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US Patent: 5,657X
John Thomas - New York, NY

USPTO Classifications:

Tool Categories:
structures : boats and ships


Not known to have been produced


Patent Dates:
Granted: Oct. 10, 1829

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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.

For an improvement in Bilgeways, called " Frame Bilgeways," for the purpose of drawing out of the water, and relaunching, ships and other vessels; John Thomas, New York, October 10.

"The frame bilgeways consist of two longitudinal timbers, with nine cross timbers of solid oak crossing them at right angles, and securely bolted to them; five of these nine pieces project beyond the longitudinal pieces. The patentee says, " it may be proper for me to describe the common bilgeway, which is as follows; the common bilgeways are large square pieces of timber, extending nearly the length of the vessels to which they are applied, one of which timbers is placed on each side underneath the bottom of the vessel intended to be launched, or hauled up, leaving the fore and after part of the vessel unsupported.

The principle, or character, which distinguishes the improvements I have made in the construction of the Frame Bilgeways for drawing out of the water for repairs and relaunching, ships and other vessels, consists in this: the cross timbers uniting the lengthway timbers at right angles, do thereby compose a frame on which the keel and the bilge of the vessel are always supported, and which constitutes the Frame Bilgeway. On the projecting parts of the long cross timbers will be the support of the sides, and the upper parts of the vessels."

Description from the Journal of the Franklin Institute, V5 1830 pg. 25.

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