2) Rebecca M. married Evan Pugh, Ph. D., who lived only a few months after marriage, and left no issue; he was a scholarly gentleman and distinguished educator, and was the first president of the Pennsylvania State College. (3) Bond, born March 22, 1834, died April 19, 1889, married Mattie Kenney, who died August 25. 1882, in her forty-sixth year; their children are—Evan and Jane (died in infancy); Bond; and Edward K. The father of these was for years a member of the firm of Shortlidge & Co., of Bellefonte, dealers in grain and coal, and latterly he was engaged in the insurance business. “He was closely attached to the Society of Friends, and was very devoted to their teachings. He was a man possessing a pure Christian character, whom everyone honored. His friends were numbered by the hundreds, who looked upon him as a man worthy of imitation, because he followed as near as he could in the paths of divine teaching. He was courteous, genial, and enjoyed being genial whether in social or business life." (4) Abram S., who resides at Atlantic City, N. J., married Eliza U. Natt, of Philadelphia, daughter of Thomas and Anne Natt, of England, and their children are—Charles, Arthur and Edward. Abram S. is connected with the Valentine Iron Works at Bellefonte, and for years took an active part in the business interests of Bellefonte and vicinity. During the war of the Rebellion he was for a time in the service, and contributed largely toward the support of the soldiers and their families. (5) Evan M., who resides in Philadelphia, married Mary Taylor, of Doylestown, who died. Their children are Harry S. and Abram S. (6) Samuel and (7) Blanchard died in infancy. (8) and (9) Clara and Mary, respectively, unmarried. (Io) Henry C., now connected with the Valentine Iron Works, married Sarah, a daughter of Thomas, and granddaughter of Judge Thomas Burnside, and their children are—Stanley, Helen, Rebecca and Henry. Henry C. is a member of the borough council.

Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania ..., Volume 1 pg. 71

Patent's Text:

The rollers heretofore made use of for reducing malleable iron into flat bars have been of the following description, viz.:—The lower roll with rectangular grooves of the requisite width and depth, the upper roll with rectangular collars calculated to work into the grooves of the lower roll, leaving a space between the bottom of the groove and surface of the collar of a proportion suitable to the size of the bar to be drawn, the consequence was, that the iron had not a disposition to increase in width, and therefore it has been found necessary that it should undergo a second operation to complete a bar of any measurable width: to overcome this difficulty, I have made an addition of convex grooves in the lower roll and convex collars in the upper roll. Which convex grooves and collars have the property of spreading the iron to any desired width; and this is what I claim as my peculiar improvement and for which I ask a patent.

Abraham S. Valentine

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