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Monday, January 19, 2015

New York City Stove Inventors & Their Inventions, 1795-1855, Part 2: 1836-1855 [in progress]

In 1836 the old US Patent Office burnt down, and patent law and administration were also changed significantly, becoming increasingly formal and professionalized. 1836 therefore marks a logical break-point within this post tracing New York city inventors and inventions to the development of the American cooking and heating stove, the industry that made them, and the consumers they were made for.  

However, from about the same time (actually a little earlier), the stove designs illustrated in these patents provide a less and less comprehensive and, probably, accurate guide to the kinds of stoves actually sold and used in New York City. That is because of the processes of change detailed in "The Rise of the New York Stove Trade, c. 1800-1855": by the mid-1830s, the wholesale stove trade, i.e. the principal source of supply for the city market and also those dependent on it, was increasingly dominated by out-of-town firms with their foundries in the Hudson River towns up to 150 miles away. This meant that the stoves New Yorkers used came to be made and sold by firms whose inventors and designers lived and registered their patents elsewhere -- mostly in the New York Capital District. Cooking ranges and hot-air furnaces, more costly goods for smaller, richer urban markets, were still much more likely to be designed and manufactured in rather than merely for the city, as were the elaborate and decorative iron fireplaces that continued to embellish bourgeois sitting-rooms.

There are far more patents in the twenty years covered by this posting, during which New York became a mature as well as an enormous market for cooking and heating appliances, than there were in the forty dealt with in Part 1. Almost all of them have survived, with good, increasingly clear technical drawings and printed descriptions readily accessible through the US Patent and Trademark Office's website. Accordingly, I will not spend too much time on, or illustrate, any individual patent unless the invention represents a significant new development, or is particularly interesting for some other reason, for example its patentee's subsequent career. Where an inventor cropped up in Part 1 of this post, I won't repeat his address, occupation, and other biographical details here, but will add an asterisk after his name.

{semi-complete through 1850, i.e. records included but mostly not edited or commented on; to 1838, 19 Jan. 2015}

[1836 Directory]

Andrews, Ebenezer & Austin, Stephen. Form and Construction of Cooking Stoves. No. 40, 1836. Class 126/211 -- there is no Ebenezer Andrews in the 1836 Directory, but Henry Andrews (any relation?) was a stovebuilder living at 385 Monroe.  The only Stephen Austin in the Directory was a teacher living at 1 Fourth Street.  The Patent Office website is not perfect, even after 1836. This first new-series New York stove patent unfortunately has the wrong document associated with its record.  So here we draw a blank.

Mott, Jordan L.* Stove and Fire-Place. No. 50, 1836.  Classes 126/211; 126/73; 237/1R.

Formed from cast rings; an improvement on his 21 July 1835 Patent.  "[T]he exterior of each ring, instead of forming a continuous hoop, or circle is indented, and presents an uneven serrated surface, usually cut into the ornamental form of leaves. The reason for giving this form to the rings, or segments of rings is to obviate a difficulty which has been found to exist in the continuous ring, namely its liability to crack, from a sudden increase of temperature within the furnace, and the consequent expanding of the inside of the ring more rapidly than the heat could be conducted through it to expand the exterior. The ring may be simply scalloped, or notched.., the ornament being merely a thing of fancy, or taste."

Mott, Jordan L.* Manufacturing Stoves for Burning Anthracite. No. 292, 1837. Class 126/73.

This cheap little cooking furnace looked a bit like a bidet.  It included Mott's signature "self-feeder," i.e. gravity-fed fuel magazine, and just one cooking hole for a kettle.  Its significance was that it was cast in one piece, not assembled, "by which improvement such stoves can be afforded at a much lower price than similar stoves made in the ordinary way, while they are more solid and other advantages obtained."  It was designed for the cheapest, smallest sizes of anthracite -- nut or pea coal, "which for summer use, especially, answers admirably well in stoves of this kind."

"Stoves of this description have hitherto had the the body and feeder cast in several distinct parts, which have afterwards, been joined together by screws, rivets &c.
My improvement consists in casting the whole of the body and the feeder of stoves of this construction in one entire piece; and, in some instances, casting the bottom also in conjunction with the body and feeder, so as to constitute but one piece. The top I cast from a separate pattern; so that independently of the grate bars and the coverings of the openings at top, the whole stove consists of two, or at most of three pieces only."

The witnesses were Stephen Hicks and Josiah Shelverton.  According to the 1834 Directory, Shelverton was a stove mounter (assembler), living at 35 Rose St. [p. 614].

Dixon, Edward H. Grate and Stove for Warming Apartments. No. 347, 1837. Class 126/500.  Dixon was an MD, living at 37 Sixth Avenue.

A nice Gothic-style fireplace, with a metal sliding screen with mica windows in front -- i.e. the fire could be controlled, as in a stove, and still be visible, but could also be opened up completely, as in an ordinary fire place.

Utter, Samuel. Cooking Stove. No. 349, 1837. Class 126/1AC.  Utter was a stove dealer at 11 Monroe St.

A "step stove" (a common design, with the oven and another cooking surface behind and above the firebox), principally for anthracite.  The witnesses were Thomas P. Jones himself, formerly US Commissioner of Patents as well as editor of the Journal of the Franklin Institute, who was pioneering the business of being a patent agent, and a W. Thompson [??]. Jones's presence is significant: it indicates that the process of claiming intellectual property rights in invention was becoming increasingly professionalized as well as commercialized.

Wilson, James.* Cooking Stove. No. 351, 1837. Class 126/1AE; 126/289.

For WOOD or ANTHRACITE; includes an illustration "furnished with a feeder adapting it particularly to the burning of anthracite," i.e. Wilson was ripping off Jordan Mott's USP, just as he had plagiarized Eliphalet Nott a few years earlier. The stove also included a device for feeding steam from cooking boilers through the fuel -- "By this means, the steam is not only conducted off without any annoyance arising from its odor, but in passing through the ignited coals is decomposed, and produces a portion of flame which greatly aid in the operation of cooking."  This was an attempt to deal with one of the objections to stove cooking, which Mott had also aimed to do, as well as their neighbor Postley decades earlier; the patent makes an explicit invidious comparison with other stoves not possessing this feature.  At the same time, Wilson was evidently still a believer in the idea that an anthracite fire was hot enough to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen, both of which were flammable. This was entirely unscientific, promising a sort of stove equivalent of a perpetual-motion machine.  It had been a popular idea a decade earlier, when anthracite fuel was new.

Hopkins, George F. Stove. No. 380, 1837. Class 126/547.  Hopkins was a custom-house officer living at 570 Greenwich St.  "Hopkins' Free-Standing Parlor and Office Stove" was a heating stove on claw feet, with a place for warming food etc. on shelves.

Mott, Jordan L.* Combination Cooking Stove. No. 466, 1837. Class 126/1B; 126/211; 126/303; 62/345.

This stove had a self-feeder, an open-front fire (for toasting, roasting, etc.), a rotary top, an oven behind the fire, and a cover on top to convey steam etc. away.  The design addressed the issue of stove plates cracking because of uneven expansion, via sectional casting of the plate in direct contact with heat.  The witnesses were Sam S. Mott and Stephen Hicks.  According to the 1834 Longworth, p. 505, Sam. S. Mott was a carpenter (pattern maker?) living at 4 Monroe.

Olney, James N. Cooking Stove. No. 467, 1837. Class 126/1D; 126/144; 126/17; 62/345. There was no James N. Olney in the 1836 Longworth, but by 1839 he was recorded as a merchant of 207 Water St.   His first witness, William H. Drake, was an attorney on Pine St.; the second seems to be a no-show.

An anthracite cooking stove with an open-fronted fire, three cooking holes, and a drum-style sheet-iron oven elevated on three vertical columnar flues, with a few other novel features (e.g. the ability to close the front of the stove with an iron plate, if required). This was an adaptation of common practice in wood-stove design for rural users to the needs of an urban market, but Olney made clear it could also be used with wood or (bituminous) coal, i.e. he was aiming for versatility.  

Mott, Jordan L.* Parlor Stove. No. 508, 1837. Class 126/73; 62/345.

This stove had a firebrick lining, a self-feeding fuel hopper, and two hot-air flues at the side (cf. the Olmstead stove, and see blog post on columnar stoves). It was "furnished with air-heaters so constructed as to economize fuel and to supply air of genial warmth, which is not deteriorated in its passage through the heating-flues". The witnesses were Lawrence S. Mott and, again, Stephen Hicks.

Desmond, Daniel. Sliding-Flue Grate. No. 541, 1837. Class 126/506. The one Daniel Desmond in the 1836 Directory was a haberdasher, living on Madison Ave. and Rutgers.

This was a fireplace with cooking and oven apparatus.  Its novel, but not unique or even perhaps original, feature was that it slid in and out for use, so could also function as an ordinary parlor fire.

Wilson, Carington, Jr.* Cooking Stove. No. 543, 1837. Class 126/1R.

This was a modified 2-boiler saddlebags stove with a peculiar arrangement of flues "by which the stove is rendered much more compact and the dimensions of the oven may be proportionately enlarged."

Pierce, Samuel. Mode of Constructing Flues, &c., of Kitchen Ranges. No. 613, 1838. Class 126/8.

This was the first recorded patent of a man who went on to become one of the most influential stove inventors in mid-century America, active until the early 1870s. 

Pierce, b. 1812, was the youngest son of Samuel Pierce, the tinsmith of Greenfield, Massachusetts, and younger brother of John J. Pierce, proprietor of the town's Franklin Furnace and a stove inventor since at least 1822, the year in which he took out a (lost) patent for an open cooking stove, No. 3473X.  In 1833, when he turned 21 and possibly completed an apprenticeship, Samuel moved to New York City and opened a stove store on Lower Broadway [Richard Edwards, ed., New York's Great Industries. Exchange and Commercial Review, including also Historical and Descriptive Sketch of the City, Its Leading Merchants and Manufacturers (New York: Historical Publishing Co., 1884), p. 102]. By 1835 he was already describing himself as a patent range manufacturer, a description he shared with none of his competitors [Subscribers' List, Journal of the American Institute 1:2 (Nov. 1835): 40]. Given that he did not have any patents in his own name at that time, it is possible that what he was doing -- and the reason he had moved to the city -- was manufacturing and/or selling goods to his brother's old patent for a much larger market than the Upper Connecticut valley offered.

Pierce's original "patent range" (1833) -- lacks the ovens either side of the fire in his 1838 model, and also, probably, the distinctive flues. 

In 1838 he finally patented his own, by then prizewinning brick-set, anthracite-fuelled cooking range ["List of Premiums Awarded by the Managers of the Ninth Annual Fair of the American Institute, held at Niblo's Gardens, October, 1836," Journal of the American Institute 2:2 (Nov. 1836): 85-95 at p. 87] which other New York firms made for him.  He also sold manufacturing rights outside the city [Proceedings of the Second Annual Fair of the Ohio Mechanics' Institute: Held during the Third Week in June, in the City of Cincinnati (Cincinnati: R.P. Brooks, 1839), p. 12]. According to the city directories, Pierce's stoves were at first manufactured by a partnership of two local artisans, David Lockwood, a grate-setter, and Henry Andrews, a stove-builder; between 1839 and 1840 the partnership changed to Pierce & Lockwood, the two men having separate stores on Broadway and Fulton.

Pierce's patent range had three ovens, one either side of the fire and a larger one, with three shelves, heated from the smoke flue; five cooking holes in the top plate of the range; and a water boiler, with a tap, to the left of the range.  Like most ranges at the time, this was designed for large, prosperous households or commercial cooking (restaurants, hotels, institutions, etc.).  The metal parts were made by blacksmiths and iron founders, and then assembled and installed within the kitchen alcove that used to be occupied by the old cooking fire, or built into new houses.

Pierce's business evidently grew. By 1842 he was in business by himself as a patent range manufacturer on Fulton, and his old partner Lockwood was once again independent too. In 1843 he decided to devote himself to stove invention full time, leaving the New York City business in the care of an older brother, George, who would continue to sell what he invented from his store, which he moved back to Broadway until at least 1856, and moved to Peekskill, where there were foundries and pattern-makers to work with and “a pleasant place of residence of my family” [Pierce testimony in Report of a Trial, pp. 20, 24 (quote)]. In 1845 Samuel moved to Troy, just eighty miles west of Greenfield, where he still had a farm, and stayed there for the next couple of decades, producing twenty-four original patents for heating and cooking stoves and ranges in a thirty-three year inventing career. 

{Taken from footnote in Chapter 6; 'in due course' I will put in hyperlinks to the sources cited, almost all of which are available online.}

Whitson, Thomas. Constructing Flue of Open Fire-places. No. 784, 1838. Class 126/500.  Whitson was a gratemaker with a shop on the Bowery, where he worked in partnership with a male relative (brother?), Gilbert E. Another Whitson, Samuel S. was one of his witnesses -- the other, Owen G. Warren, was a Wall Street lawyer.

Whitson's design was for a nice Greek Revival open fireplace with hollow Russia sheet-iron air-heating flues, which were supposed to increase the appliance's efficiency, i.e. to enable the consumer to enjoy the pleasures of an open fire with at least some of the effectiveness of a stove.

Gold, Stephen J. & Gold, Job Swift. Mode of Applying Heat in Cook Stoves. No. 792, 1838. Class 126/1AE; 126/144; 126/152R; 126/243. Job S. Gold had a stove and oven store at 148 Fulton St. in 1839. His brother still lived at the family home in Litchfield, CT.

The Gold brothers' "Perfect Coal Cook Stove" was a modified two-boiler step stove, nicely illustrated in the patent document, and with unusually detailed guidance on how to make it, but making no very significant contributions to the development of the type.

Dutcher, Josiah. Raising and Lowering Stove Grates. No. 822, 1838. Class 126/154. Dutcher figured in the 1839 Directory as being in the patent stove business, but with no place of business apart from his house.

The drawing is just a cross-section of their cooking stove. The design's intention was to adapt the stove to burning different amounts of fuel, and to control the heat by changing the distance from the fire to the cooking utensils above it, by raising or lowering the fire via cams on a revolving shaft. Dutcher's was one of a number of needlessly complicated mechanical devices for these purposes. Controlling and varying the amount of heat applied to the bottoms of cooking utensils was one of the big attractions of Henry Stanley's rotary-top stove, the market leader at the time. Other inventors were trying to do the same thing without breaking his patent.

Stewart, Philo Penfield. Summer and Winter Cooking Stove. No. 915, 1838. Class 126/1E. Stewart gave his address as Hudson Street, and occupation as stove maker, which is helpful because he does not crop up in a Directory. He and his wife were extremely poor, and he was not a householder. Of his two witnesses, William and James E. Serrell, only William shows up in the Directory, as a ships' block-maker, with a shop at 84 South St. He may have been the person who gave Stewart the work space and tools he needed to perfect his stove.

Stewart went on to become one of the most important (and, or because, widely imitated) stove inventors in the United States, and already had an extraordinarily varied and interesting biography behind him -- as a missionary to the Choctaw Indians, then co-founder of Oberlin College. This stove was his second; the first, whose drawing has been lost, was called the "Oberlin," invented and manufactured to generate funds for the college.  The next post, "Philo Penfield Stewart, Inventor of the Ideal Cook Stove," is all about him and his work.

Stewart described his stove as equally suitable to burn wood or coal, which gave it the largest possible market -- for rural and urban users. In practice, it was probably more suitable for burning wood, the fuel to which Stewart was more accustomed, and with which he had experimented in designing its distinctive, efficient firebox. The principal claims he made for it were:

(a) It could easily be adapted for summer and winter use. One of the complaints about cooking stoves was that they were too effective at producing heat -- desirable, even essential in winter, but resulting in summer in an intolerably warm kitchen. The usual way of dealing with this problem was by shifting the stove to a "summer kitchen" on an open porch or even in a small separate building; or, particularly for apartment dwellers, by using a small "furnace" burning anthracite or charcoal, a bit like a barbecue, that used much less fuel, produced less heat, and would do simple cooking operations (boiling, frying, grilling) but lacked an oven; see Mott's patent 983 below. Stewart's approach was to make the stove as fuel-efficient as he could manage, and to supply thin, light, reflective and easily removable sheet-tin covers, which reduced the amount of fuel used and of heat transferred into the kitchen. In winter, the covers were taken off, and "by using anthracite coal, the warmth may be maintained through the night." In the in-between seasons, the covers could be put on or taken off, depending on the weather. The top covers also made it possible to broil food or heat flat irons without overheating the apartment.

(b) Dustless ash-removal.

(c) Because of the unique design of the firebox and oven, low fuel consumption and very even baking; and extra oven capacity through a "reflector oven" (or "tin kitchen") hanging on the side plate.

(e) Easy control of burn rate and heat production.

(f) A sheet-metal boiler sitting on the back of the stove top meant that "a considerable portion of the heat which would otherwise go off via the chimney flue, may be made available for providing a supply of hot water, almost always ready for domestic purposes."

Stewart's design was very thorough and professional, full of innovative features, and clearly the result of extensive trial and error with the needs of the user -- the housewife or cook -- always in mind.  His concern for ease of operation, limited space consumption (his stove had a small footprint), and, most of all, economy, was distinctive, and expressive of his deepest values, including frugality and a commitment to women's equality.

Mott, Jordan L.* Mode of Constructing Cooking Stoves. No. 930, 1838. Class 126/1E.

A modified 9-plate, oval cook stove, with two boiler holes, the fire above the oven, and a tin oven for roasting at back of stove. Unlike most of Mott's, it was wood fired; the fire box was "one entire piece" of casting "for the purpose of preventing the warping of the plates, and the escape of ashes in (to) the oven."

Mott, Jordan L.* Portable Furnace. No. 983, 1838. Class 126/25R.

Once again, a one- or two--piece casting.

Dorsch, M.P. Stove for Burning Soft Coal. No. 1046, 1838.

The official record is wrong -- 1046 is a different invention, and Dorsch's patent is nowhere in the 1040s, nor is it 1064. Dorsch does not show up in the 1836 or 1839 Directories either.

[1839 Directory & another copy]

[1840 Directory]

Howe, George C. Heating Stove. No. 1677, 1840. Class 126/69. Howe was a watchmaker, with a (work) shop at 148 Chatham St.

A cylindrical sheet-iron Stove "for heating the air of apartments."

Gold, Benj. F. & Gold, Job S.* Mode of Constructing Fire-Chambers for Stoves. No. 1689, 1840. Class 126/152R; 126/144.

This stove had a corrugated/fluted cast-iron fire chamber (for cylinder stoves?) to prevent cracking -- cf. Jordan Mott's similar designs for the same purpose. It was intended especially for burning anthracite. One of their witnesses, James Myers Jr., was a smith, with a workshop at 148 Fulton St..

Gosselin, Edward. Mode of Constructing & Combining Portable Ovens with Stoves. No. 1848, 1840. Class 126/18. Not in Directory.

Made of sheet iron, to sit on top of an ordinary cook stove with the draft under the top plate.

Wood, Loftis. Ship's Caboose & Other Cooking Stoves. No. 1865, 1840. Class 126/21R. Wood appears in the 1842 Directory in the stove business at 237 Water St., and then between 1848-1856 as a manufacturer variously of cabooses, ranges, and stoves. But his patents seem to indicate that his principal focus was on cabooses from the outset.

Wood claimed that his improved design for heating the baking oven of a caboose was applicable to ordinary cooking stoves too. As he was a caboose maker, it's reasonable to assume that he was describing an appliance that he actually made and sold, but I do not know whether (there is no evidence that) his improvement was sufficiently better than standard practice to be more widely adopted.

His witnesses were Jorden L. Mote (i.e. Jordan L. Mott) and Ethelbert S. Mills, the former a Water St. neighbour but not a direct competitor in the caboose business, the latter an attorney with an office on Peck Slip.

Mott, Jordan L.* Casting Hardware. No. 1872, 1840. Class 164/40.

This patent was for "forming dovetailed or oblique catches or projections on plates or other pieces cast from iron or other metal...for holding latches, the retaining of stove-feet, dovetailed wedges on railroad chairs," etc. -- a technique "well known to founders." Mott described the ordinary method using sand cores and removable pieces, and his own, simpler alternative: a hole in the pattern plate, punched through into the mold. The result had, he claimed, "much greater facility and truth." Mott admitted that his method was an extension of the common practice of pricking holes through casting for pins and shanks. The significance of this and other Mott patents is that it shows his search for economical methods of high-volume manufacture. His witnesses were Thomas P. Jones, pioneer patent agent, and Robert T. Bunker -- not in the Directory, but two other Bunkers (Reuben and Samuel) were
South St. sailmakers, so it's probably reasonable to guess that this Bunker was a member of the waterside artisan community too.

Mott, Jordan L.* Cooking Stove. No. 1905, 1840. Class 126/14.

This was an open-front stove, with a downdraft flue (like Postley's a generation earlier) and a tin roaster on the hearth. Its special features were that the roaster was cheaper and more convenient than the usual design and a "fuel-saver" door or shutter on the firebox, to be used particularly for "when the coals are drawn out in front of the stove for the purpose of broiling." Same witnesses as for No. 1872.

Williamson, Peregrine. Manufacturing Railway Cooking Stoves. Reissue No. 26, 1840. Class 126/2; 126/506.

This was originally No. 5368X, 1829 -- "Premium Railway Cooking Stove," i.e. an anthracite stove, basically a two-boiler Franklin with a secondary fire-box on runners. Williamson does not show in the New York directories; in 1829 he was living in Philadelphia. A reissue gave the inventor the opportunity to clarify (or indeed change) details in his design in order to make it more defensible in court, as well as to extend its period of validity. A James Williamson also patented a "Grate or Portable Fire-Place" in Washington, DC in 1836, No. 74 -- rather like the Railway Cooking Stove, in that the fire slid in or out as a way of controlling the amount of heat it gave out.

Backus, John & Evens. Parlor Stove. No. 1981, 1841. Class 126/69. The Backus brothers had a hardware store at 54 Bowery.

"Backus's Combination Stove" was made of sheet iron, and included a radiator and a hollow base, i.e. a built-in heat-exchanger. Their drawings showed the direction of flue-gas passage through the stove. Many heating-stove designers at the time -- e.g. James Atwater and Denison Olmsted of New Haven, Connecticut, pioneers and market leaders -- had already done something similar.

Sawyer, Henry R. Mode of Construction of Fire-Place & Chimney-Stack in Buildings. No. 2016, 1841. Class 126/500. Sawyer was a Fulton Street architect.

This is not a stove patent, but is included for interest's sake. It is for retrofitting a fireplace and chimney stack "in corner or other stores, or buildings of any description, at any story, without a chimney stack substructure below."

Wood, Loftis. Cabooses or Stoves for CookingNo. 2214+, 1841. Class 126/1A.

This was a fine, five-boiler caboose / cooking stove with two ovens, thoroughly illustrated and explained. Wood used as his first witness (and presumably patent agent) Thomas P. Jones, like his neighbour and associate Mott.

Fisk, Almond D. Novelty Cooking Stove. No. 2335, 1841. Class 126/1AC. Fisk was in the stove business at 113 Fulton St. from 1840 onwards in partnership with a man called Denison, probably a member of a family of Fulton St. grocers; and at 209 Water St. between 1842-1850, originally in partnership with Nelson W. Fisk, with whom he shared a house on the Bowery. Almond's patent was assigned (sold to) Nelson. This purchase may have been the latter's way of buying into the partnership. They used the same patent agent as Mott.

The patent was particularly nicely illustrated, showing the decoration on its front and side plates, an increasingly important characteristic of mid-century cook stoves. The stove itself was a pretty ordinary example of what was becoming the standard design -- it was a flat-topped, 4-boiler cook stove, with a downdraft flue basically the same as Postley's almost 30 years earlier. It's probably best understood as a transitional device, a blend of established and novel features. Fisk included a fuel-loading door that was (though of course he did not say this explicitly) sufficiently different from Jordan Mott's to be patentable in its own right, and with luck escape a violation suit from Mott. Probably the most useful distinctive feature in Fisk's stove was the arrangement of lift-off covers on the top, to make it easier to heat a large wash-boiler (bottom left-hand illustration) or the usual kettles and pans. Its weakness was its small oven, rather than the large one being introduced by Capital District stove makers from the late 1830s, which would soon have made it look quite old-fashioned.

Spaulding, Abiram. Cooking Range. No. 2354, 1841. Class 126/6. Spaulding showed up in the 1840 directory as a smith living on E. Broadway, but by 1842 he had moved to Fulton St. and described himself as a patent range maker, in partnership with John Hudson, a plumber. The one of his witnesses who can be traced was Stephen R. Frazier, a Water St. stove manufacturer.

His range was a large, coal (anthracite)-fired, brick-set appliance with two separate fire boxes. It was multi-functional, heating air and hot-water or steam for warming other rooms higher in the building. Spaulding was not explicit about this, but his device seems to have been intended either for the large houses of the rich or, perhaps more likely, for restaurants and hotels. One of the six other Spauldings in the 1842 Directory was a Broome St. "restaurator" (in 1840 described as a "refectory"), which may perhaps help to explain by Spaulding specialized in this class of cooking range/central heating source -- costly products for an urban niche market.

[1842 Directory]

Mott, Jordan L.* Tubular Cooking Stove. No. 2503, 1842. Class 126/1AC; 126/19R. Mott's witnesses were the attorney Ethelbert S. Mills and Augustus Weeks, who went on to be his partner.

This was a 4-boiler "cooking stove of common form," but with Mott's usual, and patented, pouch feed for coal. It had a large, modern square oven (cf. Fisk, above), but an older-style two-level stove top rather than the newer, more convenient flat top (again cf. Fisk). Mott's new stove also had a version of the downdraft ("revertible") Darius Buck-style triple flue that was becoming the standard design of Capital District makers, but with his own peculiar features to distinguish it and, presumably, enable him to avoid paying Buck a royalty on every stove he made. Mott was evidently trying to extend his market beyond the city in competition with the upstate makers, so he had to design a stove that would burn wood, still the principal fuel of country dwellers, as well as anthracite.

Brereton, John. Cooking Range. No. 2569, 1842. Class 126/8. Brereton was mason, living at 248 Second St. The one of his witnesses who can be identified, Samuel Blydenburgh, was a Chambers St. draughtsman, presumably employed to turn Brereton's ideas into a patentable design.

Brereton's brick-set range, the "Housewife's Assistant," was much smaller and simpler than Spaulding's, but like his it was intended to supply warm air for heating as well as to do all of the household's cooking, and to be economical in its fuel consumption.

Beebe, William. Cooking Stove. No. 2710, 1842. Class 126/8. Beebe described himself in 1842 as being in the stove business, but after 1843 and until 1854 he identified himself as a range or cooking-range maker. His witnesses were John W. Chambers, clerk of the American Institute (the principal technology-promotion organization in the city), and another not identifiable.

Beebe's was a large 6-boiler-hole appliance, though not as big as Spaulding's, and unlike Spaulding's or Brereton's it was made all of iron, to "fit into fireplaces of the common construction," i.e. it was factory-made and then installed, rather than assembled on the spot from brickwork with iron fittings. He described it as the "fire-place cooking stove."

Riley, Salmon C. Construction of Utensils for Cooking Stoves. No. 2767, 1842. Class 126/275R. Riley was in the stove business on the Bowery between 1842-1846.

This was a large oval pan to go on top of a stove. Riley's aims were (i) to carry off
the smells of cooking -- a common consumer objection to stove use, from people who were used to cooking in an open fireplace whose huge chimney carried smells away together with a huge volume of warmed air; and (ii) to carry out multiple operations simultaneously, by stacking pans one above the other. This patent is included here not because there is much evidence that Riley's idea was either practicable or in demand, but because the way he designed and described it illustrates his idea of what the market wanted.

[1843 Directory]

Postley, Charles.* Cooking Stove. No. 3128, 1843. Class 126/13. By 1842, and until the end of his career in 1845, Postley was describing himself as a founder rather than as a stove maker per se. By this time he had gone broke twice, and lost the Pennsylvania iron furnace where he had done his casting in the mid-1830s, but he had re-entered or remained in the business by working with, i.e. sheltering behind, his sons, who were the witnesses to this patent.

This was a big, modern, large-oven, triple downdraft-flue stove, demonstrating that after 30 years in the business Postley was still fully capable of designing what the market required. Unfortunately his financial embarrassments meant that he could not make a success of manufacturing and selling it.

[to here 25 Jan]

Smylie, Edward. Fire Dog / Construction of Andirons. No. 3170, 1843. Class 126/298; 415/198.1. Smylie was a brassfounder of 48 Delancy St.

Included because it was a Class 126 patent, and because it reminds us that, even a generation after New Yorkers really began their conversion to stove heating, they still used wood-burning open fires too -- particularly for parlors and in the middle- to upper-class homes whose hearths would be graced by andirons like Smylies's. The key feature was a safety bar to protect against the andiron "upsetting and causing damage by embers being thrown on the hearth or burning children even by the falling of the hot irons, an occurrence not infrequent by the old method of constructing andirons."

Wilson, James.* Cooking Stove / Ship's Caboose. No. 3224, 1843. Class 126/1A; 13; 285R.

Almost thirty years after entering the stove business, and a decade after going broke, Wilson had recovered and was still trading in Water St., and still perfecting the ships' stoves that had been a significant part of his output from the start. The improvements he claimed were designed to increase the caboose's safety and repairability at sea. The illustration shows, like Fisk's stove, above, decoration (a pattern of leaves) applied to the plates even of this most utilitarian object, and a permanent maker's mark, as on Beebe's range -- "Wilsons Patent NYork" on the front, above the fire. By this time Wilson was also using the same patent agent, Thomas P. Jones, as other leading New York stove inventors.

[1844 Directory]

Mott, Jordan L.* Cooking Stove. No. 3432, 1844. Class 126/1R; 108/28; 126/303.

This patent was a development from No. 2503, above, and was called "The Triumph Steam-Conductor." The object of Mott's work was to address consumer complaints about cooking smells in the kitchen, by enclosing the stove top in a metal case venting heat and fumes into the smoke flue. Mott certainly made and sold stoves like this, but they had become too complicated to be popular. The solution to the problem turned out to be a combination of improved kitchen ventilation and consumers simply getting used to the idea that if you used a stove, food smells permeated the house more than they had in the era of open-hearth cookery.

Morgan Morgan Jr. Fire Fender. No. 3675, 1844. Class 126/298. Morgan was an iron founder at 91 Henry St., and described himself as an andiron manufacturer. The drawing for this patent is not in the USPTO records, but it was designed to deal with the same problem as Smylie's -- ashes, wood, and embers falling forward out of the fire.

Mott, Jordan L.* Stove. Design No. 17, 1844. Class D23/346.

This was the first of the new class of design patents in the New York stove trade. It was for the decorative casing of his "Calorific Stove" -- a vertical, three-section heating stove.  

For the stove trade's embrace of the new design patent system and its significance, see my “'The Stove Trade Needs Change Continually': Designing the First Mass-Market Consumer Durable, c. 1810-1930,” Winterthur Portfolio 43:4 (Winter 2009): 365-406. People with access to JSTOR can access a copy here; otherwise, here. There is supporting and explanatory material on my website here. Briefly, a design patent cost half as much in PTO fees, and a lot less in other respects too; stayed in force half as long (seven vs. fourteen years); and was much easier to get, because there was no need to demonstrate originality or claim utility -- mere superficial novelty was enough to acquire intellectual property in a design and the value it conferred.

Hampton, Adam. Mantel Grate. Design No. 21, 1844. Class D23/404. Hampton had been a gratemaker in the same address on Fulton St. since at least 1835. He became a very prolific design patentee. The new system suited him ideally, given that what sold his grates to style-conscious middle- or upper-middle class consumers who wanted to embellish their parlors with an open fire was just their appearance; there was nothing functionally distinctive about them.

This design was for a fancy cast-iron mantel and grate surround of vaguely late (Tudor) Gothic pattern, decorated with swirly patterns (Arabesques).

[1845 Directory and another copy]

Thorp, Gould. Cooking Stove. No. 3976, 1845. Class 126/1D. Thorp had been a stove manufacturer on Water St. since at least 1834. In 1839 he went into partnership with David B. Thorp, and the firm was still in business on the same block in 1856.

Thorp's design was for a small cook stove of no great originality or special interest.  He was yet another client of Thomas P. Jones,  patent agent, and {?] his clerk Edwin Brundage.

Utter, Samuel.* Stove. No. 4031, 1845. Class 126/58.

Utter's patent was for a cylindrical heating stove, made to burn anthracite or bituminous coal, which, with proper management, would go a whole day between refuelings.  Another Jones/Brundage patent.

Hedenberg, F.L.* Stove. No. 4032, 1845. Class 126/69.

Another cylindrical heating stove. The witnesses were John W.C. Leveridge and Jos. G. Palmer, a Cherry St. lawyers.

Janes, Adrian. Air-heating Furnace. No. 4140, 1845. Class 126/108. Janes was in the kitchen range business on Fulton St. in partnership with William Beebe by 1845, but by 1846 described himself as a furnace maker instead, while Beebe continued to handle the firm's range trade. The firm was still in business in the mid-1850s.

This patent was for a large built-in basement furnace -- a solid brick housing for a cast-iron firebox and heat exchanger within, from which warm-air ducts would lead up through the big house or public building it served. The basic design was decades old; Janes's patent was for a distinctive and, he claimed, novel and better firebox and heat-exchanger. The witnesses were H.B. Phelps, a Fulton St. clerk, and another Janes, i.e. Janes seems to have been a do-it-yourself patentee rather than to have used patent agents or lawyers.

Wilson, James.* Parlor Grate. No. 4191, 1845. Class 126/526.

Wilson called this his "Grecian Grate," though the style was more fashionably Gothic. It was available as a cast-iron insert for an existing fireplace or as a free-standing appliance, lined with soapstone or fire-brick. As Wilson wrote, it was "a well-known fact that in the use of open grates, the gases, or heated air, from which passes directly into the chimney a very large proportion of the heat generated in the combustion of fuel escapes without heating the apartment" -- very well-known since Ben Franklin's pamphlet a century earlier.  

Wilson, most of whose business and designs for the past thirty years had been devoted to stoves and Franklins, seems to have been adapting like other inventors to the maturing of the New York stove market. Once wealthier households' basic needs for warmth had been taken care of by the installation of numerous stoves and/or a basement furnace, they could afford the luxury of an open fire in their parlor -- nice to look at, but not at all efficient. Wilson was trying to meet this demand with a sort of hybrid device, often known later as a fireplace heater (or even a Franklin), i.e. a fireplace with mica-glazed metal doors so that you could throw them open and have a roaring fire, or close them and still see the flame but use rather less fuel and generate more heat and fewer draughts.

Wilson's witnesses were Franklin Brown, a Nassau St. lawyer, and H.H. Benlock [unlocatable].

Lewis, Henry L.B. Portable Hot-Air Furnace. No. 4198, 1845. Class 126/118. There was a Henry Lewis [no middle initials] who was a locksmith, but there can be no certainty that he was our man, and according to the city directories there was no other Lewis in the New York stove trade during the first half of the nineteenth century. This was this Lewis's only stove patent, too.

His patent was actually for a free-standing cylindrical heating stove. It was thorough, detailed, and apparently very practicable, i.e. it reads like the description of an actual, tested device. His witnesses were Edward W. Bishop, a Center St. lawyer, and William H. Jennison, not in the Directory; but there was a George Jennison who was manufacturer with business premises on Broadway, the only Jennison in the Directory.

Mott, Jordan L.* Coal Stove. No. 4247, 1845. Class 126/73.

This was "principally designed for anthracite coal," and was a modification Mott's gravity-feed stove. "The uniform effect of the intense heat from anthracite coal on such stoves is at first to produce a bulging at the back part which gradually increases until they are actually ruptured, an effect which under careless management is sometimes produced in one season." Mott had tried a number of ways of dealing with this problem. This time he had decided to build the bulge into the casting, which was sectional, "united by screws and bolts." He referred to Walter Hunt's Globe Stove (see Part 1) as a partial precedent. One of the nice things about Mott's many patents is the way that they illustrate the work of a practical man depending on trial, error, experimentation, and ingenuity to improve his products and increase their ease of manufacture. It's a very market- and use-centred inventing career.

Mott, Jordan L.* Cooking Range. No. 4248, 1845. Class 126/1A; 210/455.

This had a bow front, two ovens, one either side of fire, a 4-boiler turntable top, and one large boiler-hole over an oven, i.e. it was a typical idiosyncratic Mott cooking stove design, including his tubular oven flues. As usual with Mott's patents, there was a long, thoughtful explanation of the problems in manufacturing and using these appliances that he was trying to overcome:

"As ranges are usually set within the fire-place, there is no way of removing the boilers from the top except over the front, which has been very impracticable with those heretofore in use, particularly when boilers are set in the rear, or when the breast of the chimney is low." His solution was the turntable, allowing pots to be brought closer to the cook.

[more on design difficulties of normal range]

"The sides and back of the fire-chambers against which the linings rest, are so made that a section of each can readily be removed when defective by burning out and its place supplied at a small expense. In the top plate of the ovens I usually make depressions from one half to one inch in depth to receive sand, ashes or other bad conductors of heat, which serve to equalize the heat in the oven by preventing the top baking faster than the bottom."

Barrows, Ebenezer. Hot-Air Furnace / Air-Heating Furnace. No. 4301, 1845. Class 126/106; 111.

"The general constructing of my air heating furnace is the same with those now in use;"

Katussowski, H. & Wierzbicki, F.P. Fire-Place Stove. No. 4303, 1845. Class 126/506.

Hine, C.S. Stove. Design No. 29, 1845. Class D23/346.

Heating stove -- usual square parlor model

[1846-7 Directory]

Wilson, James. Cooking Stove. No. 4528, 1846. Class 126/1A.

* a standard 3-flue stove, whose distinctive features = design of flues (claimed to incease radiation)

WITNESSES Franklin Brown, Jacob Fredk. Kuhle

Barrows, Ebenezer. Damper / Furnace-Register. No. 4538, 1846.  Class 49/41.

Loveland, E.D. Hot-Air Stove. No. 4637, 1846. Class 126/106.

Wood, Loftis. Cooking Stove. No. 4719, 1846. Class 126/21R.

Wood, Loftis. Stove. No. 4722, 1846. Class 126/58.

Silver, J.S. Cooking Stove. No. 4899, 1846. Class 126/1A.

Jackson, William & Jackson, Nathan H. Parlor Grate. Design No. 44, 1846. Class D23/347.

Louis XV style

VERY extensive, literate description -- REREF

WITNESSES J.L. Kingsley, Chas L. Chipman

Hampton, Adam. Parlor Grate. Design No. 52, 1846. Class D23/405.

Louis XIV Style -- not explicitly cast-iron ?? Dec. 2013, no, it's that he's writing as a WOOD pattern-maker

Looks PHOTOGRAPHIC rather than engraving??

WITNESSES J.L. Kingsley, James D. Osborne

Hampton, Adam. Fire-Place Grate. Design No. 69, 1846. Class D23/404.

Gregory, Robert A. Stove. Design No. 86, 1846. Class D23/350.

Parlor Stove -- KNICKERBOCKER STOVE -- is a 'disguised' invention patent, but ornamental -- "so that when the stove is complete a most harmonious effect is produced upon the mind of the sitter in a room."

WITNESSES C.L. Barritt, T.B. Wade

Goodwin, C. & Littlejohn, W. Parlor Stove. Design No. 101, 1846. Class D23/346.

Sheet iron, 2 side-columns

[1847-8 Directory]

Hickok, W. Air-Heating Furnace. No. 5118, 1847. Class 126/99R.

Philip, G.A. Stove Grate. No. 5277, 1847. Class 126/170.

Shepard, Charles J. Boiler-Plates for Cooking Stoves. No. 5351, 1847. Class 126/211.

Pollock, G. Hot Air Register / Register for Furnace. No. 5382, 1847. Class 49/52; 454/318.

improvement on existing pattern -- manual controls

Barry, Thomas. Stove. Design No. 103, 1847. Class D23/346; D3/21

Barry, Thomas. Stove. Design No. 104, 1847. Class D23/346; D15/69.

Jackson, James L. Fire-Place Grate. Design No. 121, 1847. Class D23/397.

Hampton, Adam. Fire-Place Grate. Design No. 122, 1847. Class D23/405.

Biggins, H. Fire-Place Grate. Design No. 125, 1847. Class D23/398.

Hickok, W. Stove. Design No. 144, 1847. Class D23/347.

Shepard, Charles J. Stove. Design No. 145, 1847. Class D7/405.

Describes self as "stove manufacturer"

HJH -- design "intended by me, for use with a new & Improved Cooking Stove, for which I am also seeking Letters Patent.." -- but doesn't want to limit use of his design to his OWN stove -- has "Shepards Patent" on -- very detailed description of ornament -- "It is difficult to find, or make terms of art, that shall be radically applicable to new & fancy figures, or shapes, in new designs: therefore the common terms in use, that come nearest the given subject, have been herein used, conjointly

with a direct reference to the given subject.." -- QUOTE HJH REREF

near full-sized drawing -- n.b. another ref to "separate application for a Patent on construction."

WITNESSES W. & Lemuel W. Serrell

Barry, Thomas. Stove. Design No. 154, 1847. Class D23/346.

[1848-9 Directory]

Hitchings, Anthony E. Hot Water Appliances / Hot-Water Heater for Buildings. No. 5418, 1848. Class 237/56; 237/18.

"heating buildings, either private or public, conservatories, or any other inclosure" -- hot water, NOT steam -- protection vs

overheating: "...I have applied a ball cock & waste pipe to the

*PIC #3 shows heating bath water

claims 3x heat output -- system incls. (a) two-pipe system for

circulating water, and (b) radiators

Culver, D. Hot-Air-Furnace Register. No. 5698, 1848.  Class 49/52; 454/319.

"The leaves as hung are completely counterbalanced every way so that they require very little power to operate even on a large scale, where the leaves are very heavy, as in a register for churches, public buildings, &c."

Mott, Jordan L. Cooking Stove. No. 5729; RE166, 1848/1850. Class 126/1AB; 55/DIG.20.

* a more conventional 4-boiler stove? Pouch feed, tubular flues

REREF -- for more even baking (to relieve cook of having to turn

items)... also for insulating bottom of oven, vs. heat loss "which is not needed in winter, and which is very objectionable in summer..."

sectional top-plate for ease of replacement/repair

i.e. IMPROVEMENTS are driven by experience of FAILURE with his

products in use


Mott, Jordan L. Cooking Stove. Design No. 166, 1848. Class D23/346.

NOT Mott -- Jos. G. LAMB & Charles JOINER, Cincinnati, OH

Hickok, W. Stove. Design No. 173, 1848. Class D7/342.

Savery, W. & Conklin, J.H. Stove. Design No. 185, 1848. Class D23/346.

Savery, W. & Conklin, J.H. Stove. Design No. 204, 1848. Class D23/336.

Savery, W. & Conklin, J.H. Stove-Plate. Design No. 205, 1848. Class D23/347.

Shields, James & Cole, J. [Cincinnati, Ohio]. Stove for Heating Apartments. No. 6156, 1849. Class 126/77.

Tiffany, O. Air-Heating Furnace. No. 6205, 1849. Class 126/117.

Merritt, F.S. Cooking Range. No. 6264, 1849. Class 126/8.

Mott, Jordan L. Cooking Stove. No. 6530, 1849. Class 126/1AB; 126/211; 73/744.

* another attempt to (i) equalize heat in oven, (ii) prevent top

plate from cracking by overheating; REREF


Rollhaus, Philip. Cooking Range. No. 6715, 1849. Class 126/1AD.

Savery, W. Stove. Design No. 239, 1849. Class D23/347.

[1850 NY Mercantile Union Directory]

Janes, Adrian. Steam Heater / Hot-Water Heater. No. 7054, 1850. Class 237/17; 122/20A.

"Great difficulty has been experienced in the practical application of water as a heating agent for heating buildings, on many accounts;" -- great expense... disfigurement (from DIRECT systems) ... inefficiency (INDIRECT systems) --

IMPROVEMENT: "... I have endeavoted to correct these inconveniences, & have succeeded in producing a simple, cheap, & permanent apparatus for heating buildings, that can be easily managed, and is not liable to derangement, or subject to want repair. I need not enlarge upon the advantages of heating by hot water, rather than by the direct application of fire, as it is now so universally admitted." -- REF hjh

MacGregor, J. jr. Cooking Range & Air-Heating Furnace Combined. No. 7142, 1850. Class 126/6.

1857 Trow

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