S. Morgan Smith learns a valuable lesson about patents; at the hands of McGinnes & Carter
The company lineage of today’s Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency operations in York goes back through the following business names:
- York International Corporation (1986-2005)
- York Division of Borg-Warner Corporation (1956-1986)
- York Corporation (1942-1956)
- York Ice Machinery Corporation (1927-1942)
- York Manufacturing Company (1874-1927)
It all started with the establishment of the York Manufacturing Company in 1874. Other posts in this series on The Origins of the York Manufacturing Company include:
- S. Morgan Smith’s Success Washing Machine; Origins of the York Manufacturing Company
- S. Morgan Smith, patentee Success Washing Machine, at 436 West Market Street in York
- Jacob Loucks; Family History of a Founder of the York Manufacturing Company
- Jacob Loucks learned the Paper Making Trade near Hunt Valley, Maryland; P. H. Glatfelter followed in his footsteps
- Jacob Loucks affiliations with Four Paper Mills make him Relatively Wealthy; prior to providing Start-up Cash for York Manufacturing Company
- Oliver J. Bollinger brought Manufacturing Experience to the York Manufacturing Company in addition to contributing his patent on a Turbine Water Wheel
- Oliver J. Bollinger and his initial Patented Bollinger Turbine Water Wheel
- O. J. Bollinger & Co. plus S. Morgan Smith and Jacob Loucks form the York Manufacturing Company in 1874
The Success Washing Machine, in the above photo, was the first product manufactured and sold by the York Manufacturing Company. In this post I’ll examine the second patent associated with this product. Stephen M. Smith learned a valuable lesson about patents through the second patentable feature on this product. It was a lesson well learned; based upon reading early hydraulic turbine patents obtained after he leaves York Manufacturing Company to establish his own company, S. Morgan Smith Company.
In the initial post in this series, we learned that Moravian Preacher Stephen M. Smith developed a serious throat ailment while leading a congregation in Dover Canal, Ohio. This ailment persisted, making it nearly impossible for him to preach; he grudgingly resigned as pastor until he could regain his voice.
It was during this period of convalescence that Stephen M. Smith started to explore ways to ease the housekeeping burden of his wife. He tinkered with an improved device to mechanically wash clothes. He applied for a United States Patent on this Improvement In Washing-Machines and was granted Patent No. 108,646 on October 25, 1870.
In the second post in this series, we learned Stephen M. Smith began to build and sell this washing machine, which he named the Success. In late 1871, his whole family moved to York, Pennsylvania, where his wife’s relatives lived. Smith was likely producing these washing machines and working on improvements in rooms of this residence, at 436 West Market Street in York, and/or the building at end of his back yard along West Mason Avenue.
By zooming in on the side of the Success Washing Machine, from the photo at the beginning of this post, one sees the dates of the two patents associated with this product: Oct. 25, 1870 and Apr. 30, 1872.
The Oct. 25, 1870 patent is the original one; belonging to Stephen M. Smith. The Apr. 30, 1872 patent was issued to Andrew McGinnes and Brinton J. Carter of the City of Lancaster, PA. S. M. Smith purchases rights to the McGinnes and Carter patent early in 1874; while he was in conversations with gentlemen in York about joining forces to form a York Manufacturing Company.
The McGinnes and Carter patent is for Improvement in Adjustable Pitmen for Washing-Machines. The following patent description shows that they specifically targeted this improvement to the washing-machine patented by Stephen M. Smith.
The McGinnes and Carter patent was granted for an adjustable pitman; providing better washing action for the whole range of small to large loads. The pitman is item G in the Smith patent drawings.
This drawing shows the adjustable pitman in the McGinnes and Carter patent. This improvement must have made a significant improvement to Smith’s washing machine for him to acquire the rights to the McGinnes and Carter patent.
Stephen M. Smith learns a valuable lesson about patents; he should have used the wording “fixed or adjustable” to describe the pitman in his patent. It was the rights to these two washing machine patents, U. S. Patents 108,646 and 126,317, that Stephen M. Smith contributed as his $20,000 investment in the formation of the York Manufacturing Company. More than likely, well over half of the $20,000 was Smith’s payment to McGinnes and Carter to acquire rights to U. S. Patent No. 126,317.
The first stockholders meeting of the York Manufacturing Company was held on September 7, 1874. Two months later, Leander Becker and Stephen M. Smith of York received a patent on an Improvement in Clothes-Wringers; an easier device to use for swifter drying of wet washed clothes. This U.S. Patent No. 156,529 was dated November 3, 1874. Becker and Smith utilized the York Manufacturing Company to produce and sell their patented Clothes-Wringer.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts