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US Patent: 8,668X
Casting chilled rolls, &c.
James Harley - Pittsburgh, PA

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McClurg, Parry & Hardy - Pittsburgh, PA

Not known to have been produced


Patent Dates:
Granted: Mar. 03, 1835

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This very important patent describes a method of casting iron rolls (as for planers) so as to push the densest (purest) material toward the outside of the roll where strength is most important: "The tube or tubes, or passages called gates, through which the metal to be conveyed into the moulds shall not enter the mould perpendicularly at the bottom, but slanting, or in a direction approaching to a tangent of the cylinder, or if the gates enter the moulds horizontally or nearly so, shall not enter in the direction of the axis of the cylinder, but in a tangent form, or inclining towards a tangent of the cylinder." Like many of the best ideas, this one is supremely simple: orient the tube through which the metal enters the mold so as to create a rotary motion of the molten metal.

This patent was the subject of litigation that ended up in the U. S. Supreme Court, McClurg v. Kingsland, 42 U.S. 202 (1843). The firm of Kingsland, Lightner & Cuddy employed Harley, the inventor. He developed his improvement at their foundry and at their expense. Harley suggested that his employers take out a patent and purchse his right, but they declined. Harley obtained the patent, while simultaneously manufacturing the rolls at the firm's foundry, using the process he had developed. 13 days after the patent was issued, Harley assigned the patent to the firm of McClurg, Parry & Higby. Some time afterwards, Harley left Kingsland, Lightner & Cuddy and went to work for McClurg, Parry & Higby. His former employer continued to use the patented process, and so his new employer sued them, saying that they had no right to the invention. But under the patent laws in force at the time the patent was issued, the defandant was within their rights to do so because Harley had not previously objected to their use of the patent even though he obviously knew about it.

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