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US Patent: 15,438
Sawing machine
Patentee:
Treat T. Prosser - Oconomowoc, WI

USPTO Classifications:
123/543, 83/777

Tool Categories:
woodworking machines : reciprocating saws : scrollsaws

Assignees:
None

Manufacturer:
Lane & Bodley - Cincinnati, OH

Witnesses:
B. W. Fenwick
William Tusch

Patent Dates:
Granted: Jul. 29, 1856

Patent Pictures: [ 1 | 2 ]
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"Vintage Machinery" entry for Lane & Bodley
Description:
An ad in the August 15, 1857 issue of Scientific American says, "Prosser's patent scroll saw has neither sash, slides, nor springs; can be run at thrice the usual velocity, working much more smoothly and rapidly than any other saw. Price complete, on iron frame, $60. Lane & Bodley, manufacturers of wood-working machinery, Cincinnati, Ohio."

The 1899 book, "Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois", carries a full biography of our inventor, Treat T. Prosser. What follows are excerpts. "Treat T. Prosser was born in the little town of Avon, New York, January 22, 1827... Always handy in the user of tools, at the early age of fourteen he had been engaged at the trade of a millwright, in which he soon became a proficient workman... From the young millwright developed an inventor of agricultural implements of great value; of a superior system of machinery for the manufacture of bolts; of universally recognized improvements upon steam engines; of a practical and widely used machine for pegging boots; of coal machinery; of the Prosser Cylinder Car... He drew the plans for the Chicago Hydraulic Company, which built the first water-works system in Chicago.

"In 1851 Mr. Prosser came to Chicago...From 1851 until the date of his death, December 11, 1895, Mr. Prosser made Chicago his home, with the exception of two years spent in the Rocky Mountains, six years in Boston, and a short vacation spent in Europe... Closely wedded to his profession, Mr. Prosser generally refused the responsibilities of official positions, but made an exception to this rule after the Great Fire, when he acted as superintendent of the distribution of food to the destitute in Districts Four and Five..." Unfortunately, the biography sheds no light on exactly how Mr. Prosser earned his money: was he a free-lance designer and inventor, or did he work for others?

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