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US Patent: 18,526
Steam-pressure gage
Enos G. Allen - Boston, MA

USPTO Classifications:

Tool Categories:
propulsion and energy : steam apparatus : stationary boilers : steam pressure gauges


American Steam Gauge Co. - Boston, MA
National Steam Gauge Co. - Boston, MA

Joseph Govett
Esau Lincoln

Patent Dates:
Granted: Oct. 27, 1857

Patent Pictures:
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"Vintage Machinery" entry for Enos G. Allen
"Vintage Machinery" entry for American Steam Gauge Co.
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.

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